• The myth of the terrorist as a lover

      Mellor, Noha (University of Illinois Press, 2017-11-24)
      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.