In this local tale of conflated identity, there is a cautionary lesson for the rest of us. During this unceasing War on Terror in which secular nationalists are readily swapped for political Islamists, the American public has demonstrated little appetite for informational nuance. And while there is reason to hope that we might finally be emerging from our decade-long fear of what our Muslim neighbors are up to, we may be confident that the purported terrorist threat posed by Muslims in prison will one day soon again draw its share of scrutiny. It couldn’t be otherwise. Fantastically conjured in the muddled shadows of two mythic types—the black nationalist revolutionary and the Bin Ladenist terrorist—public paranoia about Muslim prisoners is overdetermined. And while past outbreaks have largely come to naught, we can be confident that the next time a handful of intemperate, feckless, and, in all likelihood, mentally ill prisoners flatter themselves with delusions of destruction, the demagogues of screen and state will be there to sound the requisite alarms, and the rest of us will quake accordingly. And why should we not? After all, what makes more intuitive sense than the imagined fury of the incarcerated Muslim man? As one subjected to the worst excesses of American empire both at home and abroad, is he really supposed to feel any other way? And therefore, worry we must. So long as we prosecute profligate wars in Muslim lands and wastefully imprison generations of African-American men, we are simply not entitled to the easy sleep of the unburdened conscience. Even if we don’t know we know it, we know it just the same: in addition to whatever local threat he might materially pose, as a spook at the ready, the Muslim prisoner is at root the bad faith projection of brutalities done in our name.

-Joshua Dubler (found here)

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