Psychologisation and Securitisation of Muslims

Dr Tarek Younis noted the growth over the last few decades of the relationship between national security and mental health alongside an emergent ‘pre-crime’ industry, and associated legislation that attempts to identify ‘pre-symptomatic’ individuals at risk in the global ‘war on terror’ to mitigate threats to the social order, via thought policing. At the juncture of this process is the securitisation and racialization of Muslims.  He spoke of race as a social construct, and which, as such, subsumes Muslims within a racialized sphere. Performative colour blindness negates the operation of racialism while institutionalising it within culture and psychology. Applying questionable ethics such an approach projects and fosters the threat of terrorism in public imagination and promotes fearful imagery of Muslims. Here, fundamental British values embody an ideal Muslim that bifurcates into good/bad Muslims. He discussed the manifestation of racism in its different guises: illiberal racism supports the demonization of whole groups or categories of people. While liberal racism operates on hierarchical registers which dichotomise those considered good and marginalise others deemed detrimental. Dr Tarek observed how a racialized Muslim is a least 23 times more likely to be referred to a mental health hub than a white far-right extremist. Adolescent Muslims of Asian heritage constitute the majority of such referrals, frequently assessed as exhibiting high levels of emotional behaviour on psychological tests. Subsequently, such factors were pinpointed by the audience as Dr Tarek expanded on these areas offering further discussion during the question and answer session following his highly informative presentation.