The Production of an Enemy: Misrepresentations of Muslims in the News

Original Print“The constantly vilified images of Muslims spur not only anger and tension, but also a misunderstanding of Islam. Due to this media bias, the numbers of Islamic extremists and Islamophobes have grown rapidly, perpetuating hatred, violence, and conflict.”
—Jordan Churchwell, Rani Corak, Lila Schmitz, Josie Stern, and Amy Valencia (Block 5 2016)

“In Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, Jack Shaheen explains that audiences perceive Arabs ‘solely as vicious gunmen, wide-eyed maniacs [that] will kill anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason.’ The individual shown on TIME’s cover has been created from Islamic stereotypes that instill fear and unjustly force a sense of responsibility upon the Muslim community.”

“This ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality that Sesay and Vause create against Louati becomes particularly dangerous when considering what the anchors are insinuating to their viewers, the ‘us.’ While Sesay is indeed providing visibility for Black women, she, along with Vause, integrate everyday racism into their language and news story.”

New Print“In response to TIME’s cover, we created our own ‘Hidden Enemy’ cover. We chose to expose that, in fact, Muslims are not the true ‘hidden enemy.’ Rather, we argue that the enemy is hidden behind the guise of political and economic power.”

“We also wanted a voice within the Muslim community to speak freely, rather than spoken over as is frequent in the CNN broadcast and other media. In doing so, we hoped to humanize Muslims by opening a platform for the silenced narratives of victimization and fear, not only spurred by the attacks but also due to misplaced responsibility.”

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