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Yaqin, Amina (2010) 'Inside the Harem, Outside the Nation: Framing Muslims in Radio Journalism.' Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 12 (2). pp. 226-238.

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Since 9/11, Muslims in the west have been repeatedly exposed to questions from various quarters about their supposed conflicting allegiances: first to the secular law of the nation states in which they are resident, and secondly to ‘international’ Islamic or shariah law. The subjectivity of the Muslim community has been heightened by intensive media attention which frames their representation within the current context of the international war against terror. Inevitably they are juxtaposed as the enemy within. I will argue that this frame of representation has been explored on BBC Radio 4 with a series of programmes on Muslims, including ‘Inside the Harem’ (2004), and ‘Taking the Cricket Test’ (2006). The limits of representation were also tested in the BBC Radio 4 series entitled ‘Koran and Country’ aired in 2005 which included topics ranging from the ‘Biography of a Bomber’ to Muslim faith schools. I suggest that even in the ostensibly ‘liberal’ environment of BBC radio, and in programmes designed to mediate Muslim practices to a western audience, an ambivalence over the delimiting of areas of social custom are in evidence. These programmes feed into the current newsworthiness of Muslims and their truth claims are seemingly underlined by the ‘authenticity’ of the presenters. However, by relying on stereotypes and arranging them within the recognized frame -- as a problematic body requiring both to be explained to wider society and bedded into the norms by which that society is understood to operate – do they really offer any kind of alternative critique of prevailing discursive orthodoxy?

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: BBC Radio 4, British Muslims, faith schools, polygamy, Sarfraz Manzoor, Shagufta Yaqub
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Centre for English Studies [closed]
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Gender Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISSN: 1369801X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2011 10:07
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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