Off script and indefensible: the failure of the 'moderate Muslim'

Randa Abdel-Fattah, Mehal Krayem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We have become increasingly aware of the importance of addressing diversity across media landscapes. Whilst we are still far from a genuine appreciation for difference, media outlets that view themselves as progressive understand the value of appearing diverse. This has meant that a number of Muslim voices have risen to prominence in recent years. Often these voices have attracted the title of ‘moderate Muslim’ as they are thought to represent a non-radical politics. This paper examines how the voice of this ‘moderate Muslim’ has been co-opted by the White mainstream as a sign of inclusion and commitment to multiculturalism but emphasizes that the moderate is never truly permitted to speak. In exploring how divergent voices have been publicly disciplined and how the right to speak has been positioned as a ‘privilege’, we show how Islamophobia permits a religious population to speak only via a select few voices, denying the spectrum of narratives, ideas and dissent. We argue that one troubling consequence of this dynamic is the chilling and marginalizing effect it has on dissenting Muslim voices who seek to destabilize efforts to produce and reproduce Islamophobia’s good/bad, moderate/radical dichotomies.
LanguageEnglish
Pages429-443
Number of pages15
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Volume32
Issue number4
Early online date26 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Muslim
right to speak
multicultural society
privilege
inclusion
commitment
narrative
politics
islamophobia

Cite this

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Off script and indefensible : the failure of the 'moderate Muslim'. / Abdel-Fattah, Randa; Krayem, Mehal.

In: Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2018, p. 429-443.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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