Dialogues Across Differences: Murad Idris hosts panel on anti-Palestinian racism

Idris is an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan

On April 18, Murad Idris, associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, held the fourth panel of MIT’s Dialogues Across Differences: Building Community of MIT speaker series at the Schwartzman College of Computing. Idris’ research focuses on political theory, political theology, and political thought and intellectual history as an Arab and Muslim-American studies scholar.

Idris’s panel was titled, “What Hinges on Anti-Palestinian Racism.” MIT President Sally Kornbluth opened the panel with an introduction and facilitated the talk. The panel consisted of Idris’s talk followed by a question and answer session with the audience moderated by Course 17 professor Fotini Christia.

Idris discussed instances of anti-Palestinian racism and highlighted a lack of transparency and conversation about this issue in the US. He stated that Palestinian life is devalued and that certain forms of violence towards Palestinians have often been justified in various contexts. 

He argued that anti-Palestinian racism works as a hinge and added that that it acts as a proxy for anti-Muslim racism. Idris also examined the complex relationships among anti-Palestinian racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia during the panel. 

Additionally, he chronicled a history of anti-Palestinian discourse, one that has shifted from a state of insurgency to terrorism. Idris further examined a shift in language in such discourse over time that connoted violence. Idris ended the talk by emphasizing increased dialogue about issues such as anti-Palestinian racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia to reduce ignorance and to ensure that people stay informed. 

The final Dialogues Across Differences event will be held on May 9 in the Schwarzman College of Computing with speakers Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, and Ezzedine Fishere, senior lecturer on politics of the Middle East also at Dartmouth. Their panel is titled, “A Model for Discussing Conflict and War in the Middle East.” 

More information about this upcoming event can be found here.