Islam: suppressor of women, enemy of Western nations, and breeder of terrorists. The West has many stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam that are due to the media, prejudice, and ignorance. Islam is often seen as an "extremist" or "terrorist" religion. Often, the media's reports about Islam are incorrect due to ignorance or not wanting to acknowledge its true teachings. This is one of the reasons why Westerners are often wary of Muslims. In contrast to what the media portrays, Islam is a peaceful religion, which does not promote violence or terrorism.
After September 11, 2001, U.S. citizens were shocked that over 2,900 people were dead because of Islamic extremists (Kean, et al. "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States"). More deaths occurred in the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. Tensions between the U.S. and Islamic extremists have not yet subsided. Americans receive information regarding Islamic extremists through the media, from which they form opinions on what the U.S.’s foreign policy with the Middle East should be, which affects military spending. To what extent has the media’s portrayal of Islamic extremists affected U.S. military spending and relations with the Middle East?
September 11, 2001 is a date in history that changed the lives of people from all over the world and especially the lives of Americans. On this day nineteen militant men associated with al-Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group, hijacked four airplanes and carried out multiple suicide attacks on different locations in the United States. Two of the planes directly struck the World Trade Center located in New York City, one of the other two planes hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and the final plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania before it could reach its final destination. On this day, more than 3,000 people were killed including over 400 first responding police officers and firefighters. In recent years as people look back on that day it is remembered as a time when the country was joined together by grief and showed an overwhelming amount of comfort and support to the victims and their families; it was also a time of extreme national pride. People also remember that following the attacks the economy suffered tremendously, in addition, air traffic which makes up a portion of the economy was greatly disrupted, both of which created uncertainty about the security of the financial markets critical to the success of the United States. What most people do not remember is the immediate backlash and hostility the Muslim and Arab communities received following the attacks by both civilians and the media. This is a topic that has been largely ignored by the public and media’s
Today one does not even have to wait for a movie to be released. Simply click the “ON” button on a remote and suddenly, thousands of news and television shows are available for one to enjoy. Muslims are also the target of prejudice in these news broadcasts and programs. One such television program released was a drama titled “24.” Issues and Controversies reports: “The show, which deals with a counterterrorism unit based in Los Angeles, featured a group of Muslim terrorist characters who were plotting to detonate nuclear weapons in the U.S. At the end of one episode, the terrorists successfully detonated a small bomb in a Los Angeles suburb, killing about 12,000 people” (“Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment”). This fictional show wrongly spreads the stereotypical image of Muslims and their clichéd image of the fundamentalists on 9/11. By adding the title and image of “Muslim” to the phrase “terrorist” the program wrongly advertised that potentially every Muslim could be a terrorist. This stereotypical image is similarly expressed in news broadcasts through the use of terrorism news. By increasingly using terrorism and Muslims in top
On the covers of newspapers and on the screens of many, the story of the Boston marathon hits the ground. Twenty six thousand eight hundred thirty nine people from all over the world came to run in this awe-inspiring marathon. Until the tragedy strikes right in their faces. The explosions, injuring scores of people, effected the lives of innocent civilians. Cheers were replaced with screams, sirens, and the first responders providing aide to the citizens. This was a brutal event just like the one on September 11, 2001. Instead of using seclusion towards political and economical reasons for events, the mass medias perceptive towards incidents involving the religion Islam has created the stereotypical thought in society in which we live in today.
The topic of this essay was one that seemed the most relevant at this given moment in time. Post 9/11, Western media became very critical of Islam and the portrayal of Muslims and the negative associations made with them has dramatically increased.
Attacks receive more coverage when they harm or kill victims, involve hijackings or aircraft, have known perpetrators, and select targets associated with Western countries. A study of transnational terrorism shows that attacks that inflict injuries are twice as likely to attract media attention as those that do not. The attacks in which the perpetrator can be identified are four times as likely to be reported in a newspaper and ten times as likely to be reported on television (The Media’s Role in International Terrorsim). Attacks in the Middle East or Europe are twice as likely to receive media attention as attacks perpetrated in Latin America (The Media’s Role in International Terrorism). There are very similar factors that influence media coverage of attacks that take place within the United States.
The mass media selectively promotes racial profiling. The assumptions driving terrorism profiling are not any different than “street-level” profiling—in that, a particular crime (in this case, terrorism) is most expected to be committed by members of a particular religious, ethnic, or racial group and that the members of that group (in this case, Muslims) are, in general, likely to be implicated in that manner of criminal activity…These assumptions are highly defective. The assumption that terrorist acts are inevitably perpetrated by Arabs or that the architect, of a terrorist act, is likely to be Islamic is a faulty assumption. While all the men, believed to have been, involved in the September 11th hijackings were of Arabic nationality, Richard Reid, who on December 22, 2001, attempted to ignite a volatile device on a trans-Atlantic flight, was a British citizen of Jamaican ancestry. This furthermore coincides with my line of reasoning that extremists exist throughout all cultures. In fact, prior to September 11th the deadliest act of terrorism on United States soil was initiated by [Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh. Even non-Arabs like John Walker Lindh, a Californian, can be linked to the Taliban, al-Qaeda and
How the has media poisoned peoples’ brains to think like this. Media has created this mental construct, in which all Muslims are the “bad guys”. Media plays a big role in a lot of different situations. Media mostly portrays African American as “thugs, and drug dealers”, media portrays Latinos as all being “illegal”. Media plays an essential role in the development of the young children, who’s brains are still developing. It really affects their world view.
Islam is portrayed and is commonly accepted as the most violent and largest direct threat to the West. This is a generalization made by most of the West, but it is not particularly the West or the Islamic people’s fault. There is constant turmoil in Islamic countries in the Middle East and these conflicts are what make the news in the West. The only representation in the media that the Islamic nation gets is that of war. Though most Islamic people are not violent, the select few that do participate in terrorist groups give the rest of the Islam nation a bad image.
September 11th changed the lives of many Americans, irrevocably. The horrendous attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon altered the way American’s viewed their positions within the world, not to mention their lives and their safety. The attacks brought terrorism to the forefront of national attention, in every aspect. The government became immediately immersed in an effort to understand and defeat terrorism, and simultaneously, the media, with its perverse fascination with violence and profit-driven espousal to round-the-clock, up-to-the-minute coverage, demonstrated an obsession with the attacks, by broadcasting almost nothing but the latest developments in the search and rescue efforts and investigations
After the attack of 9/11 many American citizens sought out an answer to why one would hijack a plane and run it into the Twin Towers, killing millions. According to the Huffpost, Islam became the main reason for the attack and furthermore labeled religion as the inspiration for many terroristic attacks (Gibson, 1). According to many Muslims, however, the attacks are anti-Islamic because the Quran states not to harm civilians who are not involved with war and to avoid it at all possible times (PBS, 3). The conflict between Muslims and Americans is growing and many issues in the Middle East has become the focus for religious terrorism.
“If the media were not there to report terrorist acts and to explain their political and social significance...terrorism as such would cease to exist” said John O'Sullivan, an editor of the Times of London.1 This is also the way many other people feel about the recent increase in terrorist activity; they feel that the media is causing it. The media is doing this by fulfilling the terrorists' need for publicity.2 Terrorists need media publicity in order to get their views spread to the public.3 Because of this need for publicity, terrorists are committing their acts of terrorism in areas where a lot of publicity will be gained; the United States and Western Europe are the most recent targets. The bombings of the federal building in
This survey reveals that the problem with the Islam faith is not racial: The Muslim people are welcomed, the Islam faith is not. The violence that has been perpetrated against America, whether executed or planned, has brought to fruition religious persecution not seen since the persecution of the Jews in W.W.II. This “trust no Arab” attitude has brought shame to the Constitutional intentions of freedom of religion intended by our forefathers, and has set religious tolerance back 200 years. Looking at media representation of Muslim Americans prior to 9-11, it shows religious diversity in America, depicting Muslim America as just another religious community seeking to advance and protect their interests, not unlike other Americans. After 9-11 the media portrayed representations of threat and fear, creating boundaries between Muslims and other Americans. Such depiction transforms the identity of Muslims and American religious pluralism (Byng, M. pg. 3).
“When I think Islam, I think belly dancers, bombs, and billionaires” This is something I have heard from many people’s mouths. When people think of the word Islam, or Muslim, a certain generalized picture comes to mind. I am sure this picture involves such things as sand, camels, oil, covered women, hookah, amongst other things. Though this is what the Western media generalizes Islam as, there is much more to Islam than the three B’s and these pictures that come to mind. Islam is not only a religion but is also a way of life. Like many things, Islam is stereotyped, generalized, and misunderstood. When most of us think of Islam we think of the “oppressed” women and “messed up” laws and we fail to see the truths of Islam and what it really stands for.