Avoiding media stereotypes of Islam

13 February 2015

A doctor. A teacher. A mother. A friend. A student. All are trying to merely get by in society and all are not defining their whole identity by their religion.

For undergraduate student Hadia Elahi, the media portrayal of Islam in recent months has been troubling. In the new ANU Reporter, she speaks out against stereotypes of Islam and the term 'Islamophobia'.

"One of the most prominent roles of the media is representation. In particular, the action of speaking on behalf of a certain section of society, portraying them in a specific way.

In light of recent reports, it is evident that an abundance of the media seems to depict the religion of Islam negatively. This has the potential to construct an image of Islam that reflects terrorism, extremism and antipathy to opposing religions and individuals.

When I hear some sections of the media using phrases such as “the Arab world” and “the Muslim world”, my mind flashes to those terrible science-fiction space television shows screeching some ominous music and a title that screams across the screen in eerie lime green text The Muslim World."

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