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Arabs and Muslims in the Media

Race and Representation after 9/11

Arabs and Muslims in the Media by Evelyn Alsultany
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After 9/11, there was an increase in both the incidence of hate crimes and government policies that targeted Arabs and Muslims and the proliferation of sympathetic portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media. Arabs and Muslims in the Media examines this paradox and investigates the increase of sympathetic images of “the enemy” during the War on Terror.


Evelyn Alsultany explains that a new standard in racial and cultural representations emerged out of the multicultural movement of the 1990s that involves balancing a negative representation with a positive one, what she refers to as “simplified complex representations.” This has meant that if the storyline of a TV drama or film represents an Arab or Muslim as a terrorist, then the storyline also includes a “positive” representation of an Arab, Muslim, Arab American, or Muslim American to offset the potential stereotype.  Analyzing how TV dramas such as West Wing, The Practice24Threat MatrixThe AgencyNavy NCIS, and Sleeper Cell, news-reporting, and non-profit advertising have represented Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans, and Muslim Americans during the War on Terror, this book demonstrates how more diverse representations do not in themselves solve the problem of racial stereotyping and how even seemingly positive images can produce meanings that can justify exclusion and inequality.

NYU Press; August 2012
272 pages; ISBN 9780814738146
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Title: Arabs and Muslims in the Media
Author: Evelyn Alsultany
  • News
Muslims on TV seen through terror prism - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Fri, 11 Dec 2015 13:20:07 -0800
Baltimore Sun (blog)Muslims on TV seen through terror prismBaltimore Sun (blog)It was troubling to see how simply a Quran or a ...
2015 – Islamophobia Goes Mainstream in America - The Chicago Monitor
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 05:06:06 -0800
The Chicago Monitor2015 – Islamophobia Goes Mainstream in AmericaThe Chicago MonitorAs Evelyn Alsultany states in Arabs and ...
Palestinians denied a voice in Canadian film set in West Bank - The Electronic Intifada
Mon, 23 Sep 2013 12:17:40 -0700
The Electronic IntifadaPalestinians denied a voice in Canadian film set in West BankThe Electronic Intifada... the same ...