The focus of the essay is the impact of media stereotypes against Muslims on social media. For many years, the media has portrayed Muslims in the world as violent people. Generally, social media has a lot of posts by people of other religions where Muslims are degraded and they are considered a highly inappropriate group. This has led to Islamophobia and also a lot of bullying has taken place. The negative portrayal of Muslims is everywhere (Alsultany, 2013). There are stigmatising and biased posts in the media due to which Muslims are not considered good people. However, this influences Muslims tremendously as they do not have equal opportunities and are also subjected to mistreatment of the people of other religions. Muslims including women and children do not get proper access to healthcare services and recognition in the system due to the fact they have been portrayed as terrorists in the media (Ahmed & Matthes, 2017).
There is a huge role played by the Media in creating negative things about Muslims in the world. Not only this but Muslims are often compared to terrorists. The media creates stereotypes such as whenever there is any terrorist activity anywhere in the world, it is due to Muslims only. As a result of this, Muslims are considered terrorists and people of other religion think twice when befreinding a Muslim person (Cherney & Murphy, 2019). There is a lot of hatred among the Muslim community due to the negative sterioretypes created by social media an dother forms of media in the world. When there are a lot of media reports by the Muslims being considered as terrorists, these reports do not even analyse the reason of why the event has taken place. People from other religions are considered innocent even if they have committed something wrong. The social media has made an entire image of Muslims as terrorists and no matter if they do wrong or right, they are treated badly (Elbih, 2015). This essay aims at analysing the stereotypes against Muslims on social media by considering the role of social media in an effective manner.
Role of Media in bad portrayal of Muslims
Different media platforms including TV, electronic news, social media have various posts that have resulted in developing stereotypes against Muslims. Lately, these media platforms have not played a positive role in portraying Muslims. There are a lot of negative stereotypes created on social media due to which the general public do not consider Muslims are innocent even if they have not done something wrong (Kurzman, 2018). Although Muslims have tried to change their media portrayal but this has not been effective. For instance, events such as the attack on Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India or attack on WTC are some of the examples in which Muslims were responsible for ruining the law and order. During the pandemic, Muslims were badly treated. For instance, Nizamuddin Markaz had a detrimental impact on the Muslims of India. People from Islam were denies treatment in most of the hospitals and even people from other religions refrained from buying groceries from Muslim vendors. Studies have indicated that Muslims who commit small crimes are considered as terrorists instead of criminals (Saleem et al. 2017). However, if criminal activities are carried out by non-Muslims, they are considered as criminals and not terrorists. Hence, due to the portrayal of Muslims, there is a rising prejudice among Muslims.
Not only social media but Television is another media platform which has contributed towards creating negative stereotypes against Muslims. The television channels are biased towards the religions. There are films and serials showing Muslims as bad people. These channels also show that Muslims kill people and their religion is not good as Muslims do not respect other people (Twocircles.net, 2019). Also, if there is any instance of rape, murder or any terrorist activity, it is conducted by Muslims. TV channels fabricate the incidents and try to include Muslim people. These channels encourage anti-Muslim hatred due to which Muslims are depicted as bad people. The movies show people Muslims as terrorists.
Islamophobia in media is the process of developing a perception that media portrays Islam in a negative way due to which Muslims are considered bad and Islam is considered a bad religion (Von Sikorski et al. 2017). People from other religions intensely dislike Muslims due to portrayal by the media in a negative light. As a result of this, there is a lot of hostility and prejudice experienced by Muslims in the media. There are a lot of reports in the Media that indicate how the Muslims community is misrepresented to society especially Msulims are portrayed as terrorists. The negative posts of the media often include use of Al-Qaida and the Taliban, recruitment and training of Terrorists. This influences the people from other religions and they get convinced about the Muslims being bad. Media is the primary source of information for the people due to which they have high trust on different media platforms. The information against Muslims posted on different media channels is trusted by the people as a result of which the process of Islamophobia continues. Different countries have different types of perspectives towards Muslims. However, the countries where Muslims are treated in a good way are very less. In countries like Canada, there are anti-Muslim people in majority due to which they do not treat Muslims equally and this makes it difficult for them to access opportunities in an effective way.
Recent media posts against Muslims
There is a huge circulation of fake posts and news by anti-Muslim people. The social media websites such as Facebook and WhatsApp have increased the hatred against Muslims across the world. A famous Instragrammer, Nazma Appi got huge popularity during the execution of CAA in India recently. She had posted videos indicating a Muslim woman role (Yusof et al., 2013). This inititaive is stereotyping Muslim women as illerate and uneducated. The Muslim women are illerate and also has many children. Although Muslims are talented but they do not get equal opportunities in the fields due to the negative stereotypes against them developed by social media. This has influenced the lives of Muslims immensely due to which they are bullied everywhere from office to public places, face trouble getting recognition especially in anti-Muslim countries and become victims of the bad behaviour shown by the people of other religions (Alsultany, 2013). Besides this, there have been many TV shows where Muslims were shown in a negative light and this has deteriorated the image of the entire community. People from other religions do not like making friends with Muslims due to trust issues and also due to their perception towards Muslims. There is a need to take steps to cope with these negative steriortpes and ensure that media channels do not portray the Muslim people in wrong light.
Steps to cope with the negative stereotypes
In order to cope with the rising stereotypes against Muslims created on social media, there is a need to focus on taking different initiatives. It is vital for the elders to teach their children regarding the significance of Islam and how all Muslims cannot be terrorists. As every religion comprises of good and bad people so do Islam. The parents should teach their children that terrorism is not about being Muslim. There are certain people in Islam who do all terrorist activities and claim that they do it for protecting their religion and in name of God (Yusof et al. 2013). it is due to these people that Islam is considered bad across the globe. There is a need for the media to encourage people about positivity of Islam and also motivate people to read Quran as its teachings can help a person lead a fruitful life. People also need to realise that Muslims who do bad activities in the name of religion have their personal opinions (Alsultany, 2013). It is the duty of Muslims to show people good side of their religion and try to change the perception of the people about islam. There is a need for fair media representation for Muslims such that the good side of Muslims can be shown and these media channels do not just portray Muslims in a negative character. As there is lack of coverage of positive news so it is dangerous for the people of other religions as they hardly trust Muslims and make them their friends. There is a need for covering stories where Muslims are shown as people who worship God and follow their holy book Quran in an effective way. The media channels should stop stories on Muslims and their violent activities as all Muslims are not like that. There is a need for the people from other religion tio stand in unity with muslims and also do not have any type of violence, discrimination and hatred among Muslims. The media channels need to conduct a thorough research before posting anything about Muslims and their activities. The media including social media, TV or print should not promote division instead focus on portraying Muslims in a positive way.
To conclude, it can be indicated that media can play a positive role in spreading awareness that Islam is not a bad religion and we should not consider Muslims as terrorists. These people are not terrorists and it is just due to certain people that the entire religion is considered bad. The media platforms can have documentaries about showing Muslims and their good side so that the perception of the people can be changed. Different media platforms such as social media, TV and print can have articles and blogs about the good side of Islam. This can help in breaking stereotypes against Muslims. Besides tihs, there is a need for cinemas and tele-serials to depict Muslims in a good way such that people can understand that islam is not a bad religion and there are good people in Islam also. This can help us befreind people from Islam and we will not be hesitating in talking to them or making them friends. It is vital that media broadcasts positive stories on Islam and how this religion is extremely beautiful. There are agroup of people in Islam who are helpful and show love towards people of other religion. This can encourage the cohesiveness and unity among people of other religions and Muslims. So this can change the perception of people towards Muslims and can make this world a better place to live in for the Muslims.
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