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Understanding perceptions of Muslims in the news

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.

The case of the management of the dead related to COVID-19
Ahmed Al-Dawoody

This article studies one of the humanitarian challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis: the dignified handling of the mortal remains of individuals that have died from COVID-19 in Muslim contexts. It illustrates the discussion with examples from Sunni Muslim-majority states when relevant, such as Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Pakistan, and examples from English-speaking non-Muslim majority states such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and Australia as well as Sri Lanka. The article finds that the case of the management of dead bodies of people who have died from COVID-19 has shown that the creativity and flexibility enshrined in the Islamic law-making logic and methodology, on the one hand, and the cooperation between Muslim jurists and specialised medical and forensic experts, on the other, have contributed to saving people’s lives and mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Muslim contexts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Hakim Khaldi

security pact (a sort of safe passage enabling non-Muslims to benefit from protection for a limited period). In addition to the guarantee of security given to MSF’s staff, it is interesting to note the group’s openness to maintaining the gender mix in the MSF hospital and to permitting treatment of all patients without discrimination. In the local context, this meant the right to treat PYD/YPG militants. In fact, members of MSF’s Syrian team had contacted the local ISIL leaders

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Laurens de Rooij

In summation, how do depictions of Muslims and Islam in the news inform the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims in England? The way that non-Muslims use the news to inform themselves about Islam and Muslims is based on a triangulation of three things: (1) the role that the news and media take in an individual's life; (2) the opinion a person has of Muslims and Islam based on their pre-existent knowledge; and (3) the experiences and contact a person has with Muslims. But all this is framed with a personal narrative of the self, that is, the

in Islam in British media discourses
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Fiqh al-Aqalliyat (Muslim jurisprudence on minorities); Dina de-Malchuta Dina (the law of the kingdom is the law); Dar al-Islam (abode of Islam); Dar al-Harb (abode of war)
Amikam Nachmani

; those that deny it will surely be the losers. Al-Baqarah (The Cow) (Koran 2:120) Classical Islamic sources and theology do not raise the possibility of Muslims living as minorities. A single case is mentioned in the Koran in which Muslims lived among infidels; this exception proves the rule, viz., Muslims should not live among a non-Muslim majority. A Muslim community was formed in Medina; those who remained as a minority in Mecca should not expect their Medinan coreligionists to rush to their help: Those that have embraced the Faith and fled their homes, and fought

in Haunted presents
Laurens de Rooij

.”  5 What the reporting has done is to reduce every act a Muslim undertakes to a ritual expression of their (religious) identity. This excludes Muslims from undertaking non-religious actions or making decisions based on other things. In addition to this, the news prescribes normative religious practices to Muslims, and informs non-Muslims of standard religious practices. This ignores the fact that many Muslims in Britain and abroad have a diversity of practice and therefore do not undertake such

in Islam in British media discourses
Laurens de Rooij

supplement existing explorations of media consumption by members of the English public. Participants in the focus groups and the observational study were non-Muslim volunteers recruited through advertisements. They were then selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Focus groups provided an opportunity to collect and analyse participant practices – by observing their media consumption during their participation, and then through discussion, by gathering their “perspectives”  6 and “social meaning

in Islam in British media discourses
The case of Maghrebi Muslims in France
Florence Bergeaud-Blackler

of Muslim coexistence with non-Muslims. May a meal be shared with a non-believer? May a Muslim marry a non-Muslim? In whose presence may a Muslim woman remove her veil? The religious authorities at all levels – fuqaha, oulema and imam – face the difficult task of finding answers to these modern-day issues while relying for guidance on ancient religious texts. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Islam recognises certain practices inherited from the two preceding monotheisms, Judaism and Christianity, religions with which it maintains special

in Qualities of food
François Burgat

imaginary of French non-Muslims is equally tied to their representations of political dynamics on the other side of the Mediterranean. Often, during the Algerian “Civil War” of the 1990s for instance, the Mediterranean border disappeared; the Algerian conflict was exported to France, and France took an active part in it—on both sides of the Mediterranean. Authorities on both sides, from the generals in Algiers to France’s Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, united against a common enemy—the Islamists who had won at the ballot box—and found a common interest in doing so

in Understanding Political Islam
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Thinking across
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

exclusivism, while also being subject to the lure of dominant white culture. Muslim and non-Muslims must also, as per Ian Iqbal Rashid’s work, become attuned to each other’s wavelengths; that is, to the various demands placed on them by their different histories, located as they are at the interstices between colonial and postcolonial modernities and diasporic postmodernity. Queer Muslims also excavate, from their diasporic vantage points, the homoerotic cultural archives buried by modern homophobia, as we saw in the work of Ferzan Özpetek. In turn

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film