Mohammed A. Siddiqi, a professor at Western Illinois University, said:
The coverage of Islam in major US newspapers contains most upsetting mistakes occur with the indiscriminate use of “fundamentalist” for any dedicated Muslim and the failure to distinguish between cultural practices that are national or regional in origin and not observed by Muslims in other countries.”
The New York Times was guilty of the latter mistake in a story from France dated January 11, 1993, about a Gambian woman jailed for mutilating the genitals of two baby daughters.
The news article said female circumcision was an “age-old Muslim ritual” that “was originally applied in Muslim countries to control women.”(1)
6 Ways in which media plays with words:
1- To hide or neglect information:
Focusing on a terrorist group of Muslims and portraying it as the whole Islam, or as if it is one of its teachings.
On the other side, terrorist groups of other religions are not focused on by the same degree and are portrayed as a ratio regardless their belief.
For the media to isolate Islam as a religion that fosters terrorism is biased and just plain irresponsible. In 1995, when Timothy McVeigh committed “the worst terrorist act in American history” by bombing the Oklahoma City federal building and killing 167 people, many of them children, reporters did not sensationalize the story by referring to McVeigh as a “Christian terrorist.”
Instead, after the Oklahoma City bombing, the TWA 800 disaster, and the Olympic bombing, Muslims and Arabs were initially blamed, which resulted in harassment of Arab-Americans and Muslims. After the Oklahoma bombing, this resulted in approximately 220 attacks against Arab-Americans and Muslims.
2- Omission of some information:
Sharing the extremes as Islam, but not sharing its teachings which totally show how it condemns terrorism nor sharing the attitude of the rest of Muslims against that.
3- Addition of information:
Such as the media claim that Islam ordered Muslims to kill non-Muslims. But in fact, Islam’s teachings are against killing any innocent whatever his belief.
Here’s the Qur’an so you can search by yourself. (Fighting against aggression or belief) http://legacy.quran.com/
4- Fabrication of information:
You can watch this video to know how the media fabricates information.
This video shows 10 lies of media about Islam.
5- Irrelevant comparison:
The media coverage is unfair when they deliver the news regarding attacks.
Watch this video, and judge for yourself whether the media toys with our brains or not.
The media generalized that all Muslims are terrorists and all terrorists are Muslims although the terrorist ratio of Muslims is little, and according to the FBI, Non-Muslims carried out more than 90% of all terrorist attacks in America.(3)
How should you judge the religion?
Who caused the 1st and the 2nd world war?
Who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Who has been killing the Palestinian every day since 1948?
No religion should be judged by selecting a few who associate themselves with a particular faith.
The religion should be judged by its teachings not by its people.
Our role towards media:
Don’t let the media tell you about Islam; do your own research. In order
to know Islam, you have to read the Qur’an and other books which explain the basics.
Islam is a beautiful religion which teaches that in order to obtain peace and happiness in life, we have to abide by God’s laws and make Him foremost in our lives. We also have to be tolerant of others and good to our families and neighbors always.
We know that there are horrible things happening in the world and that oftentimes in the news we hear about so-called Muslims committing acts of violence, but we as Muslims condemn all these acts of senseless violence and we say loudly and proudly that Islam has nothing to do with that.
Have you ever asked yourself why people are converting to Islam despite what they hear and see from Islamophobes and misleading Media?! The Answer is simply: They seek the truth and realize that Islam is the truth.
Don’t depend on a single source for news.
Compare what different media outlets say about an issue before making up your mind.