Table of Contents
2. Problem Statement
3. Research Questions
5. Significance of the Study
6. Literature Review
7. Findings and Discussion
7.3. The Netherlands
This paper aims to present how Media in Cyprus, France and the Netherlands portray the population of Muslim immigrants. This aspect deals with the terms of nationality, ethnicity and race as to the way they are related to the Muslim immigrants as a social group. Furthermore, this project deals with the way the societies of the three countries construct the identity of Muslim immigrants. Conceptions like nationalism and racism are to be investigated at this part of the project.
For the purposes of the project qualitative methodology will be followed. Specifically, as to the first part of the project as mentioned above, in order to discover the way media portray the Muslims, “Framing Analysis” will be adopted. There will be 8 articles picked for analysis from Cypriot, French and Dutch mainstream media, related to Muslim immigrants. In addition, in order to find out how the societies of the three countries construct the Muslims identity, “Content Analysis” will be used. In particular, 10 comments on mainstream media Facebook pages of each of the three countries mentioned, on posts related to immigration and Muslims will be used for analysis.
Finally, after the entire process of analysis, comparisons between the status of the three countries will be made in order to draw the final conclusion on how Muslim immigrants are percept through society and the media.
The role of media is to shape opinions and presenting a version as reality. Media are also believed and mostly expected to portray a fair picture on any issues occur both at local and international level. However, the media coverage on Islam and Muslims has reached a peak during recent decades, following the tragic events such as the Al-Qaeda attack of the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, and the London and Madrid bombings in 2004 and 2005 respectively (Ahlin & Carler, 2011: 1). Several researchers such as Zulkifli (2009) and Winegar (2008) found that Global Media tend to negatively depict Islam by associating it with terrorism (Yusof et.al, 2013: 105).
The fact that the ones allegedly responsible about these terrorism actions were all Muslim has been widely acknowledged and emphasized by western media, resulting to devastating consequences on the Muslim identity. An analysis from Gould and Klor (2014) shows that the 9/11 attacks included a backlash against the Muslim community in the US. The same study presents hate crimes on Muslims, which lead to an increased ethnic identity and demographic strength of the Muslim immigrants in the US.
The connection between Islam and terrorism lead to the entrance of Islam in the contemporary news cycle under an Orientalist perspective. As Said (1978) stated, Orientalism can be viewed as a “Western style for dominating, restricting and having authority over the Orient”. As a result, the reality created by media leads to lasting images and stereotypes about Muslims, as they have the ability to set the agenda which in combination with the overload of information in society makes it almost impossible for the people to critique messages on race or culture in any useful way (Kimberly, 2011: 92-93).
As to the role of Social Media now, the rise in the prevalence of hate groups in recent years is a concerning reality. Online, hate practices are a growing trend and numerous human rights groups have expressed concern about the use of the Internet—especially social networking platforms—to spread all forms of discrimination. As the Internet is being used as a powerful tool to reach audiences and build communities, as well as to spread racist propaganda, propagators of hate are now adopting the medium. The rise of popularity of Social Media lead to the circulation of online hate and racism (Ben-David & Matamoros-Fernandez, 2016: 1167-1168).
Furthermore, through the process of this research, there has been found out that major terms related to the study are being perceived in a different way between different languages. Specifically, definitions in Greek, French and Dutch present a different meaning of the terms as mentioned below:
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2. Problem Statement
As mentioned above, there is an extension of negative stereotype, discrimination and hatred towards Muslims by Global Media, especially after the terror attacks took place after 2001. Studies found that, the labeling attitude of Islam and terrorism tendency is very high. In addition, mostly negative discursive frames are found that represent Muslims or Arabs (Yusof et.al., 2013: 106).
A study on Danish Media and their setting and framing of Muslims showed that, the media coverage was dominated by “stories focusing on sharia, Islamists, discrimination of Christians, terror, freedom of speech, oppression of women etc. while stories that might provide the reader with a more nuanced picture of Muslims and Islam worldwide was more or less absent”. In addition, the same study found that almost the half of the foreign news stories presented Muslims and Islam in negative or even hostile tone. Almost none of the articles provided any positive perspective of Muslims and Islam.
Furthermore, as the study of Ben-David and Matamoros-Fernandez (2016) shows, in the era of digitality people have the opportunity to freely share content on the web, extremism phenomena are greatly increasing as racist expressions on social media have become a serious issue.
3. Research Questions
1. How Media in Cyprus, France and the Netherlands portray the population of Muslim immigrants?
2. How the societies of the three countries construct the identity of Muslim immigrants through the Social Media?
3. Which are the differences between the three countries as to the issues stated above?
For the purposes of the project qualitative methodology will be followed. Specifically, as to the first part of the project as mentioned above, in order to discover the way media portray the Muslims, “Framing Analysis” will be adopted. There will be 8 articles picked for analysis from Cypriot, French and Dutch mainstream media, related to Muslim immigrants. According to Reese (2001) frames are more than phrases as they are “organizing principles that are socially shared and persistent over time, that work symbolically to meaningfully structure to the social world”. Entman (1993) stated that framing is “to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communication text”. In addition, frames highlight some information and make them more visible to the public (Powell, 2011: 93). Each article1 was analyzed according to the Framing Guide (Appendix) constructed for the research purposes.
In addition, in order to find out how the societies of the three countries construct the Muslims identity, “Content Analysis” will be used. In particular, 15 comments on mainstream media Facebook pages of each of the three countries mentioned, on posts related to immigration and Muslims will be used for analysis. More specifically, the comments had been selected according to the model below:
1. The article had to belong to mainstream media
2. The article should be related to immigration/Muslims
3. The article should be shared as a post on the Media’s Facebook page
4. The first 1-2 comments of each post were picked (Only if were related to Muslim immigrants, in order to provide us the way of how the population of each of the three countries was constructing the identity of Muslim immigrants)
5. Significance of the Study
We hereby believe that this study will be able to properly analyze the way the Media of Cyprus, France and the Netherlands portray the population of Muslim immigrants through a period when the immigration issue and racism are continuously growing among the European countries. In addition, we aim to reveal the way the citizens of those countries construct the identity of Muslim immigrants through the Social Media which gain more and more importance as to the way people perceive the global issues. It is hoped that the findings and the conclusions as also the comparison between the three countries, will shed a light into the reasons behind the way western mainstream media frame Muslim immigrants and how people’s attitude towards the Muslim population and the way it is expressed through the Internet.
6. Literature Review
The role of Media is not just to present and depict information or images, but they also have the ability and power to shape opinions and present a particular version as reality (Yusof et.al, 2013: 107). Identifying frames in the Media has gained the attention of political communications research in the past two decades (De Vreese, 2005), including studies of how media affect the perceptions of immigration and integration (Vliegenthart & Roggeband, 2007; Igartua and Cheng, 2009). It is also noted by Entman (2006) that the complexity of national news and the lack of prior information that many individuals have on global issues or complicated political events tend to result in great framing effects through them, media try to uncomplicate a story by providing an understandable narrative to the audience (Lawlor, 2015: 922). Reese (2001) defines frames as “organizational principles that are socially shared and persistent over time, that work symbolically to meaningfully structure the social work”. Through the presentation of information, the elements the journalists choose to include and emphasize on, can affect and shape the audience’s perceptions (Powell, 2011: 93-94).
After the 9/11 incident, a huge terrorist labeling has been identified as Muslim fundamentalists or Islamists which had increased prejudices, discriminations and attacks against Muslims. Some of those labels given are “uncivilized” and “barbaric”. According to Yusof et.al. (2013: 109-110), the main labels that focused on Islam which had been long utilized by either a country or its media are:
i. Muslim leaders and public figures are violent and bad
ii. Islamic movements are associated with violence and with Jihad practicing
iii. Muslim countries are considered as a threat due to their advanced weapon development
iv. Muslims are straightly labeled as terrorists
v. The term ‘fundamentalism’ now belong to Islam and especially to Muslims who reject the idea of secularism
vi. Any struggle for independence in Muslim countries is portrayed as a terrorist movement
vii. Islam is the current global threat to humanity
viii. Several Muslim countries are considered as supporters of violence
Bayrakli et.al. (2018: 5), stated that, monitoring Islamophobia in Europe became an urgent need in the last few years. The phenomenon is continuously being increased, following economic recession and the rise of far-right politics.
1 The articles analyzed can be found on the Appendix section
- Quote paper
- Kyriakos Konstanta (Author)Shima Andalibi (Author)Barbara Chevenon (Author), 2018, The Perception of Muslim Immigrants through Society and the Media, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/450833