Representations Of Religion And Western Media

1499 Words Apr 13th, 2016 6 Pages
Representations of Religion in Western Media
Islam
There is a current obsession in western media, (during the last decade) pertaining to “Islam and the West”. This current obsession is filled with negative signifiers with the global media’s predominantly negative, and to an extent racist portrayal of Islam and Muslims. Muslims are generally represented as violent, fanatical, bigoted, or as extremists and terrorists. Media coverage of Islam-related issues has changed drastically since the start of the new millennium, both in quantity and quality. The events the of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, cast Islam into the forefront of global media: not only did coverage of Islam rapidly increase, particularly in news and entertainment media, but the way in which Islam was represented by the media changed as well. The most prevalent Islamic stereotype in western media is the radicalized Muslim insurgent, firm on waging jihad, or holy war, against the Western world. This stereotype usually depicts violence as an inseparable part of being Muslim, as well as the religion being a justifier for the violent actions.
An example of this kind of a negative stereotype can be seen in the character of Sayid Jarrah on ABC’s LOST. Jarrah, the only central Muslim character on the show, previously worked for the Iraqi Republican Guard as a communications officer and interrogator, and is frequently shown using torture techniques to extract information from prisoners.…
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