Re/claiming our identities : thinking through Islamophobia, the veil, and "the Muslim woman" in Canadian cultural productions
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 10:43 by Ameera Basmadji
Western, Islamophobic, and Islamic discourses have resulted in a contested terrain of representations through which the lives of Muslims have been debated and consumed. Post 9/11, Muslims assumed a hyper visibility evident in their being stigmatized in the West as terrorists, and as threats to national security, democratic values, and time-honoured cultural practices in Western societies. As such, the presence of Muslim communities in Western nations is raising questions about national identity and belonging, particularly in the Canadian context. An important concern is to identify and interrogate the points of conflict and tension between Muslims and non-Muslim Canadians, particularly in regard to issues of national identity and citizenship. By focusing specifically on recent cultural productions, including a film, a television sitcom, and a novel by female Muslim Canadians, the analysis will demonstrate the extent to which the voices of Muslim women intervene into dominant Western discourses about Islam and popular representations of Muslims in the West. Special attention will be given to the symbolism of the veil to show how it has become the central marker of "difference" and one of the main "problems" affecting Western perception of Muslim immigrants and these communities' integration and assimilation into Canadian and Western societies.