Islam in Media: Representation of Islam in Media

How is Islam is represented in the media? Particularly how factors like terrorism and extremism cause a huge spike of Islam being mentioned in the media over time. How does the portrayal of Islam encourage issues such as islamophobia, disproportionate representation, ‘British values’ being attacked, and more. I would like to explore if there is bridging between Muslims and other faiths and cultures, in not just the UK but internationally as well. I will be focusing on four key themes, these are feminism in Islam, patriarchy, terrorism, and Islamophobia.

In the mainstream media of today there is a current obsession discourse pertaining to Islam and the West. This obsession aims at portraying Islam in a negative image on a global level (Rob , 2011). How the media represent a certain group plays a significant role in creating an ideology about them daily. The media can stress on the various issues and can influence how the public perceives some specific cases and thus can control the mind of the viewers and their activities (Van Dijk 2017: 342).

Besides, the media can intentionally omit or ignores some kinds of problems or even marginalize them in favour of a stereotype social group. For example, in the United Kingdom, where this is usually by publishing such information on the newspapers or physically speaking.




One of the most debated topics on media forums regarding Islam is that it subjugates women. When the whole world was treating them as lesser beings, it was Islam that gave them the status of equality in every aspect especially education since, it preaches how education can enlighten people from right and wrong (Miller & Sack, 2010). Feminism is about the equivalence of people, not similarity among them. But the media never highlighted this side of the religion as they want people to view it as an outcast.

Feminism is a hot topic of discussion when it comes to media and its representation of Islam, and Muslims suggest that this topic is not just related to a group of women coming together, it is a deeper cause. Miller and Sack describe how other women feel reluctant in raising their voice for their colleagues or friends. The poise such questions as – why are we so afraid as a gender? Is it a religion that scares us or rather the society?




Another major point that the media represents regarding Islam is Patriarchy (Rob , 2011). Patriarchy is a system of relationships in which men hold the most power. The male figure is the head of household. Different religions have their own theories regarding this concept. Rob explains how the media has been portraying it as a patriarchal religion. However, in the Holy Quran, we come across many points in which male figures have more responsibilities than women. To state that women should be handled with care and men should take more burden.

He emphasizes how the misinterpretation of this has caused an uproar among people who are unaware of the facts and just rely on media as their source of information. For instance, in Quran God says that, “Men are guardians and managers over women” (al-Qur’an, 4:34) (Qadri, 2011). Gender inequality, a hot issue, is genetically ascribed to religion whereas its causes are purely non-religious. It originates from political, economic, social, and cultural factors. As for Islam, gender equality is part of its jurisprudence and fundamental teachings. Numerous Verses of the Qur’an and Prophetic Traditions enjoin gender equality. This categorically proves that gender inequality has no faith-base (Qadri, 2011). Islam by its nature is patriarchal.


Racism & Islamophobia


Arguments on the ideology of demonization by Arzu et al. (2018) outlines the position occupied by the media today in western countries in representing both the Islamic States and the UK. The researcher points out the role of media in passing and informing the public and shaping the other peoples’ ideas on how they view the field of journalism and in other unrelated fields. The researcher contributes that media serves as the core in various discourses like the beliefs and religion sectors in which they define the frameworks of the minority groups. Authors like (Amir, 2018) assess the relationship between media representation and racism.

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