Itrath Syed is a PhD student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University where her doctoral project involves an analysis of “moral panics” and Muslim bodies in the West. This follows her completion of a Masters degree at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, University of British Columbia. Her MA work explored the gendered and racialized construction of the Muslim community in the media discourse surrounding the Islamic Arbitration or “Shariah” debate in Ontario. Currently, Itrath is an Instructor who has taught at Langara College, Centennial College and Simon Fraser University. Her field of instruction includes courses in Women’s Studies, Popular Culture, Canadian Politics, and a course entitled, “Contemporary Debates in Muslim Women’s Feminisms”.
Her undergraduate degree was from Simon Fraser University with a major in Middle East History and minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies. During the years between her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Itrath worked in the anti-violence field at a rape crisis centre and then at transition houses for battered women and their children. Itrath is a social justice activist involved with the local antiwar movement, in anti-occupation solidarity work and in resisting the erosion of civil rights and the racial profiling of the Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities in Canada. In the 2004 federal election, Itrath ran as a candidate for the New Democratic Party in her home riding of Delta-Richmond East, British Columbia. Itrath has been interviewed for several documentaries and is a frequent presenter on a wide array of political and social issues.