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The Negative Portrayal of Islam: Jihad, Terrorists & the American Media

Uploaded by Bozana on Dec 08, 2002

A student in the University of British Columbia writes:
"HIJAB, the head to ankle covering that leaves only the face, hands and feet visible in public, has made me a very patient Muslim woman. [...] There are many who can't formulate words coherent enough to communicate their disapproval, and so, rely on simple gestures and sign language. Walking through downtown Vancouver, I've been fingered, spat on, scowled and cursed at." (Looks)

Whether in Vancouver, Minnesota or any other place the 1.2 billion Muslims around the world live and work, they have been taking a lot of “disapproval”. From the gestures to the stares and even glares, Muslims of the world, and particularly the West, have a lot to put up with. Scenes like the one above are not only commonplace in today’s society; they are viewed as the norm. The hijab, an Islamic symbol of modesty, is constantly seen as a bad thing. In the streets of London to Downtown Minneapolis, a dark skinned man with a beard is seen to be hiding an Uzi beneath the folds of his Muslim dress. And Islam, well it is safe to say, Islam does not evoke the peaceful message it was meant to.

Today’s American audiences disapprove. To them Islam isn’t peaceful or humble, it is violence and bloodshed. Islam, jihad. They know what the jihad is; they’ve watched it live on CNN. American audiences are “witnesses” to people who call themselves Muslims; fighting and killing in the name of a religion they call Islam. They saw the Pakistani army's excesses against Muslims (Bengalis) and the Mujahideen of Afghanistan and their mutual slaughter. (Khan) They know big bad wolf Saddam and his use of chemical weapons against Muslims (Kurds) and the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians when some men with beards plunged planes of them into great buildings. They see these “Muslims” killing in the name of a greater purpose on TV everyday. It must be true. However, the American audiences are being deceived. The “holy war” does not exist. What they are witnessing is in fact the confusion, hatred and in some cases, ignorance of terrorists/extremists. The negative portrayal of Islam and of jihad stems from bad people doing very bad things. Terrorists/extremists have turned Islam’s ideal of peace and harmony on its head. “Such actions, if not sanctioned by the religion, have no place with it. They are not Islamic...

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Uploaded by:   Bozana

Date:   12/08/2002

Category:   Religion

Length:   11 pages (2,576 words)

Views:   1710

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