ORIENTAL MIMICRY:

CONTESTING ISLAMOPHOBIA IN AYAAN HIRSI ALI’S INFIDEL

Authors

  • Sadiya Abubakar Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Md Salleh Yaapar

Keywords:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Muslims, Islam,, Colonial mimicry, Infidel, Orientalism

Abstract

Most post-9/11 novels are full of Orientalism of the Muslims as terrorists, misogynists or backward and intolerant murderers. Following the uproar after the unfortunate attacks of 9/11, Islam and Muslims have since become the centre of academic discourse, literature, media and even entertainment. The paper contextualises Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s exemplification of the Muslims in her enlightenment stance as Colonial Mimicry, her dehumanisation of Muslims as Orientalism. As post-9/11 works have been very much examined under the colonial, oriental, cultural, religious or political lens, this study merges concepts from Orientalism and colonial mimicry into an Oriental mimicry approach. This approach is meant to illustrate Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s autobiographical narrative as an exemplification of the desire for a reformed recognisable ‘other’, as well as the long-established Western ‘othering’ of the Muslim orient.
Thus, Oriental mimicry is the imitation of Western orientalising of the Orient by a supposed reformed ‘other’. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel (2007) will be examined within two constructs, specifically: ‘Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and intolerance’; and ‘Islamic misogyny’. In Infidel, the Muslim ‘other’ is illustrated as the enemy of the West; a hatred which is purported by Islam, the religion (as demonstrated in the text) that preaches hatred for non-Muslims and the misogyny of women. Through a new reading lens, namely Oriental mimicry of Ali’s memoir, this study situates these misrepresentations and their circumstantial implications within the context of Islamophobia. The study finds that her discourse on Islam’s incompatibility with Western democratic values is factually incorrect and ideologically motivated. It also underscores the implication that her misrepresentations are the fierce reinforcement of Islamophobia in the West. 

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Published

2021-12-29

How to Cite

Abubakar, Sadiya, and Md Salleh Yaapar. 2021. “ORIENTAL MIMICRY: : CONTESTING ISLAMOPHOBIA IN AYAAN HIRSI ALI’S INFIDEL”. Al-Shajarah: Journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) 26 (2):141-58. https://journals.iium.edu.my/shajarah/index.php/shaj/article/view/1069.

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