Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Ferguson

Rights Information

2020 Julian Nelson Rothschild


This thesis is broken into two main components. The first is a brief foray into Islam’s early antiquity and the development of Islamicate societies and legal practices. By developing a rudimentary understanding of core belief structures and frameworks of Islam, this thesis seeks to combat the impact orientalist political theory has had on the Islamic diaspora––which, in effect, has caused the racialization of the global Muslim population. The second piece of this project is an effort to apply the history and theory articulated in the first section to answer three fundamental questions: how has the term ‘Muslim’ come to operate as monolithic representation of the Islamic community in the popular American vernacular, who fomented the racialization of the Islamic diaspora, and why did they find it necessary.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.