By Sophia Rose Arjana
All through heritage, Muslim males were depicted as monsters. The portrayal of people as monsters is helping a society delineate who belongs and who, or what, is excluded. even if symbolic, as in post-9/11 zombie movies, Muslim monsters nonetheless functionality to outline Muslims as non-human entities. those are usually not depictions of Muslim males as malevolent human characters, yet fairly as creatures that occupy the mind's eye - non-humans that show their wickedness outwardly at the pores and skin. They populate medieval stories, Renaissance work, Shakespearean dramas, Gothic horror novels, and Hollywood motion pictures. via an exhaustive survey of medieval, early sleek, and modern literature, paintings, and cinema, Muslims within the Western mind's eye examines the dehumanizing ways that Muslim males were developed and represented as monsters, and the impression such representations have on perceptions of Muslims at the present time. The research is the 1st to offer a family tree of those creatures, from the demons and giants of the center a while to the hunchbacks with filed tooth which are featured within the 2007 movie three hundred, arguing that structures of Muslim monsters represent a habitual subject matter, first formulated in medieval Christian suggestion. Sophia Rose Arjana exhibits how Muslim monsters are frequently on the topic of Jewish monsters, and extra extensively to Christian anti-Semitism and anxieties surrounding African and different overseas our bodies, which includes either spiritual bigotry and fears surrounding physically distinction. Arjana argues persuasively that those dehumanizing buildings are deeply embedded in Western cognizance, current this day as internalized ideals and practices that give a contribution to the tradition of violence - either rhetorical and actual - opposed to Muslims.
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Extra resources for Muslims in the Western Imagination
Pierre Remiet, a French illuminator of the fourteenth century, is well known for this convention. As Michael Camille notes: Remiet depicts earlier confrontations between the holy warriors of the Christian church and the “sarrasins” of Satan throughout the Grandes Chroniques and the Mirior Historial. ”41 In other cases, blue and purple were used to depict monstrosity, as in the iconic image from the Luttrell Psalter, where Richard the Lionheart fights Saladin, a purple-skinned, big-lipped, hook-nosed monster.
28 Jews and Muslims were linked to these acts, and eventually, Muslims were placed at the Crucifixion and other pre-Islamic crimes. It is crucial to understand the central role that Jews played in medieval Christian thinking, for a number of reasons— among them, the fact that Jews and Muslims were linked in the minds of medieval Christians as nefarious co-conspirators. One simply cannot talk of Muslim monsters without Jewish ones. As characters in the medieval imaginaire, they often appeared together.
1 This chapter covers the period coinciding with the beginnings of Islam up to the early Renaissance, for reasons that will become clear shortly. 3 In this study I look at the medieval period from the eighth century to the beginning of the Renaissance. I have chosen this periodization because early Christian reactions to Islam are situated in the eighth and ninth centuries, when we first see the emergence of Muslim monsters in the Christian imagination. Christian polemics, which often focused on Prophet Muhammad as the progenitor of a monstrous race of Saracens, among other things, are an important foundational source for later Muslim monsters.