Author(s)Choudhury, Cyra Akila
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AbstractWith the rise of the Global War on Terror (GWoT) and the radicalization of Muslim communities, there has been an increase in surveillance, detentions, torture, militarization, and security technologies, tied to controlling political dissent, “terrorism,” and immigration. For many Muslims, men and women, ordinary activities (e.g. religious gatherings, religious speech and debate, and travel for work or pleasure) have become laden with the possibility of misconstruction, leading to serious criminal consequences. For the most part, reports of GWoT regulation have focused on Muslim men, who are the most likely to be targeted as terrorists. Increasingly, though, women in various Muslim-majority countries and the West are also participating in terrorism and are consequently also targeted. But in South Asia, the more serious gendered effects of national and transnational security regimes are a consequence not of participation in terrorism but rather of women’s families and communities. In other words, women are far more likely to be caught up in the GWoT and the regulation of the security state through their relationships and membership in Muslim communities. Muslim women have become political prisoners for resisting the GWoT; they have lost male support and become single mothers because of detention of their menfolk; and they have become organizers working to counter the suppression of political and human rights to resist the encroachments of the security state.