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“No Lebs”: Anti-Arab racism since 9/11

Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Randa Abdel-Fattah & Ghassan Hage

Moderated by Sara Saleh

The 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City gave rise to bigotry, hate speech, and violence against Arab and Muslim communities around the world. Twenty years after the event, how much have things changed for Arab-Australians and Muslim-Australians? 

On Stream | Talks & Ideas | Live from Sydney Opera House

"White supremacists and Nazis are no different from Islamic extremists. Those of us who still believe in diversity; black, brown and white; he, she and they; need to stand together to rid the world of both."
Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Standing against Islamophobia in Australia

Twenty years ago, September 11 changed the Western world forever. In Australia Arabs and Muslims became a target for xenophobia and hate, as sections of the media amalgamated ethnicity and religion to stoke rage and fear. We've since seen the 'War on Terror', the Cronulla riots, vandalism at mosques, and indefinite imprisonment of refugees from majority Middle Eastern states. What has the last twenty years been like for Arabic communities in Australia? Twenty years on, has the face of Islamophobia changed in Australia? And what work still needs to be done to dismantle racism in our politics, media and society?

Presented by Sydney Opera House

More about Michael Mohammed Ahmad...

Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founding director of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and editor of After Australia. His debut novel, The Tribe, won the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. His second novel, The Lebs received the 2019 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Mohammed received his Doctorate of Creative Arts from Western Sydney University in 2017. His latest novel is The Other Half of You.


More about Randa Abdel-Fattah...

Randa Abdel-Fattah is a Palestinian Egyptian Muslim writer, academic, anti-racism and Palestine advocate, former lawyer and mother of four children. The award-winning author of eleven novels, published and translated in over 20 countries, Randa writes about race, human rights, multiculturalism and identity in popular culture. Randa is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University researching the generational impact of the war on terror on Muslim and non-Muslim youth. Her latest book is Coming of Age in the War on Terror.

More about Ghassan Hage...

Ghassan Hage is Future Generation Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne. He has held many visiting professorships around the world including at Harvard and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He is the author of many publications on the comparative anthropology of nationalism, migration and inter-cultural relations.

More about Sara Saleh...

Sara Saleh is a daughter of migrants from Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine living and learning on Gadigal land. A long-time human rights activist, community organiser, and campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice, Sara was awarded the 2021 Australian Book Review (ABR) Peter Porter Poetry Prize. Co-editor of the 2019 anthology, Arab-Australian-Other: Stories on Race and Identity, she is currently developing her debut novel as a recipient of the inaugural Affirm Press Mentorship for Sweatshop writers from Western Sydney.

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