Discursive portrayal of Islam as “a part of America’s story” in Obama’s presidential speeches
This article investigates the image portrayed of Islam and Muslims in official speeches of the former US President, Barack Obama during his two terms in office. Applying qualitative data coding procedures and based on a Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) approach, we examine 377 speeches delivered in the period of 2009–2016 within the macro context of US involvements in contemporary international politics to uncover the discursive image of Islam and Islamic attributes projected and subtly reproduced over time by Obama during his presidency. The outcome comprises four major themes shaped around the notions of America’s fundamental values; Dialogue with Muslim communities; Defining good Islam; and Defining bad Muslims. Through a detailed discussion of the discursive construction of these themes and specifically referring to their lexical highlights, we illustrate aspects of Islam-related issues in the view of an American president.