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Blind Faith: Women at War in Khuda kay Liye and Escape from TalibanInspired by Huntingdon’s “Clash of Civilizations,” George W. Bush’s Manichean cold war rhetoric struck a responsive chord in the media, with the villification of Islam or more precisely the conflation of Islam – as though it was a monolithic religion – with terrorism. For Hollywood and Bollywood, the Islamic terrorist became the archetypal villain and a new subgenre of thrillers emerged featuring terrorist cells with films such as Shoot on Sight: Is it a crime to be a Muslim? (Mundhra, 2007), New York (Khan, 2009) or My Name is Khan (Johar, 2010). Those binaries also underpin films about Pakistani and Afghan societies. The present paper discusses the issues of women’s rights, particularly forced marriage, and the growing influence of fundamentalism in the Pakistani box office success, Khuda kay Liye (Mansoor, 2007) and in the Bollywood film, Escape from Taliban (Chatterjee, 2003).
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