Muslim Women’s Memoirs: Disclosing Violence or Reproducing Islamophobia?

  •  Esmaeil Zeiny Jelodar    
  •  Noraini Md Yusof    
  •  Ruzy Suliza Hashim    


As an upshot of 9/11, the literary market in the West saw a proliferation in writings by and about Muslim women. Many of these works are memoirs which focus on Islam, a patriarchal society, and the state’s oppression on women. These Muslim women memoirists take the western readers into a journey of unseen and unheard events of their private lives which is apparently of great interest for the westerners. Some of these memoirs, which reveal the atrocities and hardships of living in a Muslim society under oppressive Islamic regimes, are fraught with stereotypes and generalizations. Utilizing Gillian Whitlock’s theory of ‘soft weapons’ and studying the concept of Islam in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (2003), we argue that some of these Muslim life narratives are manipulated to meet political demands of the West through creating Islamophobia.

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