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Framing Political Islam in Popular Egyptian Cinema

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Political Islam has been at the forefront of political discussions in and of the Middle East and has often been associated with violence and 'terrorism'. Much has been written on political Islam, but there has been little work on how Arab audiences respond to and view political Islam and the groups seen to be acting under this generic framework, including al-Qa'eda. In the absence of serious audience research that would give us a better idea about attitudes, this article examines how Arab popular culture frames active Islamist groups; in particular we focus on Egyptian films that help shape Arab audiences' perspectives of political Islam. The article analyzes how political Islam is discussed in these films and by film producers, directors and media owners, and how Islamist groups are often framed as the 'other'.


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