Facing Race: A National Conference coming to St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024! #SaveTheDate

Darakshan Raja

Co-Director | Justice for Muslims Collective
Darakshan Raja is the co-director and founder of Justice For Muslims Collective, a local organization that works to dismantle structural Islamophobia in the DC metro area. Previously, Darakshan was the interim executive director of the Washington Peace Center and worked at the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center for 4 years on projects focused on evaluating interventions for victims of sexual assault for state and federal government agencies. She currently serves on the board of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). Darakshan holds a MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

State Violence in the War on Terror: How to Organize Against Institutionalized Islamophobia

The attacks on 9/11 ushered in a set of laws and policies that have almost exclusively targeted Muslims and those racialized as Muslims. Despite this fact, the systemic nature of Islamophobia has only recently, has entered the public consciousness in a significant way. In order to properly situate Islamophobia in the course of the War on Terror and how it has been institutionalized, it is important to for activists and advocates alike to understand the legacy of the War on Terror and the fact that it was former President Bush that built its violent infrastructure and former President Obama who perpetuated it. Understanding Islamophobia as systemic necessarily moves conversations beyond simply resisting one manifestation of it to resisting an entire system that demonizes and criminalizes Muslims. Through a combination of large discussion and small group work, this workshop will focus on understanding the breadth and scope and Islamophobia, how it has been institutionalized, how it intersects with other forms of oppression, the narratives that help Islamophobia thrive (including many from the left), and interventions to challenge institutionalized Islamophobia in the form of state violence. Participants in the workshop will leave with a solid definition of Islamophobia and how to make their work more intersectional through understanding how Islamophobia relates to other systems of oppression, while also having the opportunity to critically examine narratives of Islam and Muslims - including those that are seemingly benign. Lastly, participants will leave with a set of tools to intervene in state violence.

Speakers: Dr. Maha Hilal, Darakshan Raja