Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2001


In the days and weeks following the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11, there has been a rapid proliferation of mocking images of a turbaned Osama bin Laden, not to mention of the turban itself. In a photo-montage circulating from, even George Bush has been sporting a bin Laden-esque turban. Another internet favorite is a picture of bin Laden superimposed into a 7-11 convenience store scene as a cashier. Posters that appeared in midtown Manhattan only days after the attacks show a turbaned caricature of bin Laden being anally penetrated by the Empire State building. The legend beneath reads, "The Empire Strikes Back" or "So you like skyscrapers, huh, bitch?" Though much humorous commentary on the appropriate punishment for bin Laden focuses on the liberation of Afghan women, this portrayal suggests something further still: American retaliation promises to turn bin Laden into a fag.


This article was originally published in CLAGSNews, vol. 11, no. 3.



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