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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 Myth of the Terrorist as a Lover

The Myth of the Terrorist as a Lover

Competing Regional Media Frames

Chapter:
(p.95) 6 The Myth of the Terrorist as a Lover
Source:
Covering Bin Laden
Author(s):

Noha Mellor

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038860.003.0006

This chapter focuses on media coverage of bin Laden and how it depicted his relationship with his wives, particularly the sixth one, Amal Assadah, who was rumored to have shielded bin Laden when the American commandos shot him. It argues that the main difference between the coverage in Arab media versus Anglo-American news media is that the former focused on the issues surrounding bin Laden and his family, foregrounding the wives' support of bin Laden as part of their duty as virtuous Muslim women. Anglo-American media, however, chose to focus on the image of bin Laden as a sexual being, thereby contributing to the myth of bin Laden as a neurotic evil. Both regions focused on these wives as mainly emotionally or religiously motivated to follow bin Laden rather than on their political and ideological motivations. The chapter begins with a brief discussion about the role of myth in the news-making process, focusing on the myths surrounding bin Laden's sexuality. It then presents examples of pan-Arab and Anglo-American coverage.

Keywords:   Osama bin Laden, media coverage, wives, Amal Assadah, Arab news media, Anglo-American media, Muslim women

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