The relationship that Muslims and the general society share has been affected over the past years. This worsened especially after 2001. The manner in which the media has been covering domestic matters as well as international occurrences which involve the Muslims is thought to be the main issue in the continuance of the negative view about Islam.
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With disregard to direct, first-hand information or contact with the Muslim nation, the mass media sadly becomes the main source of information regarding Islam. With the rest of the nation composed largely of other groups, the Muslims make a small portion of the country’s population.
This consequently offers a very constrained chance for personal contact with the Muslim people. This paper attempts to recreate a proper image for the Muslims from that already distorted by the Media.
From 1991, when the gulf war took place to time dating back to the revolution of Iran in 1979, Muslims have commanded a great deal of media coverage. Previously conducted research studies have gone ahead to prove that Islam has largely been depicted derogatively through the lenses of the mass media.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, more research has also proved not just a large increase in the percentage of media coverage especially concerning the Muslim nation but also an upsurge in the derogative nature of such media coverage.
This essay in no way attempts to imply that acts of violence, terrorism, and other violations of human rights perpetuated by the Muslim nation in the guise of religion are a creation of the media. Indubitably, this is the situation in many parts of the Muslim nation and also among a number of the Muslim people.
Nonetheless, to solely assume the mass media’s depiction of Islam as gospel truth and a picture of the real occurrences on the ground is incorrect except where a person considers that basing on the shapes of the mirrors, realities can also be distorted.
Maybe a better representation is to think of the media as being a window. It distorts the real scenario slightly because it hinders the scope as well as the viewing range basing on its size on the wall, where it has been set up, and the direction it has been placed.
The well-known trend of the mass media is to make an emphasis on the rare, unbelievable, and life threatening happenings in the Muslim world. Subsequently, when people depend more on the mass media to enable them understand Islam as a religion and the Muslim people; they will probably not understand the reality.
Their considerations of Islam will be controlled by what has been done and said by a few Muslims in certain contexts. This is an issue which can best be described as ‘mass media Islam’ since it goes hand by hand with the media depiction of Islam as compared to reality.
In conclusion therefore, it is important to observe that the mass media has played an important role in distorting the image of Islam. As noted, those that rely on media representation of Islam are less likely to appreciate and understand that Muslims are not as they are portrayed especially in the western media. The media has to stop generalizing Muslims when reporting their content but categorize the various groups.