28 Temmuz 2011 Perşembe

Media Violence Against Islam

Doubtlessly media is the leading power in modern epoch because it highly affects people’s opinions upon an issue. Media has the responsibility to reflect truths but due to competition between different media organizations and their lack of subjectivity in certain political cases, media generally exaggerates events and offers biased information that lacks quality. Islam’s reflection on Western media is really terrible and exaggerated. In addition, Western media has a kind of language problem related to Islam. Many words are used in wrong senses deliberately or unconsciously in the Western media. In this article, I am going to explain this language problem and its effects on people’s opinions about Islam.

It is a clear fact that people from Western countries have prejudices towards Muslim people mostly because of Islam’s reflection on Western media, the language problem and the terrorist attacks of some extremist groups in last years. Not only the media but also Western politicians and authorities use some words in wrong senses and thus, Muslims are portrayed as dangerous, barbarian, fanatic people. For instance, they describe terrorist like Osama Bin Laden as “Muslim terrorists” or “Islamic extremists”. There is no denying that Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist and an extremist but why people from Western countries always add the word “Muslim” or “Islamic” to the word “terrorist” or “extremist”? Bin Laden’s terrorist network al-Qaeda was a terrorist group having certain political aims decorated with Islamic terms. In my opinion, terrorism has no religion and if we act like Western press we should define IRA or ETA as Christian terrorists. We all remember that after 9/11 disaster, many journals and magazines used headlines like “Muslims Convicted In Case”, “Islamic Violence” or “Muslim Fanatics”. So, should we talk about anti-abortionist Christian groups as “Christian fanatics” or should we call what they do as “Christian violence”? Most of the Muslims are disturbed by the way that Western media emphasizes the terror issue. Moreover, sometimes they define Islamic extremist groups as Islamic fundamentalists. In every religion there are fundamentalist people and being a fundamentalist does not necessarily mean to be a terrorist. The word “fundamentalist” comes from Western tradition and it refers to the scripturalism or complete trust of people in their religion’s holy books. Being an Islamic fundamentalist is as normal as being a Christian fundamentalist and it does not require being a terrorist at all. In reality what Osama Bin Laden does, is not in conformity with the essence of Islamic fundamentalism. Islam is a religion that seeks for brotherhood and peace under the one and only supreme God that is “Allah”. Due to its comprehensiveness and necessity to be interpreted, Islam suffers a lot from bad-intentioned people like Osama Bin Laden who try to transform Islam into a religion of war and chaos. These malicious people also try to explain terrorism by the concept of “jihad” but jihad means “striving or struggling in the way of God”. Jihad does not mean to kill innocent people who are from another religion at all. The greater jihad refers to the struggle each person has within himself/herself for oppressing his/her negative qualities. The lesser jihad involves in defending Islam when it is in danger but not killing innocent people from other religions. The source of belief for Islamic fundamentalists is Qur’an and its orders, whereas for extremists the important is their own fictitious interpretations about Qur’an and especially the deeds and the sayings of the prophet Mohammad. Another problem is that most of the Western people think that being Muslim is equal to be Arab. Islam is the second greatest religion in the world (first in growing) and all Muslims are not Arab. For example, Turkish people are also Muslims and they live in the secular Republic of Turkey. Also, world’s largest Muslim population lives in Indonesia. Furthermore, not all Arabs are Muslims. The media should be more careful in using some terms because this kind of prejudiced expressions containing visible anger towards Muslims serves nothing but increasing Muslims’ hostile feelings against Western countries based on the history. We all know that European countries exploited for long years many countries where Muslim population is high and they became economically more powerful. Many Islamic countries gained their independency few decades ago and people still remember this historical injustice and still have negative feelings against European countries. Moreover, when we analyze the issue from a liberal Western perspective considering the necessity of freedom of speech and thought, we should say that people have liberty to believe even in the rightness of Islamic extremity but when they begin to act and cause harm to other people, then we should limit their freedom.

Finally, as far as I am concerned in our way to solve this problem seeming impossible to be solved, we should first deal with this language problem. The language problem may seem a small detail for some people but its effects are surprisingly very high. This language problem not only prevents people to understand their real friends and real enemies, but also strengthens both sides’ negative feelings towards each other. A Christian’s negative feelings towards Muslim people doubtlessly increase after reading the newspapers cussing anger towards Muslims. Likewise, a Muslim seeing his/her religion as shown as the cause of terrorism, will certainly have bad feelings against Europeans. When these negative feelings caused by the language problem carried mostly by Western media, unify with the historical hostile feelings of both sides, it becomes a reason for wars in this beautiful world. It’s up to media and authorities now to correct this lasting mistake and to make people careful of using some words and aware of not breaking other people’s hearts. Prejudiced people should be dismissed from the media because with the prejudice media can easily become a mean of propaganda. If we cannot find a consensus in language problem, it seems impossible for us to do so in political scene. Peace in Middle East, peace on earth…

Ozan Örmeci

2 yorum:

Xena dedi ki...

Great article. I think that the media is deliberately biased, and each station has its own political opinions or party which it follows.
What makes Anders Breivik different from Osama Bin Laden? Both have been held responsible for terror attacks yet Breivik is called by the media a right-wing extremist and massacre suspect instead of a terrorist. His views are blatantly anti Islamic yet he is not in anyway associated with religion. He himself has called the attacks an attack on the Muslim world. Yet he is just thought to be insane. Media organisations are deliberate in their choice of words and portrayal of stereotypes and will continue to do so. The general public must use their democratic rights and demand non-biased reporting.

Ozan Örmeci Makaleleri (Ozan Örmeci Articles) dedi ki...

Thanks for your contribution. I agree with you.