Social and Cultural Geography (2008).

From Oral Histories to Visual Narratives:
Re-presenting the Post-September 11 Experiences of the
Muslim Women in the United States

Mei-Po Kwan

Abstract: Since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, Muslims or Muslim-looking people in the United States have experienced a significant increase in hostility and hate violence. The anti-Muslim hate crimes have affected the lives of these people of color in significant ways. In this article I seek to recover part of the post-September 11 experiences of American Muslims that were obfuscated by the dominant anti-Muslim master narrative, which conflated the Islamic faith with terrorism and constructed all Muslims as dangerous anti-American outsiders. I explore a way of telling stories about these experiences using the expressive power of geospatial technologies. Using the experiences of a Muslim woman in Columbus (Ohio, U.S.) as an example, I describe how the technological spaces afforded by geographical information systems (GIS) may be used to illuminate the impact of the fear of anti-Muslim hate violence on the daily lives of Muslim women and to help articulate their emotional geographies in the post-September 11 period.

Key Words: anti-Muslim hate violence, fear, geospatial technologies, GIS, September 11.

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