The Muslim-American Neighbour as Terrorist: The Representation of a Muslim Family in 24
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Academic literature on movies and TV serials produced in Hollywood documents that Muslim and Arab characters are often represented in a stereotypical and negative manner. The TV serial 24 doesn't seem to be an exception. 24 has been accused by Muslim interest groups in the United States and by prominent people with Muslim background for stereotyping Muslims. This article sets out to investigate whether this accusation is well founded by analysing how a Muslim family, living in Los Angeles as a sleeping terror cell, is represented in the serial. A textual analysis uncovers a change in the Muslim stereotype in US TV entertainment post-9/11 having to do with the stereotype's relocalization. The new Muslim stereotype seems to resemble the average American's appearance, which, in effect, redefines 'the Muslim other'; on the outside it differs from the traditional Muslim stereotype, but within, in its character it is true to type.