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More and more Muslim authors are being published by mainstream publishers, which is a double-edged sword; on one hand, we have more diversity and #ownvoices stories, but on the other hand, we have… internalized Islamophobia in fiction, reinforcing the same negative stereotypes about conservative, religious Muslims that we already find in mass media.

The internalized Islamophobia found in Muslamic fiction is sometimes subtle, and sometimes decidedly not: references about “Wahhabis” and “haraam police” tend to be scattered throughout various novels, drawing a line between the “good Muslim” characters (usually liberal and not overtly practising) and the “bad Muslims” (any/all religiously conservative Muslims, whether they are characters in the novel or not).

Zainab bint Younus and Hanain B. tackle the topic of internalized Islamophobia in fiction, picking through the nuances of writing on collective trauma, the sociopolitical ramifications of such writing, and Muslim writers’ and readers’ roles in challenging internalized Islamophobia while writing authentically.


Hanain B. a UK based Pakistani-Irish-British researcher in applied linguistics, and recently completed her PhD which looked at how a Muslim women’s Sisters’ Circle navigate socio-politics and Otherness. She’s interested in exploring social interaction, how spaces of comfort and care are created and navigated, and minority languages. She runs a small book-club that focuses on works written by PoC, and equally loves nature walks and fantasy books for some escapism.


Related reading:

 – Confronting Internalized Islamophobia

Confronting Internalized Islamophobia

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Source: Muslim Matters