‘Orientalism’, Arabs and Hollywood Movies: The Cradle for Islamophobia or Muslimophobia ?

  • Prof. Sulok B Raghuwanshi


Much of the critical discussion about the emerging genre of 9/11 fiction has centred on the trauma of 9/11 and on novels by Euro American writers. The book "Post-9/11 South Asian Diasporic Fiction : Uncanny Terror” by Pei-Chen Liao draws attention to the diversity of what might be meant by post-9/11 by exploring the themes of uncanny terror through a close reading of post-9/11 South Asian Diasporic Fictions. The novels include Salman Rushdie, Hari Kunzru, Monica Ali, and Mohsin Hamid. These and other post-9/11 writers represent the return of the repressed and the unhomely migrant experience. From the perspective of these novels, if 9/11 did indeed change everything then it did so in the lives of their Pakistani-American protagonists in the ways that are often overlooked in the mainstream American public discourse. In his renown book, ‘Orientalism’, Edward Saïd has few and dismissive words to say about the issue of honor and shame in the Arabic culture. He aims his clearest barbs at Harold Glidden. It uncovers “the inner workings of Arab behavior,” which from our point of view is “aberrant” but for the Arabs it “is normal.” The Arabs have been consistently misrepresented by Hollywood with the plenty of proof. Reel Bad Arabs, both film and book, are the result of nearly 20 years’ work, during which Shaheen viewed and analysed 950 films. Of those, only 5 percent showed the Arabs of Muslims in a positive – or at least benign – light.
Keywords: Orientalism, the Arab Muslims, Hollywood movies, Islamophobia, Muslimophobia, South Asian Diasporic Fiction, western view to the Arabs.


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Author Biography

Prof. Sulok B Raghuwanshi

Prof. Sulok B. Raghuwanshi teaches at the Department of Social Work, Orange City College Of Social Work, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.


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