Ground Zero Narratives: Islam and Muslims in Post-9/11 American Narratives and Arab American Counter-Narratives presents a dissection of American narratives to understand how 9/11 stories reflect both geopolitical relations and conflicts of our collective present regarding terrorism and counter-terrorism. Mubarak Altwaiji approaches post-9/11 narratives from two opposing perspectives/voices: neutral narratives and political narratives. By doing this, the book provides a neutral cultural territory divorced from geopolitical strategy to understand this new version of American literature and explore the common beliefs and values in it. A third focus, emerging in American literary studies and offering a bridge to those interested in exploring the cultural contributions of Muslim immigrants to American culture, is on the literature of immigrants. It is vital to consider the contribution of Arab American writers as the concepts of culture and co-existence are interlinked.
Mubarak Altwaiji is associate professor of literary theory and criticism, as well as head of the department of English Language Skills at Northern Border University.
Chapter 1: Historical and Theoretical Framework
Chapter 2: Projection of Arab Terrorism and Nationalism in White American Novel
Chapter 3: Representation of Arab Muslim Woman in White American Novel
Chapter 4: Construction of Arab Identity in Arab American Counter-narratives
Chapter 5: Conclusion
About the Author
In his investigation of representations of Islam and Muslims in post-9/11 Euro-American and Arab American narratives, Altwaiji (Northern Border Univ., Saudi Arabia) not only engages postcolonial theory in his critique of the Western Orientalist literary tradition but also historicizes Orientalism as a binary thinking mode in its evolving religious, geopolitical, technological, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Reading what he calls “Ground Zero narratives,” which range from John Updike’s The Terrorist and Tom Clancy’s The Teeth of the Tiger to Richard Clarke’s The Scorpion’s Gate and John Elray’s Khalifah, Altwaiji argues that these Euro-American authors equate Islam with terrorism and Muslims with violence and irrationality, which would justify Western domination of the Arab nations and the Middle East. Moreover, he also notices that Arab women in Euro-American women’s narratives have equally been reduced to sexualized victims of the Islamic tradition and system. In response, Altwaiji invokes the work of Arab American women authors, particularly Abu-Jaber’s Crescent and Laila Halaby’s Once in a Promised Land, as counter-narratives against the discrimination and demonization of Arab and Muslim Americans in American culture and society. Recommended. Faculty.
Ground Zero Narratives seeks to highlight that we should not stimulate the epistemic clash between "East" and "West" by suggesting a way forward claiming "Western" inferiority and "Eastern" superiority, but rather, Mubarak Altwaiji provides a compassionate and uncompromising Arab-Islamic spiritual path emphasizing dialogue. Mubarak Altwaiji is an elegant and provocative thinker, and here he is at his absolute best.
It's an encyclopedic body of knowledge on Post-9/11 American Novel. It's a reference for Arab and American readers.