Exploring the Identities of a Madrassah Student in Canada: Navigating Constructions of the Menacing Muslim Man
The lived experiences of Madrassah students are vital to the understanding of identity creation and management within a society that marginalizes their ways of knowing with fear-inducing narratives of extremism and terrorism. The literature available on Islamic seminaries focuses on issues of radicalization, terrorism, indoctrination, and extremism. These discourses ignore the lived experiences of the Muslims that attend these Islamic seminaries, as they have insisted on an implicit or explicit relationship between Islamic seminaries and terrorism, which has resulted in creating a generation of Islamic seminary students who are powerless to address the labels that have been imposed upon them.This paper explores how a Madrassah student negotiates his identities in a climate of Islamophobic narratives in popular media, as it constructs and reinforces the image of the “Menacing Muslim Man” through movies, television programs, and news stories. Understanding the lived experiences of Madrassah students can be an important means to dispel myths of a pervasive Muslim threat.