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Shooting the East/Veils and Masks: Uncovering Orientalism in South African Media

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image of African and Asian Studies
For more content, see Journal of Asian and African Studies.

ABSTRACT In this essay the author analyzes a series of South African newspaper articles on a Cape Town-based group called Pagad (People against Gangsterism and Drugs). The essay draws upon a larger study of the images of Islam in the South African media and reveals that both the Pagad and the media make use of regressive discourses about Islam. The author finds traces in the media of what Edward Said has referred to as Orientalism. Through the Pagad stories, Muslims in South Africa are treated by the media with an extremely constricted vocabulary which gives little of the suppleness needed to distinguish between Muslims, and the violence enacted in the name of Islam. The answer to the problem of stereotypical and racist representations in the media lies for Baderoon in people reading critically, insisting on complexity, claiming the right to ethical journalistic practices, establishing media with varied ownership, providing alternative visions, and inserting repressed histories into the media.


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