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Stereotyping of Arabs in Western media - Essay Example

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The presentation of Arabs in western media has, from the very beginning been in the negative light since they have been presented as a race of people who are steeped in religion and outdated traditions. Arabs have been portrayed as being some of the most violent people in the world, often plotting, one way or another, for the destruction of a westerner, who in the movies is often the hero…
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Stereotyping of Arabs in Western media
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Download file to see previous pages This has created a mentality of us against them, where producers still unconsciously perceive the Arabs, and Muslims in general, as being the enemy, although they would never to such a thing. The various events which have taken place in the twentieth century have worked to strengthen this opinion of Arabs, as seen where the latter are looked upon as being a violent people, whose religious fanaticism is the cause of all the major conflicts in the world today. The events leading to the September 11 attacks and its aftermath have all been blamed on Arabs, who are seen as having had a direct hand in these events. The fact that a majority of the Arab people in the world are just regular people like any other westerner seems not to have been put into consideration as many of them have become victims of racially instigated attacks because of who they are and what they look like. According to Hussein (2010, p118) Hollywood films that feature Arabs are examples of the inherent racism that has long been established in western media and that the fact that these films are shown in public comes to influence how its audience views the Arab people. The American media, especially the films, tend to include evil Arab characters as well as racial slurs which are used to demean them and this creates a situation where people from the Middle East are viewed as being an evil race, with no set moral standards. This is not a true reflection of the Arab people and, because of the bias of western media against them, they have come to be portrayed in an extremely negative light where it is difficult to determine or differentiate between the Arabs with good intentions from those with evil ones. The Arab men have come to be depicted as being chauvinistic in the movies that feature them, showing them not only mistreating their wives and daughters, but also keeping them in the background where they have little or no rights (Hassan 2001, p.56). They have also come to be depicted as being greedy for money and as being willing to sell their souls for the sake of acquiring more of it, a depiction which goes against the fact that Arabs have throughout their history been an entrepreneurial race much involved in trade. Because Islam allows Arab men to marry up to four wives, western media has come to depict them as being womanizers who are extremely attracted to western women. Whenever Arabs men are shown in films, they are depicted as traveling with vast harems to satisfy their every desire, a depiction which is not a true reflection of the character of this race. The Arab-Israeli conflict has not been of much help in improving the image of Arabs in western media and this is because of the fact that the true story concerning the conflict has been distorted in favor of the Israelis. This conflict has been a key feature in western media since the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 and despite the fact that the Jewish state has committed many injustices against the Palestinian people; the latter are still depicted as being the aggressors. The fact that women, children, and the elderly have fallen victim to Israeli attacks has been kept in the background, while the image of Arab men as being fanatical terrorists attacking the state of Israel has been brought to the foreground (Onwudiwe 2005, p.6). This has created a situation where it has become difficult for the image of Arabs ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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