Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Perceptions of Islam in Media

In week three we will be exploring how Islam is framed and perceived within mass media news outlets and the implications of these framing for public understanding of Islam.  There are two set readings. The first is Elisabeth Poole's exploration of how Muslims have been framed by news media in her chapter “Representing Islam in theory & Practice” from the book. The second focuses is a reflection by Tim Jensen on the Danish Cartoon Crisis of 2006 of a controversial political cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed that resulted in international protests and debates regarding the treatment of Islam by media and the West.  Please read and reflect on the arguments these articles make about the perception and presentations of Islam in news media.



Tamsyn Morison said...

In her book, Elisabeth Poole demonstrates the different categories of people living in England in regard to the muslim faith. She talks about the muslim residents, residents who are not muslim but interact and know multiple muslims and lastly residents who have no ties to the muslim faith. Through her book she shows how people who are un educated in regard to islam often throw stereotypes around and are prejudice towards muslims. She also shows how media can only complicate matter as people pick and choose what they want to read, often highlighting the negative stories is regard to muslims.
Tim Jensen demonstrates how one media post can have a domino effect on more than just the targeted audience. An article, mocking Islam, posted in the Danish media offended not only Muslims but people of other religions to. The Danish government did not deal with this situation well, making them the target of hate and were even threatened by terrorist groups.
Denmark’s Director of Public Prosecutions announced that he was not going to institute criminal proceedings against Jyllands-Posten. Would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?

Claire Levatino said...

Elisabeth Poole, in her book "Perceptions of Islam in the Media" delves into the views of a group of English adolescents who reside in Leicster. These young adults were polled on their view of the Muslim faith and all participants were either a muslim, a non muslim who has interacted with and know muslims, and those who have had no interactions with any muslims. What was odd is that those who have had regular contact with muslims and know about the faith are the ones who are most stereotypical and have the worst perceptions of them, while while those with less contact with muslims were more accepting. One would think that it would be the opposite, as media often misconstrues what muslims are really like and what they actually practice. Media often only shows the few negative examples of muslims giving the faith as a whole a questionable reputation. Because of this, it would make more logical sense for those with no relations to muslims to be swayed by the media and adopt their perceptions and those who are familiar with muslims to see what is displayed in the media and realize how different the reality of the situation is.
Tim Jensen's cartoon reminds me very much of that film made by an American this year on Youtube that caused violence against the U.S. embassy in Cairo and Libya, resulting in the death of four americans. Muslims in Cairo and Libya thought of the film as anti-Islam and felt that it disrespected Allah. Jensen's cartoon had a similar affect in Denmark, angering Muslims and creating a conflict that quickly spiraled out of control. While no one died, Denmark was then labeled as anti-Muslim, receiving hate and threats.

Jordan Brooks said...

My issue is that the cartoons may have been offensive, but they were not criminal. Why did so many people expect prosecution over a freedom of speech?

Paige Dusthimer said...

Elizabeth Poole emphasizes the inconsistency between statistics and how tolerant/accepting people actually are. Women Muslims proved to be more conservative when answering questions and focused on giving the "right answer", versus the men who more considerably more open and just expressing their opinion.