Monolithic Misrepresentation of Muslim Women and Islam: Textual Analysis of Selected American Literary Texts


  • Inayat Ullah


Muslim Women, 9/11 Literature, Falling Man, Terrorist, Un-Representability of Trauma


Notwithstanding the fact that American novelists had to cope with the challenge of the inherent un-representability of the 9/11 trauma, they made the efforts to write the counter-narrative against the perpetrators of the attacks, but ended up stereotyping Islam and Muslims as a monolith. With such an essentialist outlook towards Islam as a religion of violence and Muslims as fundamentalists to the core and ones who lack the ability to peacefully co-exist, the narrators of the event targeted all Muslims with a such a blurred lens. There is no denying the fact that if the 9/11 attacks had not happened, most of the 9/11 American fictional portrayals would been able to get much praise from readers; however, such was the magnitude of the calamity that none of the literary texts could depict the event in its essence. This was impossible to achieve. The un-representability of the event lies in the core of such traumatic episodes. With all these limitations of representability, there was a burden on the writers to write. What happened at as result was a wholesale stereotyping of Islam and Muslims, as this could have easily get the approval of the Islamophobic and xenophobic West. This article highlights the stereotyping and misrepresentation of Muslim women in the selected literary texts.