Representation of Islam in Western Media and Literature
Laboni, Fatema Begum
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Abstract: Representation of Islam in Western media and literature has categorized Islam under few characteristics like ‘fundamentalist’, ‘terrorist’, ‘anti-Western’ etc. Moreover, the 9/11 attack in the USA, US invasion into Iraq and Afghanistan and the huge propaganda, analysis and opinion of those events afterwards in the media, is found stereotypically identifying the whole race of Muslims as terrorists. The declared ‘War on Terrorism’ by the USA and comments of many US scholars on it make the situation worst because of the reductive meaning of the chosen words indirectly validates any type of US attacks on any Muslim nation. Beyond Belief by VS Naipaul, Satanic Verses by Salman Rusdie, Clash of Civilization by Huntington and some articles by other US scholars like Michael Ledeen, David Hanson and Robert D. Kaplan show some stereotypical points of view of Islam. This paper reveals that representation of Islam in these writings and in the media is biased and stereotypical. To support this revelation Edward Said’s Covering Islam and to clearly understand the politics of representation Stuart Hall’s theory of representation is used. Stereotypical representation creates nothing but distance between the Westerns and the Muslims. To remove the distance we must clearly understand the politics of representation of Islam and the Muslims.
- Volume 2, July 2014