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The Representation of Terrorism, Islam and Muslim Identities on Popular Us Series Homeland

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The representation of terrorism, Islam and Muslim identities on popular US series Homeland


Images of Muslim and Islam have dramatically increased in the media coverage as well as popular culture ever since we have entered the “post-9/11 era”, as Elizabeth Poole observed. (2008:81) The shocking real life images from the horrifying terrorist attack in September 2011 has triggered various interpretation on the discourse of what it means to be Muslim and the image of Islam and its culture in the western media, and still have profound influence even after more than a decade and ongoing.

Apart from the coverage on news media, TV entertainment, especially TV dramas also provide a powerful outlet for the popular prevailing discourses on Muslim and Islamic culture, which compare to news reports, leaves a more vivid and graphic impression on audience with its discourse and narratives.

The proposed subject I am going to study is revolved around the representation of Islam and Muslim identity in the popular US TV drama Homeland. (Showtime, 2011)

Homeland (Showtime, 2011) has been arguably the most successful TV series focusing on the theme of counter-terrorism and national security across the Atlantic since 2011, following its predecessor 24 (Fox, 2001) developed by the same producers. When asked what made the show distinctive compared to its predecessors, Damian Lewis, who played as Sgt Nicholas Brody, the male lead in Homeland replied, “We feel a bit differently about the War On Terror now. We’ve gone to war in the name of defending western democracy and our freedoms, but a lot of us don’t like the way in which those wars have been perpetrated, and we feel ambivalent about our governments as a result”. (Radio Times, 2012) The other main actor Mandy Patinkin, who plays the role of Saul Berenson, the CIA Middle-Eastern Division Chief, recalled his…...

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