Youth Politics and Dispelling the Image of The Terrible Turk with Selma Ekrem’s Autobiography, Unveiled

Within the confines of Ekrem’s autobiography rests not only a riveting exploration of the final hours of the Ottoman Empire, but one is allowed a unique glimpse behind the veils of Istanbul. It has further merits in that, through her use of her childhood and female memories, Ekrem was able to begin to dispel the “vague ideas of daggers, veils, ephemeral silks and heavy incense” that dominated one’s perception of Turkey and to chink at the armor of the Terrible Turk, “[a] huge person with fierce black eyes and bushy eyebrows, carrying daggers covered with blood.” Continue reading

Reading Islamophobia in Azar Nafisi’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran”

One of the more subtle platforms from which RLT promotes its unique Islamophobic agenda is the recurrent rendering of Islam as tantamount to Marxism and Communism in their alleged totalitarianism, strategies, and end results. In her discussion of the political milieu that dominated the immediate post-Revolution sociopolitical landscape in Iran, Nafisi’s memoir is predisposed to equate the predominant Islamic movement of the time with those of the Marxist and Communist parties. Continue reading