Is the Media Biased Against Muslims?

Nahid Afrose Kabir

in Young British Muslims

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780748641338
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653232 | DOI:
Is the Media Biased Against Muslims?

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This chapter examines the role played by the media in the formation of one's identity. It is argued that when media subjects a particular group through constant derogatory depictions, that group feels marginalised. The book applies this hypothesis to the case of Muslims in Britain, drawing on evidence from the field study and with reference to social identity theory. This chapter begins with Jenkins's observation: individuals, using stereotypical categories to define themselves, thus bring into being human collective life. Within this context, the chapter argues that respondents of this study often invoked media stereotypes to define themselves. Thus, the British media has induced the Muslim interviewees as a collective group. Arguably, by collectively resisting what they saw as unfair stereotyping by the media, the Muslims actually strengthened their Islamic identity. This chapter begins by providing a short discussion of some academic observations on the British media's representation of the minorities in order to grasp the concept of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. It then demonstrates the pattern of responses of 216 respondents on the British media and examines representations of Muslims in British print media. In addition the chapter looks at the language used in newspapers in terms of what this signified to readers and the images associated with the news reports, which were designed to further the audience's understanding and engagement in the news. The chapter ends by offering an analysis of various British newspapers' publications on three anniversaries of the 7/7 London bombings to review the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ press rhetoric.

Keywords: media; identity; Muslims in Britain; media stereotypes; British media; Islamic identity; representation of Muslims

Chapter.  14263 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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