For my art project, I will be incorporating two stereotypes against Islam. I will be combining stereotypes against Muslim women as well as stereotypes of all Muslims being terrorists. In order to feature my idea into a piece of art, I will be using a hand-made sculpture that portrays it: a balloon that will be covered with newspapers which allows the balloon to harden. Newspaper will be used in order to depict media’s negativity against Islam and show how newspapers’ headlines have usually created a negative image in many people’s mind.
The sculpture will display a Muslim woman with tags that show the words that are usually labeled against Muslims. The tags will be associated with terrorism and will be used according to the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists such as “jihad”, “terrorism”, “Muslim”, “9/11”, etc. Some tags will also display the stereotypes against women and will incorporate labels such as “oppressed”, “uneducated”, “victim”, “voiceless”, etc. Therefore, the sculpture will demonstrate the idea of stereotyping against Muslim women as well terrorism’s link with Islam.
I have named my project “Beyond Misconception” as I strongly believe that people should look beyond stereotyping a religion and should see past the idea that the entire religion consists of terrorists or oppressed and voiceless women. There is more to the religion of Islam than the misconceptions that us individuals have portrayed against Islam. I personally believe that stereotyping against Islam has become too extreme, with media headlines slashing and victimizing Islam as a religion. The concept that all Muslims are terrorists is untrue as there are many terrorists who could be Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, etc. I believe that if some terrorists are Muslim, a whole group/religion should not be blamed for some individual’s actions.
My project was inspired mainly by the Bollywood movie “My Name is Khan” which showcases the discrimination Muslims in the Western world have faced. The movie also demonstrates that not all Muslims are terrorists, and hence, that movie has inspired and influenced me to incorporate that idea into art.
For my presentation of the artwork, I will be bursting the balloon at the end of the presentation in order to depict that these negative stereotypes are not true and therefore should be abolished from people’s minds.