Fear, Faith and Fair Portrayals of Muslims

This panel discussion, recorded for NPR’s 1A radio show, was around the positive representation of Muslims in Hollywood.


Aasif Mandvi Actor; co-writer and star of the Peabody Award-winning Web series “Halal In The Family.”
Melena Ryzik Culture reporter, The New York Times.
Reza Aslan Host, “Believer” on CNN; TV producer; author of “No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam.”
Waleed Mahdi Assistant professor of US-Arab Cultural Politics at The University of Oklahoma.

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War and Peace in Yemen

This public interview was conducted by Dr. Joshua Landis, the director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

In this interview, we discuss the possibility of peace in Yemen or its lack thereof.  The interview provides an idea about the fragile nature of the political revolutionary process since 2011, which has fractured state power through military division, sectarian unrest, tribal conflict, regional disunity, and partisan polarization. It answers questions like: Who are the Yemeni warring parties? How are the regional and international power players implicated in the conflict? What is the prospect of peace amidst serious concerns of a humanitarian crisis?

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Liberal or Imperial: U.S. Discursive Formations of the Muslim Image


transformation Navigating popular conversations around Islam and Muslims across eastern-western socio-cultural and geopolitical terrains reveals a critical site of inquiry that necessitates unpacking the discursive formations of the Muslim image, particularly in the twenty-first century. For a more focused analysis, I propose a case-study reading of the discourses shaping the popularized images of Muslims in the United States. To properly ground this reading in theory, I suggest an examination of two prominent discourses, i.e., American Orientalism and American Exceptionalism. Then, I explore a conflicting paradox essential to the U.S. global identity that celebrates America as a set of timeless and universal human ideals yet confines to the reality of the United States as a nation-state. It is this seemingly contradictory characterization of the United States–I argue–that misconfigures Americans’ attitude towards and sustains their perceptions, if not misconceptions, of Islam and Muslims; thereby offering a breathing ground to the sensational narratives of Islamophobia and clash of civilizations.

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