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Covering Bin LadenGlobal Media and the World's Most Wanted Man$
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Susan Jeffords and Fahed Al-Sumait

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038860

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038860.001.0001

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The Discursive Portrayals of Osama bin Laden

The Discursive Portrayals of Osama bin Laden

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 The Discursive Portrayals of Osama bin Laden
Source:
Covering Bin Laden
Author(s):

Aditi Bhatia

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038860.003.0002

This chapter illustrates how the creation of illusive categories and perceptions through the use of religious metaphor, among other rhetorical tools, culminated in the inevitable dichotomy in the way the world perceived Osama bin Laden. It thus conceptualizes bin Laden's discourse as a set of discursive illusions, in which the dual faces created of and by him turn out to be two sides of the same coin. Drawing on a combination of analytical tools, which include the historical approach, membership categorization analysis, and discourse as metaphor, the chapter analyzes a selection of speeches by Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush in an attempt to illustrate how both parties use almost identical forms of discourse in order to produce diametrically opposed conceptualizations of reality. It illustrates how Osama bin Laden played the role of both the evil terrorist and the brave champion of Islam through the creation of discursive illusions.

Keywords:   religious metaphor, Osama bin Laden, terrorists, discourse, George W. Bush, speeches, Islam, terrorist, discursive illusions

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