Islam as a rhetorical constraint: the post-September 11th speaking of George W. Bush.
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Bajema, Hillary Ann.
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The post 9/11 rhetoric of President George W. Bush presents an interesting opportunity to assess the cross-cultural currency of presentations of American ideology. This thesis attends to the President’s unifying rhetoric especially regarding the religion of Islam, recognizing that each statement risked backlash from Muslims within the nation as well as for those practicing the faith of Islam in the Middle East and beyond. Bush’s national presidential addresses between the dates of September 11, 2001, through May 1, 2003, the declared end of the military campaign against Iraq, are examined. Three ideographs – <evil>, <justice>, and <freedom> – isolated for their dominance throughout the twelve Presidential addresses, have been identified and studied. The thesis concludes that the President’s intention to appeal to his diverse audience was successful thematically; but presenting a confident country while simultaneously overcoming international accusations of American arrogance was impossible.