Currently various media campaigns are disappearing on against Islam and Muslims. Mainly western media with significant financial resources and multiple channels try to illustrate a rough picture of Islam to their public. At the same time Muslim groups through a variety of media outlets attempt to transmit their messages, but in comparison to the global dominance of western media, their efforts are somehow vain. As a result, messages lead to nowhere and disappear in air. Most western media, especially after the September 11 use this event to capitalize political gain. These media depict Islam as "fundamentalism", "extremism" and "radicalism". Of course in the post-modern world, where the role of media is central, the image of reality becomes more real than the reality. These media have tried to represent Muslims as "terrorists" who violate women's rights and pose a threat to western security. By doing so, they try to justify the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. In recent decades, this approach has led to emergence of "Islam phobia". However, little effort has been made to respond to these negative campaigns. On the contrary, the performance of terrorist groups who kill people, especially western hostages, help their media to show that they are victims of terrorism. This paper is an attempt to explore the image of Islam in western mass media after September 9/11.
When we compared modern media with the Islamic media we see that it is not representing Islam. Know day's media is so much influenced by the western media that they are neglecting their own values, culture and norms. Currently the basic aim of the media organization is to earn as much as they can without taking care of the content of their program. Previously we saw that the media pays much more attention to the content and they showed in their dramas our culture, norms and our Islamic values but recently they paid no attention to these things and design program inspired by others culture due to which society is facing problems. We see these days the respect of Parents and others are diminishing and Social problems are on rise. It is the responsibility of a media as a social institution that it should plan programs in such a way that they can educate the people regarding their own culture, norms and values because nowadays people spend more time in watching television rather than spending time with their families. So media can play a positive role in transmitting the cultures and values to the masses regarding their religion.
Beside that, the western media make the stereotyping in movie, TV show, cartoons and other media type. They produce the cartoonist and describe a Muslim is a guy in a funny headdress. They also create caricatures of Prophet Muhammad which is so damaged the image of Islam. They produce some material to media without survey or evaluate the value of Islam. They did not take serious and respect the Islamic religion because they think Islam is bad religious.Much Western literature and popular culture has portrayed Arabs and Muslims negatively over the past 200 years. This has occurred in the absence of really positive and hopeful and accurate images of Muslims that include everyday people but also heroes, people who are extraordinary people.
Most people’s perceptions of Islam and Muslims in Europe and the US are shaped by media coverage. The media has been slow to cover ordinary Muslims and Islamic culture, preferring to show graphic images of fiery imams, gun toting militants, and anti-American demonstrations, with emotions and actions taken in the name of Islam. “If it bleeds, it leads”. News directors will lead news coverage with terror attacks, anti-American demonstrations, and hostage images to shock and engage jaded viewers. The absence of a countering view contributes to the selecting of these stereotypes and people start to believe them.
The perception of Muslims and Islam varies by country, ethnic group, and whether the
Discussion is about Muslims as individuals or Islam as a political movement. The majority of people in the US and Europe have a favorable opinion of Muslims as individuals, as neighbors, friends and work colleagues. But in a politicized context, Muslims and Islam are viewed mostly negatively, especially those of Arab descent. Common stereotypes include a terrorist, anti-American, religious zealot, using Islam to justify militant extremism, Anti-modern, Anti-women rights, Anti-democracy Shady rich, and oil sheik.
But what ever way, the media looks at the issue; the journalists have to keep in
mind that their actions have profound effects on public’s perception of Islam and
the whole process of integration. A small part of the media world is critical of the
way, mainstream media handles the issues relating to ethnic minorities,
especially people of Muslim faith.In May 2004,journalists at the Daily Express in UK did refuse to write anti a sylum seekers stories against the will of the editors, the journalists at the Danish newspaper Politiken, have standing order to refrain from using the derogatory
words about Islam, the top management at the International federation of
Journalists in Brussels has cooperated in holding press meetings to talk about
media and minority issues. Many journalist unions in EU have established codes
of conduct and diverse ethnic relations committees to raise awareness among its
The portrayal of Arabs and Muslims varies by media type but it is typically stereotypical and negative, although improving especially in certain prestigious news organizations. Terrorism, anti-Americanism and the Iraq occupation dominate TV news coverage of the Middle East. There is an expression in the US about TV news: “If it bleeds, it leads.” News directors will lead news coverage with terror attacks, anti- American demonstrations, and hostage images to shock and engage jaded viewers. In American movies, stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims have been common for 50 years.
In the majority of movies that include an Arab character, it is a negative portrayal. Arabs are Terrorists, bumbling wide-eyed extremists, rich businessmen sheiks, or crass neighbors and undesirable outsiders. In some cases in TV shows, they are depicted as seemingly ordinary citizens but in quiet terrorist sleeper cells, waiting for an order to strike or sabotage on American soil. In the past 30 years of thousands of TV show series, there have been less than 10 characters who have been Arab-Americans. In print, stereotypes are not so obvious, except in cartoon caricatures, but they still occur and anti-Muslim bias is more insidious. The terms Islamic or Muslim are linked to extremism militant, jihads as if they belonged together inextricably and naturally (Muslim extremist, Islamic terror, Islamic war, Muslim time bomb). In many cases, the press talks and writes about Muslims in ways that would not be acceptable if the reference were to Jewish, black or fundamentalist
For solve this problem, first and foremost there must be a consensus across the board between American Muslims and European Muslims as to what the problems are and what best to do to affect change. There is a real need to communicate a more balanced view of Islam in the West. Western media organizations must see normal Muslims in everyday life, as professionals, educators, parents, community leaders and participants. Heroic and human interest stories featuring American, British and French Muslims must increase. American and European Muslims must become more active in the media as professionals (cameramen, journalists, editors, broadcasters). Muslims must call and write their local media when they see or hear invalid or bias reporting and shows. Beside that, sulaiman nyang, the director of MAPS (Muslim in American Public Square) ask how do you move from the basement to the ground floor to the penthouse”. So that, the image of Muslim in the west is tainting by the stereotyping which have became all too familiar. Time to time again these stereotyping are used to portray Muslim throughout the media because they are so recognizable.
Based on Nihad Awad, CAIR, explains “Newspapers, radio, television, all these venues are shaping the views and attitudes around the world. So it’s very important to have presence. Not to influence, not to control, not to have monopoly, but to be present, to be able to present it “The media for whatever reason is not interested in the moderate voice. It is important to create a balanced view in the media rather than continuing with the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims.” Salam Al Marayati Muslim Public Affairs Council feels “the media for whatever reason is not interested in the moderate voice.” It is important to create a balanced view in the media rather than continuing with the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims. The first thing to do according to Trevor Mostyn, Journalist, Expert of European Media Coverage, is “to always complain about bias coverage…to pick up the receiver and phone … it is a very important point…to telephone television and radio stations and complain about any sort of bias coverage and secondly to write letters to the press every time one feels something is being covered with a bias.” In addition to the above, Amir Husain of California State, feels that getting more Muslims involved on a grass roots level, such as, cameramen and writers could have a great impact. Depicting Muslims in day-to-day types of things will also help to eliminate the stereotypical images of Muslims being portrayed as terrorists. A good example of this came from The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) who launched a nationwide television and radio public service announcement (PSA) campaign, called "I am an American Muslim," designed to help reduce anti-Muslim discrimination and stereotyping. CAIR's 30 and 60-second PSAs feature American Muslims of European, African-American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. Each person in the spots states how they and their families have served America and stereotyping heritage. Each person in the spots states how they and their families have served America and ends by saying, "I am an American Muslim." Nihad Awad, CAIR’s Executive Director, said the PSAs are a result of growing demand for accurate and objective information about Islam and Muslims in America.
As a solution all Muslim need unity themselves and then they will not assumed from western people as a terrorist and make a war to them. We as a Muslim should realize and the take it as a serious thing and not only look to one side but we need to look forward in this era. To fight with power of America or western people we as Muslim need to get a unity and follow the rules of Islam so that this will solve and the image of Islam in all over the world will change and the their assumption will be wrong. Our prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) also said as a Muslim we should not start the war and make the chaos between Muslim and the other people. When we face the war from other people that time we can fight with them. He did not want us as a Muslim start the war. It is because Islam did not like the war. It is because when the war happen, there are many people will killing and then the woman and children will face with the bad environments such as they will killing trough cruel and then the children they killing when they still life. It is cruel and sadness. So that, we need to prevent or avoid the war to happen to us as a Muslim. The media should realize their role and did not bias and they need to be balance as a medium to transmit the news. So that the media need the rule to avoid the misuse of role and then they will follow that rule. They also need to censorship their media either news or other material of media before they apply or transmit to public. It is because the public was sensitive when the media neither publish some issue which is nor true or invalid. The media need balance with Islamic people and western people because we live in on world and one unity. So that, the media and the public need to cooperate the make sure this problem will not happen and solve.