Muslims and the Media: ASU MSA Halaqa

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This presentation looks at how Muslims are portrayed in the news, media and public currently and discusses ways to proactively share stories and create a dialogue that highlights a positive, accurate image of Islam.

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  • Muslims can emphasize the core features of Islam, which are compassion and mercy. God’s two greatest names are Rahman (compassionate) and Raheem (merciful). Unfortunately, in the media, Muslims are depicted as having the opposite characteristics as Rahman and Raheem. They are depicted as cruel and violent. This is the challenge Muslims face and they must restore the true image of Islam in America today. They have the microphone. People are listening to them. This is what they should focus on, the enduring qualities of Islam as a world civilization and not be so defensive. They must be proud, confident, and take the true message of Islam to America-Dr. Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC.
  • Muslims and the Media: ASU MSA Halaqa

    1. 1. Muslims and the Media Nesima Aberra and Nidah Chatriwala MSA Halaqa 10.26.11
    2. 2. Introductory Thoughts <ul><li>“ The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Malcolm X </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Nesima Aberra <ul><li>Biography </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism and global studies student </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate about communication for social good, diplomacy and nonprofits </li></ul><ul><li>Want to use media to be a voice for important social causes and to be a better ambassador for Islam </li></ul>
    4. 4. Nidah Chatriwala <ul><li>Biography : </li></ul><ul><li>Originally from India </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate journalist </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams of leaving a mark in seeking peace and rebuilding a positive image of Muslims </li></ul>
    5. 5. Islam in the News <ul><li>Islam was the No.1 Topic of Religion in 2010, Pew Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Main Stories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Park51/ “Ground Zero Mosque” 22.7% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pastor’s Quran burning 18.8% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obama the secret Muslim 6% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upcoming 9/11 anniversary 4.7% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Islam replaced the Catholic Church in top news coverage </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Special Reports on Islam <ul><li>CNN: Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigates “Sharia law” fear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opposition to mosques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Murfreesboro, TN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ABC: Faith and Fear: Islam in America Town Hall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looked at Muslims before and after 9/11 attacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talked to group of Muslim and non-Muslim American teens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undercover report on anti-Muslim bigotry, don the hijab </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Attitude Towards Islam <ul><li>Favorable of Islam: 41% to 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Unfavorable of Islam: 36% to 38% </li></ul><ul><li>No opinion of Islam: 23% to 32% </li></ul><ul><li>55% do not know very much or nothing at all about Islam </li></ul><ul><li>35% know some about Islam </li></ul><ul><li>9% know a great deal </li></ul>From July 2005 to Aug 2010
    8. 8. Media Trust <ul><li>66% say news stories often are inaccurate </li></ul><ul><li>77% think that news organizations tend to favor one side </li></ul><ul><li>80% say news organizations are often influenced by powerful people and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just Muslims who aren’t happy… </li></ul>Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, July 2011
    9. 9. The Usual Suspects <ul><li>Our identity according to the media </li></ul>
    10. 10. Rage against the Islamophobia Machine <ul><li>The voices against Islam are louder, stronger, more repetitive, strategic and prominent… </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing about it? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Being a Muslim American Journalist
    12. 12. Muslims and PR <ul><li>People want to know more about Muslims and </li></ul><ul><li>Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Be proactive in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Invite and educate each other </li></ul><ul><li>Use your voice and fulfill your civil duties </li></ul><ul><li>Gain media exposure for positive spotlight </li></ul><ul><li>Cure Islamophobia </li></ul>CAIR PSA on American Muslims MAS I am Muslim video
    13. 13. Muslims A&E Frank Miller, Holy Terror Aasif Mandvi’s The Qu’osby Show
    14. 14. Positive Responses <ul><li>Using media to proactively or reactively address stereotypes and misconceptions </li></ul>Reza Aslan on the arts as cultural diplomacy
    15. 15. Muslims Wearing Things <ul><li>“ Former NPR analyst Juan Williams, among other ignorant people, has an irrational fear of Muslims, and thinks you can identify them based on what they look like. Here I will post pictures of Muslims wearing all sorts of things in an attempt to refute that there is such a thing as &quot;Muslim garb&quot; or a Muslim look.” </li></ul>
    16. 16. Raise Your Voice <ul><li>CHECK OUT! Muslim American Image Makeover Panels Blog @ nidahc.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>Topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Modesty vs. Hijab </li></ul><ul><li>9/11 Impacting Muslim Americans Even Today </li></ul><ul><li>Most Diverse Movie Night </li></ul><ul><li>Vote for a Muslim American President? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Muslim Media Outlets <ul><li>Muslim Voice newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>Salam TV AZ </li></ul><ul><li>Islamic Speakers Bureau Arizona </li></ul><ul><li>GuideUS TV </li></ul><ul><li>Aslanmedia.com </li></ul><ul><li>Emel.com </li></ul><ul><li>Ummahpulse.com </li></ul><ul><li>Elanthemag.com </li></ul><ul><li>Altmuslimah.com </li></ul><ul><li>Muslimahmediawatch.com </li></ul><ul><li>Thecrescentpost.com </li></ul>
    18. 18. We are the media <ul><li>-Focus on core features of Islam: compassion and mercy </li></ul><ul><li>-Don’t be defensive </li></ul><ul><li>-Be proud, confident, stay true to the message </li></ul>Distribute, Advocate and Monitor
    19. 19. Discussion Questions <ul><li>What has your experience with the media been? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you satisfied with the current level of media activism by American Muslims? </li></ul><ul><li>What positive stories/voices of Muslims have you seen? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are more diverse stories on Muslims not being covered? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you use social media and new media to “take back” your Muslim identities and spread truth? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we avoid looking at media as an enemy or savior of Muslims? </li></ul>

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