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A particular feature of conflicts between people at a global level lies in the identification of cultural, ideological, and economic differences. In their intentions to understand each others’ attitudes, cultures, and beliefs, people find it normal to use the media as their main source of information.
In light of this necessity and the impossibility of avoiding prejudice and stereotypical representations in media, Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (2012) wrote the article “Stereotypical Representations of Muslims and Islam Following the 7/7 London Terror Attacks: Implications for Intercultural Communication and Terrorism Prevention” to analyze the effects of the 7/7 London attacks and examine how attitudes towards Muslims and Islam developed. In this article, the author relies on the ideas of the famous political scientist Samuel Huntington, who discussed the importance of replacing ideology and business with culture.
It is not enough to analyze terrorist attacks that are reported in the media and promote a clash of civilizations (Shaw, 2012). The key argument of this article is the impact of cultural miscommunication and hostility against Muslims on encouraging discrimination, and the destructive stereotypes that affect such areas as peace journalism, human rights journalism, and intercultural communication (Shaw, 2012). Since many modern people are concerned about developing effective multicultural relations, this article may make a significant contribution to understanding Muslims and the nature of terrorist attacks.
The article under discussion introduces implications for intercultural communication and for discussing the ways terrorism may be prevented in the modern world. In the opening part of the article, the author sets several goals and explains what kind of work should be done to provide answers to various questions and concerns about the media. Today’s terrorist attacks have a definite impact on the development of misunderstandings between cultures, and it is important to clarify the specific features of modern intercultural communication and the wars that are described by journalists.
The structure of the article contributes to the discussion of the topics defined in the beginning. Intercultural communication should be understood as a true combination of the two terms “culture” and “communication” (Shaw, 2012). Journalism challenges the current economic, social, political, and cultural balance to promote justice and human rights. Relying on other researchers’ articles and studies, Shaw (2012) explains the role of stereotypes and the need for people to “define first and then see” (p. 514). Positive stereotypes help to prevent media terrorism and improve intercultural communication.
The strongest aspect of the article is the author’s combining of opinions from different people and development of a personal understanding of the relationships between cultures, stereotypes, and the representation of civilization in media. Still, the author is so focused on the identification of different points of view that it is hard to recognize if the article is independent research or just an evaluation of someone’s ideas. The 7/7 London terror attacks promoted the development of a number of negative outcomes and stereotypes (Shaw, 2012). The event was the cause of different discourses and debates. The message of the article is not entirely new, but it can be expected to offer some new lessons and perspectives on the chosen topic.
In general, the article provides a solid basis for future research on stereotypical representations of nationalities and terrorist attacks. It is easy to read and understand the main aspects of the author’s discussion and investigate the connection between the fields of communication, language, and culture. Cultural miscommunication and hostility against Muslims cannot be neglected in the modern world because these concepts help to define the attitudes people develop and the relationships they want to have.
Shaw, I.S. (2012). Stereotypical representations of Muslims and Islam following the 7/7 London terror attacks: Implications for intercultural communication and terrorism prevention. The International Communication Gazette, 74(6), 509-524.