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FEATURING JOHN O’BRIEN – The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual findings of hate crimes in November 2017 and found that such incidents rose nearly 5% in 2016. This is not surprising given the rise in power of Donald Trump who made demonizing people of color and especially Muslims, the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

But Muslims live, work, and play in the US and have done so for a very long time. Young Muslim American men in particular, who are constantly racially and religiously profiled at airports and by police, are seen as potential terrorist recruits by right wing politicians and media.

Now a new book called Keeping It Halal, explores the daily lives of Muslim American teenage boys to understand how they navigate US teen culture and the demands of their religious beliefs. It is a nuanced look at a population that is often misunderstood or even feared.

NOTE: This is the Extended version of this interview, available only to our subscribers, or to rent or buy.

John O’Brien, Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University, Abu Dhabi. His book is called Keeping it Halal: The Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage Boys.

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