Source Review #2
For the second source review, I will be reviewing Rubina Ramji’s “Representations of Islam in American News and Film: Becoming the ‘Other,’ within the scholarly book Mediating Religion: Studies in Media, Religion, and Culture. This book is edited by Jolyon P. Mitchell and Sophia Marriage. The wide variety of work obtained in their book aims to bridge the divide between religion and popular culture, such as Western mass media forms and communication with religions, in order to educate the public on common themes of modernity between the two. An overarching theme throughout Ramji’s work, which immediately drew me to this particular source, was her specific analysis of the idea of the Other. In addition, Ramji also provides specific examples of Western films, such as: Not Without My Daughter (1990), and explains how the film’s particular representation of Muslims completely “others” the religion of Islam to Western audiences. In this particular movie, Ramji argues how the Muslim males throughout the film are portrayed as solely the villain or violent characters.
Something in particular about Ramji’s argument which will add an interesting element to my research paper is how she argues that Muslim men pose not only a threat to Muslim women, but a direct threat to American women as well. This is seen throughout her analysis of Not Without My Daughter in particular. This threat of a “savage” completely others Muslims to be lesser than an American because of the American woman’s need for US military protection. This argument will be helpful when not only expressing how Western films represent Muslim men as violent savages, but also the overarching theme of the Other.
Her argument also relates many other Western film sources to the idea of the Other and the negative representation of Muslim men as violent characters. But, the only negative aspect of Ramji’s argument is how she only analyzes sources from the pre-9/11 era. Although my research paper is specifically highlighting the representation of Muslim men and women throughout Western film in the post-9/11 era, her overarching ideas regarding the Other will be beneficial to my general argument regarding the negative representation of Muslims throughout Western media sources.