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The IUP Journal of International Relations :
Cartography of Terrorism: America’s Cultural Imperialism and Geopolitical Anxiety in Frank Miller’s Holy Terror
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After 9/11, the world has changed. The beginning of the era is marked by aggression and fear. And these two mutually exclusive emotions are now the greatest tools for redefining the new world order both in the west and in the east. The present paper deals with the representation of the Muslim in popular culture and seeks to foreground how the ‘discourse’ is created and distributed by some graphic novels which are believed to be the agents shaping the popular culture. The paper looks into the particular ‘discourse’ of ‘Islamophobia’ and the truth behind the representation in the graphic novel, Holy Terror (2011) by Frank Miller. The paper relocates America’s anxiety and aggression, nationalism and imperialism after 9/11 and how tabloid literature and graphic novels, by refashioning the discourse of the east and the west, circulate a sense of Manichean thought in terms of geography in popular imagination. The paper also addresses some core issues related to ‘Othering’ the geography, the religion and terrorism.

 
 
 

The history witnesses how the discourse plays a greater role in shaping a particular culture. From the 1900 onwards, the discourse has its great impact on the various aspects of social as well as an economic strategy. For example, ‘Nazi’ falls under the category of ‘death’, the ‘Communists’ are always equated with ‘decay’ and ‘Islam’ is called the other side of ‘terrorism’. What is this discourse that changed the world view? Why is this discourse? How does this discourse work? Who are the people to propagate this discourse?

In Foucauldian sense, ‘discourse’ is an area of social knowledge which is bounded and a system of statements through which the world can be judged and viewed. According to Foucault, discourse is the systems of thoughts composed of ideas, attitudes, and courses of action, beliefs and practices that systematically construct the subjects and the worlds of which we speak. It is through the discourse that the relationship of everything exists in this world, whether it is male-female relationship or God-human relationship. ‘Discourse’ can be classified into four categories depending upon the objective—exposition, narration, description and argument. ‘Exposition’ focuses on various aspects of the comparative study of two inter or intra fields of culture, whereas ‘narration’ is based on the story or the description related to the exposition; it is a kind of medium of communication through which the concept of ‘exposition’ can be expressed. ‘Description’ relates to the senses of the audience; it is the image maker in the mind of the reader or the receiver. ‘Argument’ is something where all three aspects of discourse are brought together and with the help of reasoning and logic the audience or the receiver is forced to believe or accept the created discourse. Foucault talks about the philosophical implications of the historical method of analyzing the ‘discourse’. “Discourse is not the majestically unfolding manifestation of a thinking, knowing, speaking subject, but, on the contrary, a totality, in which the dispersion of the subject and his discontinuity with himself may be determined.”

 
 
 

International Relations Journal, ‘ULFA’, Cartography of Terrorism, America’s Cultural Imperialism, Geopolitical Anxiety, Frank Miller’s, ATTF, NLFT’, Holy Terror.