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Title: Portraits of Otherness: Arabs and Muslims in Homeland and Little Mosque on the Prairie
Authors: Kheshaifaty, Nujood
Keywords: The “other”;media;Arabs;Muslims;Islam;misrepresentation,;stereotypes;gender;terrorism
Issue Date: 7-Mar-2019
Abstract: The U.S. media has often projected Muslims and Arabs in the West negatively, especially after the 9/11 attacks. The negativity identifies Arabs as the “other.” Through numerous symbols of difference, the U.S media helps to create a clear “us versus them” binary imposing homogeneous images of Muslims as “terrorists,” “patriarchal abusers of women,” and “tyrants.” Drawing from literature in religious and gender studies in the framework of Marxistpsychoanalysis, this thesis analyzes the American political thriller Homeland (2011) in contrast to the Canadian sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007). Written by a Muslim woman, Little Mosque creates humors out of the conflicting and complicated diversities and realities of being Muslim, while Homeland demonizes Arabs and Muslims. By employing Žižek’s concepts in The Sublime Object of Ideology, I explore how fantasies shapes human society. Žižek’s analyses help to clarify the idea that people’s fantasies are the basis of popular cultures. These fantasies in turn shape the society’s biases and these biases shape individuals’ conceptions. However, while Homeland reinforces the racist ideology and fantasy, Little Mosque challenges it. Little Mosque converts the standard monochromatic stereotypes into a diverse mosaic, thereby moving Muslims from the realm of static otherness to one of dynamic conflicts.
Appears in Collections:Humanities - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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