I found this Al Jazeera opinion article on how Muslims are portrayed in the Western media particularly fascinating. The author, Mohamad Elmasry, wrote this commentary following the shooting at Chapel Hill, in which three Muslim American students were killed in a dorm room.
Elmasry writes, “Western media outlets will likely frame the most recent perpetrator of what some speculate is an anti-Muslim crime in the same way they frame most anti-Muslim criminals – as crazed, misguided bigots who acted alone.”
The article goes on to discuss the pattern of stereotyping regarding Muslims in the western media. This includes both news media and movies.
The article got me thinking about the seriousness of racial stereotyping problems in western media. The western filter is often very consistent in the way it chooses to skew certain groups of people. I have previously researched the western view on the Rwandan Genocide and the conflict was completely mischaracterized. This is a pattern with other situations as well.
I believe that this issue needs to come to the forefront of media conversations. The western media does not have the right to characterize a culture. It only leads to misunderstanding, stereotypes and lack of clarity.