Between Muslim Bans, nations around the world closing borders to increasing numbers of Muslim (and other) refugees, and millions of dollars being poured into Islamophobic propaganda campaigns internationally, to say that there is anything short of a global crisis of systemic anti-Muslim racism would be a dreadful understatement.

So, let's learn about it.

New to #BecauseWe'veRead?

Here are our intentions & goals, and how we work!

On to month three of #BecauseWeveRead, the last month in our 3 month "unit" on colonialism! Starting with Assata Shakur's autobiography introducing us to concepts on internalized colonialism and racialized hierarchies (among countless others) that were then expanded on and theorized in Fanon's Black Skin White Masks and the film Battle of Algiers, we're taking a step back now and looking at colonialism on an international level, and how such colonial conceptions of self are constructed systematically.

And to do so, there is no one quite like the brilliant Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, (i.e my first true love) and his development of Orientalism and postcolonial studies to explore for July.

While Orientalism is quite the classic, I would argue that the introduction would be more than sufficient for understanding the concepts central to his theory, that are only laboriously elaborated on in the remainder of the book. Alternatively, Covering Islam takes these concepts and applies them to media representations of Muslims and Islam, beyond the "Muslims are always depicted as terrorists and that's not cool" line. Also, keep in mind that Covering Islam was written before September 11th 2001, the date that most Americans would (incorrectly) ascribe to the start of Islamophobic bias against Muslims in America. Said's theories remain not only unfortunately incredibly relevant, but are also highly applicable in other international contexts, outside of the United States. In these texts, Said's development of the concept of Orientalism -- the "imperialism of the pen," as he pens it, is incredibly rich, powerful, and integral to any understanding of colonialism.



+ Covering Islam (1997), Edward Said - Full PDF available here
+ Introduction, Orientalism (1979), Edward Said - Introduction available here
+ The Pen & the Sword podcast interviews (2015) with Edward Said - on Spotify here (also available on Youtube here for countries in which Spotify does not work)

(As always, please email us at if you are not financially (or politically) able to purchase a book and cannot read the PDF linked above, and we can mail you a free copy while supplies last!) 


+ "Framed" - a 2 minute video by AlJazeera introducing the concept of "Orientalism" 
+ Origins of Terror podcast interviews (2014) with Edward Said 
+ 'Shades of Anger' spoken word poetry by Canadian-Palestinian artist Rafeef Ziadah 
+ "Islam Through Western Eyes" (1998) long-form essay by Edward Said summarizing concepts in Covering Islam
+ "A Window on the World" (2003) an article by Edward Said in the Guardian explaining Western academics' role in justifying the US military occupation of Iraq through a creation of the "Arab mind" 
+ "The Clash of Ignorance" (2001) an article by Edward Said in The Nation destroying the "clash of civilizations" argument pitting Islam and the West as fundamentally opposite and incompatible 
+ The Question of Palestine (2015), available on Amazon 


+ Instagram, @BecauseWeveRead
+ Twitter, @BecauseWeveRead
+ Subscribe to our email updates!
(We're giving away copies of Covering Islam on Instagram, so be sure to follow us for a chance to win! Also, we love our reader posts! Use the hashtag #BecauseWeveRead to join the conversation on social media, and we might just repost you!)


Our beautiful, fabulous #BecauseWeveRead official chapter leads are listed below, along with their email addresses and social media to get in touch! They will be releasing the date for their meetup and additional information as the month progresses, so be sure to follow them on social media, email them letting them know you're interested in joining, and/or keep this page bookmarked as we continue to update as information arises! 


Ann Arbor/Detroit, Michigan: Samantha Rahmani (email)

Boston, Massachusetts: Reza Mirsajadi & Joubin Khazaie (email)

Brooklyn, NYC: Sana Altaf (email)

Cincinnati, Ohio: Sara Zandvakili (email)

Houston, Texas: Laila Khalili (email)

Los Angeles, California: Joubin Khazaie (emailinstagramtwitter)

Minneapolis, Minneapolis: Binta Kantah (email)

Montreal, Canada: Mona Ghassemi (emailtwitter)

San Francisco Bay/Oakland, California: Allison Chan (emailinstagram)

Seattle, Washington: Anisa Jackson (emailinstagramtwitter)
Seattle Facebook Group

Toronto, Canada: Yeldah Yousfi (emailintsagramtwitter)

Ottawa, Canada: Zaynab (email)

San Diego, California: upcoming


Cape Town, South Africa: upcoming

Nairobi, Kenya: upcoming

Nigeria (no cities, as this is a national Whatsapp group): Hulaimah Kolawole (emailinstagram)


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Anisa Alkunshalie (email)

Bombay, India: Smirit Sant & Anadita Bhalerao (email)

Istanbul, Turkey: Zineb Sadok & Hiba Abdennabi (emailinstagram)

Jakarta, Indonesia: Annissa Rosyidah & Nana Rosyidah & Intan Khasanah (email)

Lahore, Pakistan: Madiha Tallat (emailinstagram)

Tehran, Iran: Mohammad Javad Hamzeloo (email)


Leeds, England: Halima Nawaz (email)

London, England: Alliyah Riaz & Maryam Abdullah (email)

Newcastle, England: Amy Cass (email)


Auckland, New Zealand: upcoming

Melbourne, Australia: upcoming


DATE: Sunday, July 29th 
TIME: 10:00 AM CST
PLATFORM: Instagram live, @becauseweveread

Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bazian between 2002-2007, also served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on Islamic Law and Society, Islam in America: Communities and Institutions, De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to Berkeley, Prof. Bazian served as a visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California 2001-2007 and adviser to the Religion, Politics and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley. In Spring 2009, Prof. Bazian founded at Berkeley the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of Othering Islam and Muslims. Prof. Bazian in Spring 2012 launched the Islamophobia Studies Journal, which is published bi-annually through a collaborative effort between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California at Berkeley, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative for the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University; the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, and Zaytuna College. In addition to academic work, Dr, Bazian is a weekly columnist for the Turkish Daily Sabah Newspaper and Turkey Agenda online magazine. Dr. Bazian is founder and national Chair of American Muslims for Palestine, board member of the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Muslim Legal Fund of America, President of Dollar for Deen Charity, and Chair of Northern California Islamic Council.

Happy reading (and viewing)! Can't wait to read all of your thoughts as you're reading -- be sure to tag us & hashtag #BecauseWeveRead to join the club & conversation!