The Face of Evil: Demonising the Arab Other in Contemporary Australia

Greg Noble


The ‘face of evil’ has become a recurring image in recent years in accounts of international terrorism. Yet it has also become a frequent figure in debates around ‘ethnic crime’ and ‘race rape’. It is a motif that demonstrates the ethnicisation of a moralised discourse of good and evil, particularly in the face of religious fundamentalism and moral panic around men of Arabic or Muslim background. The physicality of evil is often obscured in abstract discussions of moral panic. The face of evil ‘fixes’ evil in terms of a certain appearance and manner that are evidence of a deeper ‘truth’ of moral danger.


Panic; multiculturalism; Australian politics; Australian society

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