Fern Disney A2 Media, 9/11 Islamessay. 2016.
The post 9/11mediation of Islamis biased and unfair, to what extent do you agree with this
Mediation is the process which the media goes through to shape and create the meaning of
an event influenced by the editors own values. For example, an editor of The Sun
Newspaper may have received a recording of a speech but only include parts that they
agree with/ shape it to support their opinion. This is also known as a form of bias as it is a
one sided form of media and not the full truth. Moreover, a collective identity is a set of
individual’s sense of belonging to the group or a collective who all share the same set of
values and traditions, in this case the collective identity is shaped by the religion of Islam.
Media is key in people’s learning in the modern society and can have a massive impact on
individuals sense of beliefs, this is supported by the statistic found by DR Chris Allen in 2012
that 64% of the British public claimthat what they do know is acquired through the media.
31% of the Earths religion is Christianity and 23% is Islam, This statistic was gather in 2010- 6
years ago, the percentages show how it isn’t a massive difference between the two regions,
which raises the question of why is it Islambeing targeted? In countries such as France and
Switzerland Muslims were faced with fine for wearing burkas in 2013, in Switzerland they
faced a £8000 fine. This is an item of clothing which represents their religion and what they
believe in. Although why can people walk around with the Christianity cross around their
neck and not get fined for it? It has been argued that this is due to events such as 9/11
which are giving Islama negative stereotype which is being reinforced through mediation. A
theory to support this is the hypodermic needle theory. This theory is when people are
given information and “wholly” go along with it.
Orientalism is the representation of Asian cultures in a stereotyped way. It was argued by
European artists of the 19th and 20th century that the east of the world is the uncivilized part
of the world and the west as the civilised and dominant. A characteristic of Orientalism is
that people see Muslims as uncivilised and inherently violent- this is reinforced by the
mediation of terror attacks such as 9/11. Another statistic found in 2006 suggests that the
press coverage relating to Muslims and Islamin British National newspapers had increased
by approximately 270% over preceding decade. Evidence for this includes the case study of
Lee Rigby. The Sun newspaper had a front page article of “BEHEADED ON A BRITISH
STREET”- this straight away is what viewers would find distressing. If people didn’t know
Muslims and didn’t look into news articles, people would be lead to believe that all Muslims
are like this, and it is argued that this is what is beginning to happen- thus leading to
Islamophobia. Furthermore, it has been argued that the use of Burkinis should be banned-
this is beach type of burka. The fact it has to be considered as offensive is wrong and unfair
because if their religion is that they don’t want people to see their skin, they should be
allowed to do so. Why is it that if you go to a beach abroad, you are more than likely to find
people naked, but if people were to wear a burkini it would be frowned upon?
A case study which can suggest the mediation of Islamis biased and unfair is one of The Sun
newspapers. In November 2015, The Sun released a newspaper with the headline titling- 1
in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadi. From first view of this the viewer may be very
shocked- which is obviously the newspapers intention to make people buy the paper.
However when researching further into this story, evidence has shown that this statistic was
merely shaped to the editors views- thus making this an unreliable source of information,
invalidating it as bias because it isn’t the true result. People were given questions such as “I
have a lot of sympathy with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria”, the
other questions were very similar with the amount of sympathy changed. As shown in this
question, the word jihadi is not mentioned- thus supporting how the editor of this article
merely twisted the results to be worse than they were. The results were that 4% said they
had a lot of sympathy and 15% said they had some- this added together is 19%- the figure
used in this article. Theorist Buckingham said “The press don’t present the facts, they re-
present them”- thus supporting how, the event is being fed through the words of someone
else- it’s their point of view. With The Sun being a Right Wing influence newspaper, this
shows how their influence of this newspaper is the conservative ideology- stereotypically
suggesting that anyone other than the rich British are inferior. Therefore showing their
values and attitudes massively shaped this article. Thus proving how western press
represent Islamin a biased and unfair way- reinforcing Islamophobia as a form of cash crop
for people to buy this newspaper. Furthermore with an average of 12.2m readers per week,
The Sun is said to be the most read both print and online newspaper which can have an
impact according to the hypodermic needle theory. If that many people were to read the
newspaper, read the facts it publishes and not look further into it, people may believe these
to be true, therefore showing how the mediation of Islamis unfair because they are twisting
facts in order to make people believe in something which is merely a stereotype.
It can be argued that Todorovs theory links in with the post 9/11perception of Islam. This is
because at first, people were unsure whether the act was a mistake, but then when it
happened again, there was a disruption from equilibrium as people then knew it was a
terror attack. Yet recently there has been the creation of Gram-0, the memorial for
everyone who died in these attacks. Showing how strong America wants to be portrayed-
they can come back form it- restoring the equilibrium.
As time has continued, it can be argued that Islamophobia is proceeding to get worse, this
is because there have been more attacks with have been used with in mediation to rule the
entire religion as “Violent, aggressive, threatening, supporting of terrorism”- as suggested
by Runnymede Trust. An example of Islamophobia occurring due to attacks is what
happened after the Paris attacks last year, an average of 2000 police raids were convicted
against Muslims, proving the stereotype being formed. Todorovs theory can also be
included here because the attacks happened- the break of equilibrium, but then all
countries around the world supported Paris, in ways such as, in London they had the colours
of the French flag around the London Eye, other countries had the same on their landmarks-
showing the restoration of equilibrium by countries forming unity. Furthermore, these
attacks are implying a collective identity between everyone who hold the religion of Islam.
Just because the religion is the same, does not imply that everyone is mindlessly violent and
going to plot a terrorist attack- the way mediation is implying so.
To conclude, mediation is an unfair and biased representation of Islambecause the media is
forming ideas/ “facts” to be able to earn money, they are giving out questions, yet changing
the meaning to fit their values and therefore, encouraging and reinforcing Islamophobia
because of their influence/ objective.