Book: Fabricating Difference
Chapter: 2. Concerning Voices: Thinking with Fernando about Bigotry and Silence
In this short essay Berry employs what Fernando’s work brings to our attention to briefly interrogate bigoted claims about Muslims that not only perpetuate damaging stereotypes but also, after the Paris attacks, rendered French Muslims’ voices unheard when they tried to counter the perception in the media that they were uniformly alien to French society and somehow communally responsible for the attacks. By way of example, the essay discusses a CNN interview with a French Muslim civil rights activist that took place days after the attacks. In this interview we can see a reciprocal relationship between bigotry, ignorance, and the stifling of Muslims’ voices that forms the basis of an especially limited type of “knowledge” that shapes and informs bigotry toward Muslims, or what Berry calls anti-Muslim epistemology,.