Qasim Ali Kharal Deconstructing the Metanarrative of Jihadism: A Postmodern Study of Fatima Bhutto’s Novel The Runaways

Qasim Ali Kharal, Sobia Naseem, Huzaifa Muhammad

  • Qasim Ali Kharal
  • Sobia Naseem University of Lahore - Lahore
  • Huzaifa Muhammad Punjab College Raiwind - Lahore
Keywords: Deconstruction, Islam, Jihad, Metanarrative, Postmodernism


The present research article aimed to deconstruct the metanarrative of Jihadism by analyzing the novel The Runaways (2018) by Fatima Bhutto through the lens of postmodern theory. Fatima Bhutto in her novel tried to present that Jihadism is a false accusation against Muslims by West media to target a particular religious group for political gains. Present research applied the postmodern concept of 'illegitimacy of totalizing narratives' by Jean-Francois Lyotard and Baudrillard's concept of ‘Hyper-reality' to inquire how it was not Islamic extremism that provoked characters to join the jihad movement but rather alienation, rejection, and social injustice which turned them against the world. Moreover, Freud's concept of 'displacement' was also taken to understand the motives behind joining the jihad movement. This research article tried to conclude that jihad was a biased metanarrative which is constructed through different postmodern strategies which had no bending to mainstream Islam and was a stigma to Muslims identity in general.