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Sahra Yunusi

Doctor Smith

English 101

June 29, 2017

I believe that media plays and key role in shaping the opinions of people living in

different societies. Contemporary, media is the third important power in a country. U.S is a

leading country in Democracy, Freedom of speech, and rule of law exemplifies the basis of

justice to the world. Often U.S. media is targeted as a biased media especially when it comes to

the religion of Islam.

September 11, 2001 was a turning point for media. The horrific incident in 11th

September, in fact, played a significant role towards attracting people to media. More people

started following different U.S. media outlets. As the social networks emerged (Facebook,

Twitter, etc.). They tremendously expanded the followers of media as well. Today, only I follow

more than 10 media outlets in my Facebook account. Although we have come so far with media

progress, it is difficult to utterly create a neutral media station. I think that it is almost impossible

for any media outlets to be impartial. Media is a constituent of humans. As we know, humans

have their own opinions about any issue. Hence, opinions of humans working in media, one way

or another, may gave a different perspective to a certain media outlet. For instance, in the U.S.

we have liberal media and conservative media. There are medias in the U.S. that support

Republicans while there are medias, which are considered more democrats. I witnessed in 2016

Presidential Election that Fox News was apparently supporting Republican candidate Donald

Trump. On the contrary CNN supported Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. I saw this in their

political panels and discussions as well as the spread of the news from Fox News was more
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conservative while it was very liberal from CNN. CNN posted news often about Hillary Clinton.

Fox News, had news on Social Networks about Donald Trump.

Aljazeera is another international media that has its own biases. Aljazeera is based in

Qatar and tends to attack U.S. polices and media. It is not incorrect to say that there is a trend of

conflicts between medias, governments, and policies. Similarly, religion coverage is not an

exception from biases when it comes to media. Media has given a specific role to each race and

religion. Christianity, being a predominant western religion is prefaced as a civilized faith.

However, when some media covers the Islam religion, it is portrayed to be immoral and

malicious. What is truly disappointing of the fact that not only does media create the stereotypes

but it is that, viewers whom watch also believe what they see on the media. Viewers should be

aware of this biased information they are receiving, and instead learn the truth, as opposed to the

cycle of blaming and bashing a race and religion. Viewers should understand that media wants to

control us. The more we listen to one source the more we think like them. In my opinion, media

in some cases is basically telling us what to think. If we find the ability to question the media

information and fact check media then we are reaching our mature civilization and

understanding.

Moderate Muslims living in the west has never been so scared. They feel that they are

treated differently. The media either directly or indirectly have affected Muslim societies in the

west. For instance, another terrorist attack! What comes in your mind when you hear this? Let

me guess, Muslims and Islam. According to Pew research center there are 1.6 billion Muslims

around the world, which means possibly your neighbor is a Muslim and yet you are still alive.

The media is very powerful tool, yet a weak source in many levels. Media tends to show only the
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negative side of many stories that happens. Let alone, bashing the 2nd largest religion in the

world. Media makes a mistake of representing Islam as a race, but not as a religion.

Reza Arslan author of Zealot the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. In one of his

interviews in CNN he states that despite the brutal coverage of ISIS from the U.S. media none of

these Medias talk about the 19 beheadings, which were done in Saudi Arabia. Because Saudi

Arabia preserves our national interests in a way (2:48). He continues to mention We use one or

two examples to justify a religion of more than one billion people. Reza Arsalan responds to a

question from the CNN host if Islam promotes violence? Reza says, Islam does not promote

violence or peace, Islam is a religion and like every religion in the world it depends on what you

bring to it. If you are a violent person, your Islam, your Christianity, your Judaism, your

Hinduism is going to be violent. (3:22)

The Quran which is the holy book for Muslims states:

Because of that, we decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a

soul or for corruption [done] in the land it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever

saves one it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to

them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were

transgressors. (Quran 5:32).

This quote from the Quran explain to its followers, if you kill just one person it is as if

you have killed all mankind. And if you have saved a life it is as if you have saved all mankind.

Extremist cannot justify their actions from their holy book. Islam is a religion of peace. Islam

preaches peace, stability, but some media outlets use few examples and generalize the issue. The

terms as Islamic terrorist, Islamic jihadist, Islamic violence is indeed an insult to more than one

billion people.
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According to Oxford dictionary terrorist is defined as, A person who uses unlawful

violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Then the

invasion of Iraq should also be considered terrorism. According to a report by BBC News

461,000 civilians were victims of the U.S. invasion (BBC news.) On the other hand, Muslim`

attacks get more coverage than any other. According to a new study covered in a Washington

Post op-ed in March, attacks by people claiming to be Muslim received 449 percent more

coverage on average in recent years than those perpetrated by virtually anyone else. For a non-

Muslim to get the same attention from the media they will have to kill at least seven people.

(Shankar Vedantam).

Terrorist has neither religion nor race; this is where many people lack on. The best

change is if we, educate ourselves. Knowledge is power and it can change everything.

According to the article, This college student hated Muslims. Now he spreads the 'truth' about

Islam By Casey Smith. A man named Richard Mac McKinney was probably one of the worse

enemies of Islam. Richard was a solider whom fought in the war in the middle east. When

Richard arrived back to the states, the hatred for Islam increase to the point where he was

planning to kill Muslims. Furthermore, one day his second-grade daughter comes home from

school and asks Richard about a fellow student wearing a headscarf. Richard reply to his

daughter was: I dont want my daughter around those people, my daughter looked at me

confused and upset (Smith.)

When Richard saw the confused look on his daughter face, he realizes what he had

become. The first step was he went to a community mosque, and was immediately welcomed.

His journey, started from there where he asked questions from the right source, and educated

himself furthermore until he became the president of Ball states Muslim Student Association.
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In 2014, he was voted in as the president of the Islamic center. Richard Mac McKinney, was an

individual who wanted to kill Muslims. Once he started to learn more about Islam he understood

that no one is born racist; its from the surrounding that affects who they become. Therefore, if

you pay attention to one sided stories, you will be stuck with the incorrect information and make

a fool of yourself just like Richard had done until he realized.

In conclusion, the media is a very powerful tool that can change the way many think and

feel. It is not people whom have created stereotypes, but it is the media. Do not let the media

control your thoughts. Often U.S. media is targeted as a biased media especially when it comes

to the religion of Islam. If a Muslim claims a terrorist attack do not blame the religion, but blame

the induvial. The media will always do their job on playing the name game. It is up to the

viewers to not only hear one sided stories and search the other side of the story. It is the viewers

right to know the truth and you will not get that from the media. You must find the truth yourself

and educate yourself to understand why. The media will make you hate your neighbors and

create very bad thoughts within your mind. You can either love your neighbor or hate them. The

choice is yours. Choose wisely.


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Cited Page

CNN, director. Professor Reza Aslan on CNN / Does Islam Promote Violence? 4 Oct.
2012.
Iraq Study Estimates War-Related Deaths at 461,000. BBC News, BBC, 16 Oct. 2013,
www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24547256
Jenkins, Jack. Non-Muslim Attackers Get a Lot Less Media Coverage than Those Who
Claim Islam. ThinkProgress, ThinkProgress, 19 June 2017, thinkprogress.org/non-muslim-
attackers-media-cov
Lipka, Michael. Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, 26 May 2017,
www.pewresearch.org
Smith, Casey. This College Student Hated Muslims. Now He Spreads the 'Truth' about
Islam. USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9 Mar. 2017,
college.usatoday.com/2017/03/09/college-student-hated-muslims-truth-islam
(The Qur'an, 5.32)
Vedantam, Shankar. When Is It 'Terrorism'? How The Media Cover Attacks By Muslim
Perpetrators. NPR, NPR, 19 June 2017, www.npr.org/2017/06/19/532963059/when-is-it-
terrorism-how-the-media-covers-attacks-by-muslim-perpetrators.