By Evelyn Alsultany
After September 11, there has been a rise in either the occurrence of hate crimes and govt regulations that distinctive Arabs and Muslims and the proliferation of sympathetic portrayals of Arabs and Muslims within the U.S. media. Arabs and Muslims within the Media examines this paradox and investigates the rise of sympathetic pictures of “the enemy” in the course of the conflict on Terror.
Evelyn Alsultany explains new general in racial and cultural representations emerged out of the multicultural circulate of the Nineteen Nineties that contains balancing a unfavorable illustration with a good one, what she refers to as “simplified complicated representations.” This has intended that if the storyline of a television drama or movie represents an Arab or Muslim as a terrorist, then the storyline additionally incorporates a “positive” illustration of an Arab, Muslim, Arab American, or Muslim American to offset the capability stereotype. examining how television dramas similar to West Wing, The Practice, 24, Threat Matrix, The Agency, Navy NCIS, and Sleeper Cell, news-reporting, and non-profit ads have represented Arabs, Muslims, Arab americans, and Muslim americans in the course of the conflict on Terror, this publication demonstrates how extra assorted representations don't in themselves remedy the matter of racial stereotyping and the way even likely confident pictures can produce meanings which could justify exclusion and inequality.
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Extra info for Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11
S. national security. Political liberals, or those on the left, tend to acknowledge Sleeper Cell’s attempt to offer alternative representations of Muslims but nevertheless criticize it for being pedantic. Both sets of responses demonstrate the limited impact of these representational strategies and how—despite their efforts at complexity—they devolve toward a problematic simplicity. The conservative writer Dorothy Rabinowitz, in her review for the Wall Street Journal, states: SHOWTIME’S Sleeper Cell won’t make viewers particularly happy, its intention being, evidently, to teach rather than to delight—a worthy enterprise in this case, and one, it turns out that’s also highly compelling most of the time.
I argue that simplified complex representations are the representational mode of the so-called post-race era, signifying a new era of racial representation. These representations appear to challenge or complicate former stereotypes and contribute to a multicultural or post-race illusion. Yet at the same time, most of the programs that employ simplified complex representational strategies promote logics that legitimize racist policies and practices, such as torturing Arabs and Muslims. I create a list of some of these strategies in order to outline the parameters of simplified complex representations and to facilitate ways to identify such strategies.
But it plants the idea that the people meant to be protecting us from amorphous terror might be as inept as Inspector Clouseau—or even former FEMA chief Michael Brown. 29 This reviewer conflates Arabs and Muslims, despite Sleeper Cell’s efforts to challenge that conflation, and criticizes the TV drama for fueling the public’s fears about sleeper cells and inept government officials. While conservative perspectives tend to praise TV dramas such as Sleeper Cell for instilling fear in the 32 Challenging the Terrorist Stereotype American public (though they are critical of portrayals of the US government as inept), liberal perspectives tend to be critical of fear-mongering.
Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11 by Evelyn Alsultany