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28 Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice 21 (2019)


This project reviews how American state courts portrayed Islam and Muslims from 1960 until September 11, 2001. The purpose of this project is not to construct some overarching theoretical framework to explain American social and legal views of Islam and Muslims, though I will necessarily interpret what the cases say to some extent. Given the lengthy time period involved, the number of cases in which Muslims or Islam are referenced, and the fact that these cases come from many states, it seemed prudent to defer to others who have constructed critiques of the way American law as a whole has treated Muslims. Nor will I attempt to put these cases in the historical contexts in which they arose, including the actions and views of the political branches when these cases were decided. But I hope that a survey of these cases will be instructive as to the ways in which implicit biases can affect the quality of justice and illuminate the ways in which courts both reflected and overcame these biases.