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Summary

Internment by Samira Ahmed is a young adult novel about the forced detention of Muslims in America. Set in a dystopian alternate universe described by the author as "fifteen minutes in the future," Internment is a response to the growing Islamophobia sweeping the globe. The story begins with a recently elected president introducing Muslim Registry and Exclusion Laws while creating a "model camp" called Mobius. The site for the construction of Mobius Camp is near the notorious Manzanar War Relocation Center, an internment camp used to imprison Japanese-Americans during World War II. The anti-Muslim climate shifts quickly from burning books written by Muslims to a curfew for Muslims to Muslims losing their jobs based on their religion to, finally, the passing of a law that rounds up all Muslims and places them in internment camps.

Layla Amin, the novel's protagonist , is a high school student recently suspended from school for kissing her boyfriend in public. Her father, a former college literature professor, is accused by local police of writing seditious material. His books of poetry are among the books by Muslim authors that are burned at the beginning of the novel. The family is forced onto a train, taken to an internment camp, and tattooed with ID numbers. Throughout the novel, there are parallels made to the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany as well as to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Once inside the internment camp, the family are monitored by security cameras, drones, and searchlights. Razor-wired electric fences surround their FEMA-styled trailers. The director of the camp implements a divide-and-rule method...

(The entire section is 544 words.)