“Muslim caught for robbery”, “Suspicious Muslim arrested for carrying a firearm” and many more news headlines. These are but a few instances where the Islam religion is being dragged unto the side of the foe, the negative, the wrong doer, and the aggressive ones. Media news and headlines even spices up this notion of hatred through massive broadcasts all throughout the vast populace. With media’s power in building out image and at the same time to destroy such, it can be very much evident today as with the case of Anti-Islam propaganda.
Some commentators would say that negative media attacks to Islam emanated from the September 11 incident wherein an alleged terrorist from an Arab country bombed and attacked the World Trade Center in New York. If this is the origin of the current media attacks, then it would be the dumbest reason at all. In reality, negative propaganda and religious attacks to Islam can be traced back in history.
In the earlier years when the drive for conquest is on the surge, religion played an important role in nation building (the case of the Ottoman and Moorish in Europe). At the same time that Christianity and other major religions flourish, Islam had its own share of glory and success. Islam at that time had the opportunity and gaining widespread acceptance on the Western World, faster than other religions. Of course, human’s nature of greed for more power and territory had caused other religions to retaliate against Islam. Other than the use of brute force, attacks were made through use of word spread and communication.
Come to think of it, such greed for power and territory can still play a major role on today’s negative publicities on the Islam religion. If not for these, maybe business does. One of the core foundations of Mass Media is to deliver impartial, fair, and responsible information to the public. In the case of the Muslims and of the Islam religion, constant deliveries of un-precise and evasive messages by the media have influenced the mindset of almost the majority of the population. Petty crimes are sensational news if it involves an individual belonging to the Islam religion.
A person from the Middle East is generally referred to as a Muslim rather than to identify himself in terms of nationality. Oftentimes, every negative image is generalized, thus, it created a stereotype notion that Islam or the Muslims are essentially bad persons.
But it is NOT TRUE. Islam and the Muslim people are peace-loving individuals; they strictly abide by the established rules and norms as much as other religions and cultures would do. Islam adheres to equality, responsibility and also prosecutes illegal and bad activities. In reality, there are even more crimes involving Non-Muslims.
Since that is the case, it is required that the media is much more responsible in delivering information. To totally eliminate the negative stereotype that has already became a culture; we need to have a dialogue. But most importantly, we need to accord our neighbors respect whoever they are and whatever their religions are.