Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This dissertation examines the “war on terror” and its dire effects on Pakistani Muslim men by discussing how Pakistani writers analyze the post-9/9 US and post-7/7 UK to articulate a male Pakistani Muslim identity. It also argues that the “war on terror” created different forms of Islamophobia that affected the Muslim communities across the Western world. The different forms of Islamophobia are national/religious/business fundamentalisms, toxic masculinity, and internalized Islamophobia regarding Muslims who become Islamophobic. Each form of Islamophobia contributes to the “war on terror” and its creation of the “Terrorist Other,” an aggressive and bloodthirsty Muslim man inspired by anti/pre-modern and fundamentalist ideology (Islam).

The War On ‘The Terrorist Other’: Islamophobia and Pakistani Muslim Men in Post-9/11 And 7/7 Fiction consists of three chapters. Chapter one studies Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) and its analysis of a Pakistani Muslim man experiencing national/religious and business fundamentalisms. Chapter two analyzes Kamila Shamsie’s novel Home Fire (2017) and how she represents a young British Pakistani Muslim man who joins a terrorist organization to counter the UK’s toxic masculinity that labels him a “Terrorist Other.” Chapter 3 examines Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced (2012). Akhtar analyzes an internalized Islamophobe who eventually destroys his Islamophobic identity. All the characters analyzed go through three stages of identity (re)formation: construction, deconstruction, and suspended reconstruction.

Pakistani Muslim men articulate their identities according to the three stages of identity (re)formation to navigate the Islamophobic “war on terror” and its labels. The War On ‘The Terrorist Other,’ therefore, attempts to lay out the identities of such construction and their relations to the “war on terror.” In doing so, I am hopeful that the “Terrorist Other” label and the three stages (construction, deconstruction, and suspended reconstruction) will rejuvenate the way we read post-9/11 and 7/7 fiction and the “war on terror,” and open space for a new interpretation of Muslim mens’ identities.

Date

10-27-2021

Committee Chair

Rastogi, Pallavi.

Available for download on Tuesday, October 24, 2028

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