Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) 21/3 (2004): 39-69.
Publication year: 2004


This paper seeks to answer two questions: Has there been a shift in the representation of Muslims by the American media in the wake of increasing number of Muslims living here, and could Muslims speak for themselves through an autonomous Muslim discourse in the post-9/11 period? Using the tools of postcolonial analysis, I analyze the coverage on Muslims in the mainstream media following the 9/11 attacks. I find that there was a shift, in the form of a differentiation between moderates and fundamentalists. Additionally, the same tropes used to represent Muslims in the colonial discourse were now employed to the fundamentalist “Other.” Muslims could speak up; however, this could not avoid reproducing the dominant discourse. Yet, the presence of a significant Muslim minority offers opportunities for broadened boundaries of “American” citizenry that can be realized by growing activism to this end.