Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora Secularism, Religion, Representations By Claire Chambers and Caroline Herbert, eds. (London and New York: Routledge, 2015. 239 pages.)

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Showkat Ahmad Dar

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Abstract

Islam has been wrongly interpreted by representing it synonymous with terror
and “the Muslim,” as Hamid Dabashi maintains in Norway: Muslims and
Metaphors (2011), “is a metaphor of menace, banality and terror everywhere”
(p. 2). Consequently, Muslims in and beyond South Asia are being stigmatized
by the newly constituted environment known in the western scheme of things
as “Islamophobia.” The state of disgrace and misery of Muslims continues to
increase and is being facilitated by the biased ideas and thoughts propounded
by some journalists and writers to construct often misleading and one-dimensional images. This had led to Muslims being harassed, dishonored,
and rebuked. The present book evinces their increasingly stereotyped and demonized
portrayal.
Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora is a critical evaluation
and analysis of representations of these Muslims in literature, the media, culture,
and cinema. The essays highlight their diverse representations and the
range of approaches to questions concerning their religious and cultural identity
as well as secular discourse. In addition they contextualize the depictions
against the burgeoning post-9/11 artistic interest in Islam and against cultural
responses to earlier crises in the Subcontinent, including the 1947 partition,
the 1971 war and subsequent secession of Bangladesh, the 1992 Ayodhya
riots, the 2002 Gujarat genocide, and the ongoing tension in Indian-occupied
Kashmir ...

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