Following a speech against the war on terror the author presented at a conference on Violence Against Women, she was publicly attacked and threatened for “hate-mongering.” This paper was written in the aftermath of the controversy that followed. The author’s speech highlighted the history of U.S. foreign policy and sought to mobilize feminist opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan. The war, she argued, was reviving the colonial/imperial global divide and would be catastrophic. The author explores here how a number of carefully considered words used in the speech were treated in the public controversy that followed as too “incendiary” and used to shut down political opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan. By publicly branding her an ungrateful and hate-filled immigrant woman, and an apologist for terrorism, the media provided a platform to shut down political opposition and advance the racist and Islamophobic political ideology of the war.

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