Updike’s portrayal of Islamism in Terrorist has generally been praised, but a dissenting voice appears in “The (Mis)Representation of Islam in John Updike’s Terrorist,” a critique by research scholar Abdul Haseeb, Dept. of English and Modern European Languages, University of Lucknow, Lucknow, U.P. India that was published in IJELLH, the International Journal of English Language, Literature in Humanities.
In the post 9/11 literary scene there occurred an increased number of publications of novels that discussed the various types of Islamism (Political Islam) and have explored the complex relationship between the West, which is proud of having a secular world, and the East, especially the Muslim world, accused of fostering religious terrorism against the secular world. It is not surprising to find a long list of such novels as it is the general perception that the 9/11 attacks are the outcome of the complex relationship between the West and the Muslim world. These novels pick Islam as their subject showing its implications on both the people of the West and the Muslims themselves who are introducing Islam to the West, or they choose one or a group of Muslim youths who carry a fundamentalist ideology of their religion and dare to counteract the godless, materialistic West. The present paper is a modest attempt to expose how John Updike’s Terrorist (2006) has projected Islam as the root-cause of terrorism and its teachings as the springhead of extremist ideology.