Religion / Does The Media Correctly Portray Islam?

Does The Media Correctly Portray Islam?

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Autor:  anton  26 October 2010
Tags:  Correctly,  Portray
Words: 830   |   Pages: 4
Views: 425

In a recent survey, a television network randomly asked people what came to mind when they heard the word Islam (Boston Globe 2005). The majority of the responses were 9/11, terrorists, suicide bombers, Saddam Hussein, and other things along those lines. This may have reinstated the opinions of those who thought poorly of Islam, and already believed it to be a “United States hating” terrorist religion. Now I see these fallacies even more clearly because I too had similar beliefs; but after taking a course on terrorism, I have since reconsidered my outlook. The survey did show to viewers, with more knowledge of Islam, the common misconceptions that many people in this country have. After 9/11 it was quite difficult for the media to shine light on the peaceful religion that is Islam. However obvious it may have seemed to some, they still should have explained that the terrorists did not represent the population as a whole, and that not all Middle Easterners are anti-USA. Many people still do not know the difference between you’re average Islamic person, and Islamic Extremists. The media has a responsibility to contribute to Americans understanding of Islam and Islamic Extremism, and with my newfound knowledge I feel I have a responsibility to inform others of these erroneous beliefs.

The word Islam can mean submission, surrender, reconciliation, resignation, secure, to be safe and sound, and many others. This may surprise those who do not know the distinction between Islam and Islamic Extremists. Islamic Extremists are groups of people who hate the United States, and are against any other religion but their own. Extremists tend to exaggerate the Qur’an in their favor, to give a purpose to killing thousands of innocent civilians. If you take the actions of the Islamic Extremists, and you then look at the basic attributes of a Muslim you will find that they contradict what they supposedly stand for. Another common misinterpretation is that Muslim, and Arab are interchangeable terms. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even though most Arabs are in fact Muslims, over 12 million Arabs are Christians and Jews, and only about a fifth of the Worlds 1.5 billion Muslim Population is made up of Arabs.

The fact that Islam is a religion with many similarities to Judaism and Christianity should show that Islam is not a word to fear, but to many Americans that is not enough. The media needs to show that Jihad is not a terrorist, but a word for Holy War. There are so many aspects of Islamic faith that are seldom discussed, which need to be put out in the open. There is now a clear Muslim presence in the US with numbers over six million (est.), making them the second largest religious group in the United States. They are normal people just like you and me, but follow all the rules being Muslim. There are many connections between Christians, Jews, and Muslims such as the fact that Abraham, Solomon and the queen of Sheba, and the disciples of Jesus were all mentioned in the Qur’an. These facts need to be repeatedly told to the American public, not to force them to like Islam, but to show them that it isn’t what they thought.

One of the strongest arguments against the fact that many Americans still believe Islamic Terrorists represent their religion as a whole, is that every religion has extremists, and extremist groups. Just because these groups say they are a part of that religion doesn’t mean they represent the majority. The Ku Klux Klan was one of the most infamous Christian hate groups that targeted minorities. The American public most certainly doesn’t think of the entire Christian population to be anything like the Ku Klux Klan. The Jewish Defense League was a group compiled of Jews who were anti-Arab, and against other races and religions. The JDL used bombings and other vicious tactics to kill those who opposed them. However, the Jews today are never confused with their extremist counterpart. The point is that just because Islam has a small amount of Extremists doesn’t mean that Islam isn’t a peaceful religion.

Islam should never be seen as a Hateful religion, or a terrorist organization. They should be viewed like Christianity, or Judaism with an open mind. To condemn something one doesn’t know everything about is wrong to do; yet that is what many Americans are doing. They dislike Islam because of 9/11, even though only a select few out of the 1.5 billion people of Islamic faith have extreme views. These Extremists distort what the original religion truly stands for, and focus everything that has gone wrong in their lives to the US. The media really needs to step in here and clarify everything that is misunderstood about Islam. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to y understanding of other such complex ideas throughout my time in college learn the true nature of this fascinating culture. My hope is to further broaden m



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