Cultural understanding in the media
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Cultural Understanding in the Media. By Jason Rix. What is Islam? What is a Muslim?.

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Cultural Understanding in the Media

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Cultural understanding in the media

Cultural Understanding in the Media

By

Jason Rix


What is islam what is a muslim

What is Islam?What is a Muslim?


Cultural understanding in the media

Due to mass media and the intercultural communication issues that go along with it, mass media highlights the intercultural communication differences between Americans and Muslims, greatly contributing to the conflicts that arise between these two cultures.


Cultural differences

Cultural Differences

Americans

Muslims

Collectivistic

High-context

Democracy and Individual Freedoms Often Questioned

Over 1 Billion People Under One Common Religion

Known for Oil and Terrorism

  • Individualistic

  • Low-context

  • Culture Built on Democracy and Individual Freedoms

  • 300 Million People of Various Religions

  • Represented as Western Colonizers


Media representation

Media Representation

Mainstream U.S. Media

Al-Jazeera

Numerous times contextual miscommunications have caused conflict such as referring to suicide bombers as “martyrs,” or their representation of Iraqi civilians as ‘invaded’ rather than ‘liberated’ during the recent U.S. conflict in Iraq (Al-Jenaibi, B, 2010).

  • Islam became prevalent in American media due to oil, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and terrorism, therefore this is how Muslims have come to be known in the West (Powell, 2011, p. 92).

  • While the majority of Muslims were opposed to the actions taken by Islamic radicals that day, increased media coverage of those events has painted all Muslims in the light of extremists (Dunsky, 2007, p. 42).


Media s role in intercultural communication

Media’s Role in Intercultural Communication

  • Nonverbal Implications Through Images

  • Miscommunication Over Language

  • Presentation of the Hijab or Veil

  • Muslim Identity Crisis


Nonverbal implications through images

Nonverbal Implications Through Images

  • Bin Laden as the Face of Islam

  • Creation of Stereotypes

  • 9/11 Perpetrators

    • Kimberly Powell (2011) says that “since the 9/11 perpetrators were Arab; Muslim, brown ‘others’ became the symbol of Islam to the agenda setters in media, thus becoming representative of Islam” (p. 92).


Miscommunication over language

Miscommunication Over Language

  • Various definitions are referenced in the Qur’an, and mass media does little to search out the true meaning (Hedahl, 2009).

  • Jihad and Its Various Meanings

    • Islamic radicals project jihad as a holy war to their followers, while using the power of the Arabic language to drive home their interpretation of jihad (Barker, 2009).

    • “Islamist advocacy groups argue that jihad is a peaceful, internal struggle” (Barker, 2009).

  • Media’s Role in Miscommunication

    • It has only come about recently that media attempts to portray jihad as a spiritual way of life to the American public (Hedahl, 2009, p. 225).


Presentation of the hijab or veil

Presentation of the Hijab or Veil

  • The U.S media and Americans view women in Islamic culture as oppressed. Women in Islamic culture, according to those in the media, are defined by the clothing they wear (Tolson, 2008).

  • Hijab as a Positive Form of Expression

    • “Young Muslim women who have taken on the veil after an identity-searching, religious-awakening, group-consciousness experience are eager to talk about this experience among other Muslims” (Ahmad, 2008, p. 98).


Muslim identity crisis via media

Muslim Identity Crisis Via Media

  • Globalization

    • A major reason for uncertainty towards Western civilization is fear that with globalization, Islam will lose its identity (Abushouk, 2006, p. 493).

  • Nurallah (2010) says that Islam is stereotyped by various media in the U.S. For Muslims who are trying to promote a more peaceful image, the media is laying the groundwork for a violent and oppressive Islamic identity.

  • With this being said, Islam must communicate this vision of their identity to themselves (Abushouk, 2006, p. 501).


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • “The problem is the dialogue between civilizations cannot be conducted between two stereotypes and false positions. The media on both sides appear to be more interested in sales and ratings than objectivity and the truth” (Ahmed, 2006, p. 23)

  • For Americans, the lack of understanding and experiences of mainstream Muslims throughout a world in which Islam has a major role (Jackson, 2010, p. 17) is discouraging for positive outlooks on future improvements in intercultural communication.


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