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date: 05 December 2023

Media Muslims and Telenovelas: El Clonlocked

Media Muslims and Telenovelas: El Clonlocked

  • Silvia MontenegroSilvia MontenegroUniversidad Nacional de Rosario, Facultad de Humanidades y Artes - Anthropology


The analysis of representations of Islam and Muslims disseminated in the literature, academic papers, and mass media involves a large tradition of studies and discussions that have highlighted categories such as Orientalism, neo-Orientalism and post-Orientalism. The Brazilian telenovela El Clon, released in October 2001 by Rede Globo and recreated in a new version by the Telemundo network in 2010, conquered the audience not only in Latin America but worldwide. In the creation of the original project, leaders of Islamic institutions played a role as advisors, but the way in which the religion was portrayed satisfied only part of the Muslim audience. In the analysis of the fictionalization of Muslim identities presented in El Clon, it is possible to identify: (a) the earlier examples of telenovelas aimed at Latin American audiences portraying the Arab-Islamic culture, (b) the significance of its release in the context immediately following 9/11, (c) the way of presenting the “core” of Muslim culture, (d) the integration of the telenovela in the wider process of commoditization of Arab-Islamic exoticism, (e) the dissimilar impact on the Muslim audience, and (f) the search for visibility by Islamic communities through a depiction that would not juxtapose Islam and terrorism.

Exoticism, magic, and mystery as components of the soft Orientalism present in El Clon attracted the curiosity of a mass Latin American audience, becoming a milestone in the increasing visibility of Islam.


  • Islamic Studies

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