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Representations of Islam in the media - Article Example

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Representations of Islam in the media Grade Course (29th, Oct. 2013) Representations of Islam in the media Media is a powerful tool that has the great potential of shaping the perception of the masses, regarding social, political, cultural, economic and religious subjects…
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Representations of Islam in the media
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Download file to see previous pages The issue of Islamophobia has been the subject of media reporting, especially since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the USA, which shifted the war on terrorism and terrorist activities from just mere focus on terrorists and their ideologies, to delve further into the issue of Islam as a religion, and how its doctrines are in line with the holy war, normally referred to as the Jihad. The articles are meant for the benefit of both the Christians and the Muslims, acting as a basis through which the two religions should engage in constructive dialogue, towards reverting to their earlier cordial relationship. According to (Ridgeon & Schmidt-Leukel, 2006), in both Christian and Islam religions, “there were and are times of peaceful existence” p137, meaning the same can coexist today peacefully. Thus, the articles are in the best interest of both the Islam and Christian religions, and the texts serve to present a view that the world can be peaceful. These texts are positioned to enable the readers to respond to the present media reporting regarding Islam, through presenting the knowledge that despite the differences occurring in both religions, they can still coexist (Pratt, 2005). However, the texts points to the existence of gap, in the understanding of the Islam doctrine, especially regarding Jihad, and the relationship of Muslim teachings with the radicalization of the youth. Since the September 11 occurrence, the reporting on the subject of Islam has changed both in quality and quantity, with every stream of the media highlighting or even carrying huge perks of news regarding Islam (Swindler, Duran & Firestone, 2007). The frequency and the bulk of news reporting regarding Islam since the 9/11 attack has served to create the fear or hatred of Islam as a religion on the one hand, while there has been more attempts to create a positive image regarding Islam religion on the other hand. Nevertheless, the negative reporting and stereotyping of Islam as a religion has definitely outdone the positive painting of this religion (Ridgeon & Schmidt-Leukel, 2006). The language use reinforces stereotyping, which elicits a reaction of anger and fury from the Muslims, who may in turn be motivated to react in the way that the media has stereotyped them. This has created an opportunity for diverse interpretations of the news and media reports regarding Islam. For example, the cartoon by Nicholas from the “Australian Newspaper” shows an individual reacting to the stereotyping mooted against him, through blowing up the individuals who seem to have stereotyped them (Nicholas cartoon, n.d.). Therefore, the terrorism activities might also be sparked off by the media stereotyping against the Muslims. However, while the media has been involved in extensive reporting regarding the issue of Islam and its perceived relationship to terrorism, there has been a wide support for dialogue by the Muslim world, to create an understanding of what Muslim religion is all about. According to the (World Council of Churches, 2013), a dialogue between Muslims and Christians is essential, not for the purposes of establishing religious supremacy, but as a “process of mutual empowerment of both Christians and Muslims” p6. This notwithstanding, there is a perceived roadblock that has been placed ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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