Clash Of Civilizations In Post 9/11 World: Portrayal Of Muslim And Non-Muslim Characters In Falling Man

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Dr. Uzma Imtiaz , Dr. Shafia Azam , Ms. Samia Mudasser


The deadliest attacks of September 11, 2001, are remembered for the atrocities they caused, killing thousands of people, and drastically changing the global dynamics. This article intends to understand how the spirit of terrorism, in the wake of 9/11, incites fear and rage throughout the entire world while associating the "Muslims" with extremism. Keeping Bush's idea of "Us and Them", this study aims to explore the causes of the extended gap between the two civilizations of the modern day as represented in the novel Falling Man by Don DeLillo. It also examines how the writer exposes each character with their different viewpoints to show how they respond to the 9/11 tragedy. By using Huntington’s concept of a “Clash of Civilizations” and Baudrillard’s “The spirit of Terrorism,” this research analyses the post-9/11 novel Falling Man to reveal the ideological differences between Muslims and non-Muslims. This study concludes that DeLillo, through the perspectives of Nina and Martin, explores how the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a response to American culture's hegemony, and challenges the claims that the attackers were not Muslims and that Islam does not support or condone such extremist actions. DeLillo has successfully portrayed the Muslim and non-Muslim characters thus underscoring the causes and repercussions of terrorism. In order to foster harmony and peace, we need to draw attention to the fact that our young people are turning into extremists and are trapped by the cogent discourse made by radical organizations. Thus, in order to safeguard fundamental human rights, a more distinct and peaceful civilization needs to be created.

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