Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy
This paper critically analyses pre-9/11 diasporic identity of Muslims living in the US as immigrants or expatriates depicted in The Reluctant Fundamentlist (TRF) and Home Boy (HB) authored by minority outgroup Muslims (MO). The pre-9/11 identity and image of Muslims has exacerbated from erotic, primitive, barbaric, ignorant, close-minded and semicitizen to maddened, fundamentalist, blood-thirsty and terrorist after the attacks. The study attempts a textual analysis of the novels in the light of Rosenau’s model (2003) of diasporic acculturation process and social identity theory (ST). Given this stereotyping, this study endeavours to dissect the pre-9/11approach Muslims immigrants adopt to negotiate their religious identity in the hostland: whether they are fanatic and diehard separatist or they are moderate and assimilative into the enlightened values of the West. Opposite to popular assumptions, the protagonists have been found very much assimilative and adoptive to the host culture and also adhere to their homeland culture as well.