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Making Muslims American: CAIR's Portrayal of American Muslims in Public Service Announcements

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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title
Making Muslims American: CAIR's Portrayal of American Muslims in Public Service Announcements
author
Lankford, Meagan Amanda
abstract
Although Muslims have resided in the United States since the early seventeenth century and have enriched the religious, cultural, and political fabric of our diverse country, the American media has historically portrayed Muslims as barbaric, irrational, and anti-modern non-citizens who reject the West and principles of peace, freedom, and tolerance. Many Islamic organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, strive to challenge these negative representations of Islam by stressing that American Muslims are not terrorists but rather a viable part of the American mainstream. This project examines how CAIR aligns American Muslims as ideal American citizens in four of its post 9/11 public service announcements (PSAs). By excluding Arab men from representation in the PSAs and emphasizing that American Muslims share similar values, practices, and theological beliefs with `good' American citizens, CAIR simultaneously challenges dominant stereotypes of Muslims-as-Arab-terrorists and reinforces the notion that brown skinned Muslim men do not belong to the Islamic or American communities. This analysis also suggests that it is `American' and not `Muslim' that emerges as the privileged identity in the PSAs.
subject
American nation
Citizenship
Islam
Media
Race
Representation
contributor
Ramachandran, Tanisha (committee chair)
Neal, Lynn (committee member)
van Doorn-Harder, Nelly (committee member)
date
2012-06-12T08:36:15Z (accessioned)
2014-06-12T08:30:08Z (available)
2012 (issued)
degree
Religion (discipline)
embargo
2014-06-12 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/37320 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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