This book considers how the coverage of Islam and Muslims in the press informs the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims. As media plays an important role in society, analysing its influence(s) on a person’s ideas and conceptualisations of people with another religious persuasion is important. News reports commonly feature stories discussing terrorism, violence, the lack of integration and compatibility, or other unwelcome or irrational behaviour by Muslims and Islam. Yet there is little research on how non-Muslims actually engage with, and are affected by, such reports. To address this gap, a content and discourse analysis of news stories was undertaken; verbal narratives or thoughts and actions of participants were then elicited using interviews and focus groups. The participant accounts point towards the normativity of news stories and their negotiated reception patterns. Individual orientations towards the media as an information source proved to be a significant factor behind the importance of news reports, with individually negotiated personal encounters with Muslims or Islam further affecting the meaning-making process. Participants negotiated media reports to fit their existing outlook on Islam and Muslims. This outlook was constructed through, and simultaneously supported by, news reports about Muslims and Islam. The findings suggest a co-dependency and co-productivity between news reports and participant responses. This research clearly shows that participant responses are (re)productions of local and personal contextuality, where the consequences of socially constructed depictions of Islam and Muslims engage rather than influence individual human thoughts and actions.
prevalent reporting on the Middle East focuses on terrorism, related groups (e.g. Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab) and their origins, and their links with Middle Eastern nation states. This tendency of reporting ignores and underappreciates the agency and independence of such groups, as well as the local contests of power that incite terroristic atrocities. The strategic agendas of these groups are linked to the strategic agendas of nation-states in the dominance of regions and struggle for power in those contexts. Yet when people exhibit certain characteristics in their
, literary, artistic, and filmic characters.”
It is also important to bear in mind that while negative imagery is pervasive, even the positive stories that are broadcast can be used to legitimise a negative image of Muslims. The positive stories that are broadcast about Muslims and Islam contrast greatly with reports of terrorism and unwelcome behaviour. However, because of the pervasive nature of the negative stories it can be argued that those depictions have become the norm and that the positive stories, or stories
that discuss terrorism, violence, other unwelcome or irrational behaviour, or the lack of integration and compatibility of Muslims and Islam with Western values and society. This is increasingly seen as underpinning Islamophobia, and as a cause for the increasing violence perpetrated against Muslims. Yet there is little empirical research on how non-Muslims engage with, and are affected by, media reports about Islam and Muslims. This book addresses the gap in this knowledge by using data that looks at how news stories elicit participants’ verbal narratives or
people will care.’ 92 Contemporary policy definitions of radicalisation processes have emphasised the adoption or expression of radical opinions and views. 93 Donatella Della Porta has pointed to the EU’s definition of violent radicalisation as ‘the phenomenon of people embracing opinions, views and ideas which could lead to acts of terrorism (European Commission 2005)’. 94 She goes on to state ‘ideological radicalisation (such as the adoption of certain ideas) has thus been defined as “the mental prerequisite to recruitment” (Jenkins 2007:2).’ 95
This research offers an important discussion of the audience's perspectives and reactions to their experience of Muslims and Islam in the media. Emerging clearly are a number of issues related to current media practices, including the importance of media on daily lived experiences, and the negotiation of meaning by participants in their media practices. Often the dominant issue in the news is Muslim terrorism and violence. This is consequently considered to be an important subject among the participants, and that is commensurable with their
’ – that step, according to him, ‘is frequently taken’.
Further, a number of additional factors, political and psychological, are brought in by Mandel to account for the particular result that was the Nazi genocide. Amongst these factors are: a desperado elite holding political power; the va banque aggression unleashed by it in conjunction with sectors of big business; a policy of state terrorism with ‘an implacable logic of its own’; the passive complicity of thousands of people, civil servants and other executive agents; and ‘a fetid substratum of
the area) came under criticism from prominent radical republicans regarding an advertisement for ‘crime stoppers’ which was carried on some of the Black Taxis. 42 A statement by radical republican Alex McCrory was published on the Saoradh website on 11 February 2017:
Is it now to be the case that the people’s taxis are to be used to promote the very agency that colluded in the murder of many of its employees? Lest it be forgotten, the PSNI incorporates the trained killers and directors of terrorism of the RUC … Have we forgotten so much that
Muslim integration, the rural dimension and research implications
, 2006 ); Tahir Abbas , ‘ Muslim minorities in Britain: integration, multiculturalism and radicalism in the post-7/7 period ’, Journal of Intercultural Studies , 28 : 3 ( 2007 ), 287 – 300 ; Husband and Alam, Social Cohesion and Counter-terrorism: A Policy Contradiction? ; and Robert S. Leiken , Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of the Second Generation ( Oxford : Oxford University Press , 2012 ).
20 The importance of these factors is also recognised in Hopkins and Gale (eds), Muslims in Britain .
21 See Lucassen, The Immigrant Threat ; and Jan
Anti-racism, equal opportunities, community cohesion and religious identity in a rural space, 1999 onwards
terrorism’, and a perceived lack of integration more generally, Britain’s Muslim communities have found themselves at the centre of this policy drive for commonality. 9 The widely criticised Prevent strategy, the 2016 government-commissioned Casey Review, and frequent allegations of social and economic isolation, low levels of English-language proficiency, and regressive religious and cultural practices ensured that Muslims continued to be the main focus of the community cohesion agenda. 10 There was also a simultaneous number of changes with regard to Britain’s anti