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Arabs and Muslims in the Media
Cover of Arabs and Muslims in the Media
Arabs and Muslims in the Media
Race and Representation after 9/11
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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 The Practice, 24, Law and Order, NYPD Blue, 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.

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 The Practice, 24, Law and Order, NYPD Blue, 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.

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About the Author-
  • Evelyn Alsultany is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California's Dornsife College and author of Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11. She is the co-editor of Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging and Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora. As a leading expert on the history of representations of Arabs and Muslims in the US media, she co-authored the Obeidi-Alsultany Test to help Hollywood improve representations of Muslims and serves as a consultant for Hollywood studios.
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Arabs and Muslims in the Media
Arabs and Muslims in the Media
Race and Representation after 9/11
Evelyn Alsultany
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