Chapter Two Theoretical Frame Work and Literature Review 2

Chapter Two Theoretical Frame Work and Literature Review 2

Chapter Two
Theoretical Frame Work and Literature Review
2.1 Introduction
In order to understand the nature of the Americans’ discrimination against other people whether they live in their midst or outside the USA it would be appropriate to review periods of the American history in which Americans exercised discrimination against others ruthlessly to its peak.
Since their independence from the British in 1776 when the Union leaders imposed the biased term” WASP” which is an acronym that stands for” White Anglo Saxon Protestant”. This phrase is a comprehensive racist guide lines for the characteristics of American presidents that is ” he not she must be white but not any white, rather he must be AngloSaxon, Christian but not a catholic or any other Christian instead he has to be protestant.( Congress Library archives) . Exception to this rule was John F. Kennedy who was a catholic, and Obama who is African-American. Woman was completely out of the political game. White Americans wiped out the native Indians, brought other human beings from Africa and made them slaves. After Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, discrimination against them by the Whites continued. There were criminal organizations such as Ku KLux Klan whose members used to burnNegro slaves alive, way before American made ISIS. Because of their infamous history that is saturated with discrimination there is no wonder or surprise if they discriminate against Arabs and Muslims. This ugly discrimination has recently become publicly especially with the new American administration headed by Trump.
Muslims in America are loyal citizens, society builder no matter what. One thing they have to do is to use media to be in their side, and the Muslim intellectuals have to follow Wajahat Ali’s footsteps in presenting Muslims the way they are , decent citizens, even in comedy manner .
Wajahat Ali earns admiration and appreciation of large masses of people for his work in and out of the USA: The research looks forward to examining the irony to create comedy, in Wajahat’s play “Domestic Crusaders
Praise for The Domestic Crusaders:
Several American critics and major newspapers such as the New York in favor of Wajahat’s play such as :
“This play is brilliant. Moving.Shapely.Clever. Funny.”
—Toni Morrison/ Times
“Wajahat Ali is writing about contemporary and essential matters, a source not only of laughter but, more importantly, of understanding.”
—Yann Martel

“From the deft irony of its title to the tender pain of its ending, The Domestic Crusaders is a moving story of one Pakistani family in America. But it’s more than that. By engaging us in the family’s conflicts, loves, fears and secrets, the play dissolves the easy assumptions and prejudices of the post 9/11 West. Touching; funny; important.”
—Harriett Gilbert, BBC World Service
“A multi-generational romp through the dynamics of family relationships and post-9/11 America. The characters in Wajahat Ali’s funny and biting play spare no one from their sharp barbs—including fellow Muslims. The Domestic Crusaders is what all high art aspires to do—spotlight complicated truths (and contradictions) without offering easy answers. Tension overlaps with comic relief. American pop culture intermingles with Pakistani traditions replanted in the United States. The Domestic Crusaders is a universal story about people whose dreams have carried them to a point of no return. They can’t go back to their lives before 9/11. There is only now. Watching them deal with it is to be spellbound from start to finish.”
—Jon Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
“Domestic Crusaders is more than just a work of entertainment. It is also Ali’s response to the treatment of Muslims received in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11… it is compelling drama, and there is intergenerational conflict, humor, prejudice, and a dark family secret. The characters, in other words, are not paragons of virtue, which is intentional.”
—Ellis Cose, Newsweek
“Consider ‘The Domestic Crusaders’ an introduction to a new American Muslim cool—sharp and ironic, funny and deep, running intellectual circles around the idiotic platitudes of bigotry.”
—The Accidental Theologist

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— Booker Prize Winner of Life of Pi, Yann Matel
The aforementioned testimonies that admire Wajahat Ali’s and stands like a living witness for the effectiveness of the comedy play of Wajahat in conveying Islam message to the Americans.
Wajahat Ali is the award winning playwright of The Domestic Crusaders, one of the first major plays about the American Muslim experience published by Mcsweeney’s
he Domestic Crusaders focuses on a day in the life of a modern, Muslim Pakistani-American family of six eclectic, unique members, who convene at the family house to celebrate the 21st birthday of the youngest child. With a background of 9-11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the tensions and sparks fly among the three generations, culminating in an intense family battle as each “crusader” struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions, while still attempting to maintain and understand the unifying thread that makes them part of the same family.

“Domestic Crusaders is more than just a work of entertainment. It is also Ali’s response to the treatment of Muslims received in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11… it is compelling drama, and there is intergenerational conflict, humor, prejudice, and a dark family secret. The characters, in other words, are not paragons of virtue, which is intentional.”

About the Author
Wajahat Ali is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. Ali’s essays and interviews on contemporary affairs, politics, the media, popular culture and religion frequently appear in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Salon, Slate, Wall Street Journal Blog,, CounterPunch, and Chowk, among other on-line sites. He was honored as an “An Influential Muslim American Artist” by the State Department and invited to their 2008 Annual Ramadan dinner. He is the recipient of Muslim Public Affairs Council’s prestigious “Emerging Muslim American Artist” recognition of 2009. Wajahat Ali is also an Attorney at Law, practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

With a keen sense of timing, this dramatic-comedy utilizes the generational and culture-driven political and social evolution of American society following 9/11. Six members of a Pakistani-American Muslim family, spanning three generations, reunite at the family home to celebrate the youngest son’s 21st birthday. Each individual family member, or “domestic crusader”, attempts to assert his or her individual definition of self and destiny in the face of collective family and societal constraints, fears and misunderstandings.
The play takes place over the course of one day during the present time, in an upper middle class suburban family home of a Muslim American family of Pakistani origins.
“The Domestic Crusaders is exactly the sort of theater we need today. The gulf that separates cultures must be bridged and Art is one of our best hopes.” -Academy Award-winning actress and screenplay writer, Emma Thompson
“This play is brilliant. Moving.Shapely.Clever.Funny. And the cast is amazing!” —Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize–winning author
“Ali’s sensitive treatment of the tensions and triumphs of the Muslim American community gives viewers a rare window into this often discussed but seldom heard member of the American mosaic. His debut play is destined to be a social and cultural phenomena.” –Dalia Mogahed, President Obama’s Advisor on Faith
“Wajahat Ali is a major new voice in American literature. His play is to Muslim American theater what A Raisin in the Sun is to African American theater.” —Pulitzer Prize nominated author Mitch Berman
“The Domestic Crusaders is fast, funny, whip-smart and both constantly surprising and deeply edifying. If you see only one irreverent, hilarious, profound, furious and big-hearted play about a Pakistani-American family living in a post-9-11 world, make it this one.” —Dave Eggers, Pulitzer Prize nominated author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and author of Zeitoun
The play was featured in a video piece called “Making American Muslim Theater.”
Ali, who is an attorney and writer in the Bay Area, began writing the play in 2001 while studying at the University of California, Berkeley. The idea for the play came from Ali’s writing professor, Ishmael Reed, who encouraged him to write a theatrical piece that shed light on the inner lives of American Muslims, an increasingly marginalized American religious community.1
In 2004, the play established its “grassroots/seat of the pants” mode of operation with a series of staged readings launched at the Mehran Restaurant in Newark, California, a popular hub for community and family events of San Francisco Bay Area’s South Asians, and continued with Oakland Public Library sponsored events.
Ali explained his choice of the play’s ironic title in the February 2011 issue of American Theatre, saying it refers to “hundreds of years of alleged inherent acrimony between the West and Islam….I wanted to reframe that within this multi-hyphenated Muslim-American family. These ‘crusaders,’ instead of being blood-thirsty warmongers, are nuanced, hypocritical, self-involved, quirky people. Instead of Kalashnikovs and swords and missiles, we see them fighting with stinging barbs and wit and regrets and secrets—good old-fashioned drama and melodrama.”
The two-act play officially premiered as a 2005 showcase production at the Tony Award winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The play was and continues to be directed by acclaimed choreographer & director, Carla Blank. Its NYC debut, on September 11, 2009 at the Nuyorican Poets Café was followed by a sold-out five-week run, which broke attendance records for plays at this landmark Off Broadway theater. In his Nuyorican program notes, Ali said he chose this date because “I believe by proactively confronting the history of that day through art and dialogue we can finally move beyond the anger, the violence, the extremism, the separatism, the pain and the regret, and build a bridge of understanding and reconciliation.”
The play received its international premiere performances at MuslimFest in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on July 31 and August 1, 2010, and was showcased in Washington, D.C.’s Atlas Performing Arts Center November 12, 2010 and the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Hall on November 14, 2010. The one-hour performance of Act One remains archived on the Kennedy Center website.
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2.1 Review of Literature
Due to the importance of the subject the relevant literature is very rich. below is a sample of such studies:
Ahumerousestudy by RattanaPanriansaen and KingkanokSaowapawong (2017) entitled
actors related to sports or exercise behaviors of Thai people
A purpose of this study was to survey sports or exercise behaviors, health status and related factors of sports or exercise behaviors among Thai People. The sample consisted of 30,800people who aged 11years and over, selected by using the Multi-Stage Sampling technique, from 77 provinces of Thailand. Data of 400 people from each province were collected during August – September 2016. The statistics used in data analysis were percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The relationship of variables was evaluated by using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The results showed that during the one month prior to interview, the percentage of population doing sports or exercise was 54.9. Most of the population were male (57.8%), living in the municipality (percentage 58.3), living in Bangkok (74.5 percent), aged 11-14 years (63.9 %), single status(61.6%), a career civil servant/ employee pensions (65.5% ). Most of the population practiced sport (20.1 percent), sports or exercise at a time over 30 minutes (39.9 %), 3-10 days per month (43.2 %), during the day (41.1 %), continued to practiced sports or exercise 1-3 months (35.0 % ), practiced sports and exercise in house area (27.6 percent). The reason to practiced sports or exercise was to keep the body healthy (57.5 % ), most of the population had ever got a medical examination or a doctor visit once a year (54.3 % ), good health status (85.8 %) and never admitted in the hospital (70.4 % ). Factors related to sports or exercise behaviors of Thai People were include gender, occupation, marital status, age and health status.
A study by LAURIE GOODSTEIN (2009) entitled A Pakistani-American Family Is Caught in Some Cultural Cross-Fire
For Khulsoom and Salman, hard-working immigrant Muslims from Pakistan, life in the American suburbs in the post- 9/11 era is not working out the way they had planned.
Their oldest son is an unmarried playboy, and their daughter has become a student activist who wears a head scarf as a sign of her newfound religious fervor and is dating a devoted Muslim who happens to be an African-American. And now their younger son, the good, obedient son, comes home on a college break and announces that he is abandoning premed courses to become a history teacher so that he can help correct the misinformation being spread about Islam.
“You will get the blessings of my work,” the younger son tells his parents.
“We have enough blessings,” his mother says. “You can bless us by becoming a surgeon. You like kids? Become a pediatrician. Teach them Islam as you give them their lollipops.”
This family is at the center of “The Domestic Crusaders,” an envelope-pushing play that opens on 9/11 at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and runs for the next five weekends. When the family reunites for the younger son’s birthday, conflicts erupt over everything from biryani to sex roles to Middle Eastern politics to airport security checks to racism.
The play was written by Wajahat Ali, a young Pakistani-American who grew up in Fremont, Calif. He started writing it in the weeks after the terrorist attacks as a paper for a college class taught by the poet and playwright Ishmael Reed.
The actors, all South Asians, are playing roles that echo their own lives. Some will be performing while they are fasting for Ramadan.
Very few dramas about the contemporary Muslim experience in America have made it to the stage. Muslims from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have been slow to embrace writing and acting, which was not considered a viable profession by the older immigrant generation. Mr. Ali and the actors in “The Domestic Crusaders” are among a younger group interested in mining their experiences for theater. These are dramas not about terrorism or war, but about the cultural cacophony that ensues when you drop three generations of a Pakistani family into Silicon Valley.

A study by Yus, (2003) examines the way in which humorous interpretations are produced, using Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory. It is based on the primary foundations of the cognitive theory. The theory claims that human beings depend on a single interpretation. As per the principle, an optimal balance of interest is provided by the first interpretation. Mental effort and cognitive effects are considered as the intention of the speaker’s communication. It is valid for whichever type communication.
A study by Hancock, (2004) proposes a range of cues that can be used for the purpose of signaling the ironic intent. This includes verbal and paralinguistic cues, contrasting with context-based cues. Cues offered by addressees concerning the understanding of irony are what the speakers rely on. When such cues are not available, the speakers would less likely be willing to use irony due to miscommunication risk, as well as the addressees being more liable in irony misinterpretation. A computer-mediated conversation (unimodal) and comprehension and production of irony face to face (multimodal) examination is what was used by Hancock to justify. The search for the establishment of how the irony transforms in comprehension into humorous effects and the intentional use of irony in the creation of comics are what the current study looks at.

A study by Dyne, (2009) looked at the types of conversational comic study. The words are categorized in various pragmatic and semantic types of verbal comic, mostly the ones that cannot be reduced to jokes. This research material can be approached from a selection of linguistic vantage points. According to Dynel, the approaches could include translation or sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics, semantics, and cognitivism. As an approach to studying verbal comic with certain irony interests, the measure of evaluation is pragmatics.
A study by Cappelli, ( 2003) As opposed to play, stand up comedies involve comedians who speak directly to the audience through the use of a monologue routine. The Domestic Crusaders, however, prefers the former to the latter. The study included this specific kind of data, to complement the researcher’s generalized opinion of the comic in the performance of The Domestic Crusaders’. Some information will be retrieved from YouTube since the play is very long and some information.
A study by Kihara;Shroeder, (2012)a series of short comedy scenes are what the play consists of. These comic scenes are performed by a group of comic actors through visual and audio mediums, for example televisions and radios or on stage. These are usually improvisations written down as per the results (outcome). YouTube was the main source which was to be used in downloading of play.
Wajahat Ali’s play will be used in the collection of the secondary data.

Many Muslims in the United States will say that the events of September 11, 2001, changed their life and their outlook on their faith and their place as Americans. What it meant to be Muslim American acquired a new complexity and depth that was not true of earlier generations. In order to deal with this new reality, Muslim Americans have found myriad ways to respond and redefine themselves–interfaith dialogues, rallies, Islamic studies, etc. Some, though, respond using literature, art, music, and now drama.
In a New York Times article, Laura Goodstein wrote about a new play called “The Domestic Crusaders” by Wajahat Ali, a Pakistani-American. The title alone gets your attention. Ali wrote the play after 9/11 and focuses on contemporary Muslim experience in the United States. There is nothing about terrorism or war. Rather, the play just shows the very typical struggle of Muslim Americans trying to deal with with both parts of their identity. According to Ali, the play brings out “universal themes like sibling rivalry, expectations of parents, conflict between the generations.” It played in California and in New York this past September 11th. For Ali, this play is part of the catharsis that he believes Americans are undergoing to move forward.
What makes this play interesting is that Ali gives voice to some of the concerns of Muslim Americans and also shares a part of their experience that mainstream America may not have access to. The audiences of this play and others like it will no doubt gain some insight into the struggles, differences, and commonalities between themselves and Muslim Americans. Ali, in an interview with NBC Weekend Today, shared reactions of audience members from various backgrounds who were able to connect to the characters in the play: “We learned something not only about Muslim Americans, but about ourselves.” With more knowledge, stereotypes can be dissipated and for Ali art can bring people together.
Do you think that drama is an effective way to make connections? Have you seen seen similar plays? Can art be a foundation for interfaith dialogue? Please share your comments.
Study by Jatinder Verma (2013) entitled education resource pack the domestic crusadersThe Domestic Crusaders & the National CurriculumTara Arts’ production of The Domestic Crusaders by Wajahat Ali is the UK premiere of thisuniquely American new play. The play takes place over one day around three generations of anupper middle-class Pakistani-American family, against the background of 9/11.The production is suitable for study at Key Stage 3 and 4 including teaching across the nationalcurriculum in:
English ; Theatre Studies
Critical Understanding: Engaging with ideas and texts, understanding and responding to themain issues. Assessing the validity and significance of information and ideas from differentsources.Analysing and evaluating spoken and written language to appreciate how meaning isshaped.”
Range and Content: Political, Legal and Human rights, responsibilities of citizens. Howeconomic decisions are made including where public money comes from and who decides howit is spent. How actions that individuals, groups and organizations can take to influencedecisions affecting communities and the environment.Religious Education / Applied Ethics
The play will develop interest for the study of the Islamic religion, help them understand theimpact of beliefs, teachings, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning,encourage them to reflect on fundamental questions and engage with them intellectually.*
American Studies (undergraduate study)The production will support understanding the complexities and contradictions of the UnitedStates. It will open up conversation on issues which are important today in terms of race andethnic relations as well as shed light on aspects of American life and culture in a domesticsetting.
Ali is the lead author and researcher of the seminal report on Islamophobia in America entitled Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America published by Center for American Progress in August 2011. Foreign Policy Magazine praised the report as “a remarkable piece of investigative work, showing how small set of right-wing foundations and individuals have bankrolled the most vocal Islamophobes in contemporary U.S. politics.” Ali worked with award winning journalist and author Doug Saunders to provide core research for his book The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten The West (Random House, August 2012) The book reveals hard data, statistics, facts and evidence that debunks inaccurate and inflammatory theories about Muslims and immigrants in Europe and how modern Islamophobia echoes similar responses to earlier immigrant groups, such as Jews and Catholics. Ali is co-editor of I Speak For Myself: 40 American Men on Being Muslim, an anthology of 40 unique essays that received a coveted, starred review by Publisher’s Weekly (White Cloud Press, 2012.) He is the co-lead drafter of the educational pamphlet What is the Truth About American Muslims produced by the Newseum’s First Amendment Center, Religious Freedom Education Project, and Interfaith Alliance. He was the associate editor of and contributing editor to the award winning Illume Magazine. He is also a contributing editor to The Islamic Monthly magazine. His first short story, “Ramadan Blues,” was published in Powwow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience, Short Fiction From Then to Now (Da Capo Press, 2009). His second story, “The Perpoose Story,” is published in the anthology Voices of the Asian American Experience (Winter 2011). His first movie, Ms. Judgments, was a finalist for the 2007 Link TV Muslim American Film Competition. In 2010, Wajahat Ali’s first long-form essay, Could It Be That the Best Chance to Save a Young Family From Foreclosure is a 28-Year-Old Pakistani American Playright-slash-Attorney who Learned Bankruptcy Law on the Internet? Wells Fargo, You Never Knew What Hit You, was featured as the cover story for McSweeney’s SF Panorama Magazine. The article was cited by Atlantic Monthly as one of 2011’s best pieces of journalism. The article was also cited by Business Insider, The Consumerist (which listed Wajahat Ali as their “Hero of the week”), and NPR’s Marketplace Radio. Ali is a frequent consultant on social entrepreneurship, Islam and Muslim Americans, post 9-11 Muslim American identity and politics, multicultural art and activism, and New Media Journalism. In 2012, Ali consulted the U.S. Department of State and helped design, strategize and implement the “Generation Change” leadership training program to empower young global change agents and social entrepreneurs. He initiated “Generation Change” chapters in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. For his efforts, he was honored by Sec. of State Clinton as a “Generation Change Leader” and invited to speak at the State Department Eid Dinner 2012. He consulted U.C. Berkeley on their 2009 landmark “Islam Today: Youth and New Media” program. The yearlong program, focusing on politics, social networks and arts & culture, was designed to increase public understanding in the U.S. about Islam by looking at how Muslim youth around the world are using “new media” to create new virtual communities, explore their evolving identities, and confront harmful anti-Muslim stereotypes. In 2009-10, he consulted McSweeney’s, an American publishing company, on their Muslim and Arab American community outreach to promote Dave Eggers’ award winning book Zeitoun. He consulted Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that documents human rights abuses and issues of contemporary social injustice by using oral history and personal narratives. Their book Patriot Acts: Narratives of post 9-11 Injustice features stories on Muslim, Middle Eastern and South Asians facing discrimination after 9-11 (McSweeney’s, August 2011).
In addition, literature reviewed showed that Wajahat Ali was honored as an “An Influential Muslim American Artist” by the State Department in 2008. In 2009, he was named a “Muslim Leader of Tomorrow” for his journalism work. The same year, he received Muslim Public Affairs Council’s prestigious “Emerging Muslim American Artist” recognition and was cited as Young Muslim American leader by the Center for American Progress. Wajahat Ali is the proud recipient of the 2011 Otto Award for Political Theatre for his play The Domestic Crusaders. Ali is also a professional speaker, invited nationally and internationally to give keynote speeches. He has given presentations at Google Headquarters, University of Chicago, Princeton, U.C. Berkeley, Columbia University, Duke University, New York University, The Commonwealth Club, City Arts and Lectures, The Newseum, Brookings Institution, Council on a Parliament of World Religions, The Netherlands Writers Unlimited Festival, The Abu Dhabi Book Festival, among many other prestigious events, universities and organizations. Ali is currently writing a TV pilot with Dave Eggers about a Muslim American cop in the Bay Area, California.(NewYork Times 2016)


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