Islam Vs Media
Kasar and Habib are two Bangladesh men who follows Islamic culture that also live in the U.S. On their YouTube channel, Duo HK they do many social experiments of wearing regular American attire vs Islamic attire, and usually these experiments prove that in the U.S. people the do in fact, discriminate against Muslims. The reason for all of this would be because of the media’s role in giving out bias information such as Muslims being the root of most terrorist attacks, and the entertainment industry for making movies with Muslims as prime candidates for being terrorists, and villains. Media plays a very important role in giving society international news, and after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 there has been a higher chance that the media goes after Muslim terrorist attacks, compared to other acts of terrorism around the world. The media also tends to not give all the information, and without all the information, media causes panic in the community leading to people discriminating to the fellow Muslims that are in their surroundings. In this essay, I will argue that all Muslims are discriminated in the U.S. because of mass media’s role in informing society.
Entertainment communicates with today’s society in many ways, everywhere you turn the media is there, on the radio, the billboards, cellphones, and most of all television. The quick access to movies, shows, and media in our daily lives, makes it easy for it to have an influence on our society. Entertainment and Media has an impact on our behavior, and the way we think. Sometimes, media can impact us in a positive way, but there are many other times where media impacts and influences us in negative ways. Negative impacts from the Media can result from biased information and lack of explanation and facts. There are several articles that link media to be the cause of modern racism, according to David Croteau in his novel “”Media/ Society””, he states several examples of how the media influences discrimination in the United States. One example includes
“”The civil rights struggle for racial equality influenced Hollywood, and discrimination against blacks became the theme of a number of prominent movies in the late 1950s and 1960’s, including the Defiant Ones’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, Black Like Me’ and so on.”” (Croteau 199)
This piece of evidence shows that media does in fact plays a role in discrimination, during early civil rights movements there were many movies in Hollywood that was made allowing discrimination against people of color. This proves that the media does play a role in how we think of things. If Hollywood were making movies surrounding different areas of topic, people would be worried about those same areas of topics. People follow the entertainment industry more than they follow their own thoughts. This is proven with evidence from the U.S. Extremist Crime Database, they show many statistics of how people are more likely to die in a car accident than it is for them to die in a Muslim based terrorist attack, in fact it is a 74% chance for people to die due to other causes than it is to die in an act of Muslim terrorism. Yet why is it so easy for us to forget about the 74% and only worry about the remaining 2S%. According to the U.S. Extremist Crime Database, “”the availability heuristic causes our tendency to focus on and remember the vivid, attention grabbing examples.”” This inform us that people like ourselves are drawn to the things that grabs our attention, and the things that we are most likely to remember. However, this raises the question, why does Muslim base terrorism grab our attention more than a robbery, or a kidnapping does? The answer is… it is because of the entertainment and media industry, the movies and news that they inform society which allows people to remember those the most, movies about Muslim terrorists grabs the attention of the audience and is most likely to remembered, causing this to be a part of the availability heuristic. Nevertheless, this evidence proves that there are many indications that media and entertainment industry has made drastic moves of Muslim terrorism, causing people in society to discriminate against Muslims.
Muslim terrorism in the entertainment and media industry allows people to discriminate against Muslims because they see them as violent, harmful, unsafe, or as plain terrorist. This is mainly the media’s fault in making films and other forms of Entertaiment that perceive acts of terrorism to have a connection with being Muslim. According to “”Media/ Society””,
“”Many films depicting an epidemic of Arab terrorism in New York City, and Rules of engagement, a film about killing of demonstrators outside of the U.S. embassy in Yemen, sparked protest from Arab- American groups, such as the council on American- Islamic relations, who believed both films perpetuated stereotypes of violent, fanatical Arabs”” (Croteau 199).
This chapter of “”Modern/ Society”” shows many forms of modern racism, and as you can see in this example of racism against Muslims, the entertainment industry has made many movies that has depicted the values of Muslim culture. By placing Muslims in stereotypes of being “”violent”” and harmful, the entertainment industry has now put the thought that Muslims are violent and unsafe today. This piece of evidence shows that the U.S. does discriminate against Muslims because of the way the entertainment and media industry portray them. Many media and news reports of terrorism usually happen in the middle east and the report below according to “”Clashes Among Past, Present, and Future in Contemporary Afghan Visual Stories”” also gives solid proof that the media targets Muslim terrorism without specifying all the details.
“”Beyond the veil of the globalized discourses on Afghanistan, framed by media events such as bombings, terrorist attacks and various episodes of violence, students’ reportages narrate a vibrant and dynamic daily life in which the clash is not among insurgents, Muslim members and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), but rather among different ways of seeing the past, the present and the future of the country. The reportages cover different aspects of contemporary Afghan cultural production: from the reinvention of traditional tools and professions to contemporary challenges like urbanization and media impact on society.”” (Vergani1)
This is an excerpt from a news report not long after 9/11, this report is strictly talking about terrorism in Afghanistan, and how afghans are rebuilding their life and urbanization. However, the Media fails to give all the information about the terrorist attacks, all they are being clear about in this excerpt is that there are Muslim members in their terrorist group, they are not identifying why these people are terrorizing others, they are not identifying who or what type of Muslim is doing this. They fail to give people the right information, and because of this it causes panic, which leads to people thinking that all Muslims are violent and dangerous. In addition, the article “”Engagement without Participation: Post-9/11 Discrimination and Muslim Political Engagement,”” by Delaram Takyar also explains that after 9/11 there has been more targets towards Muslims than anyone else. “”analyze a nationally representative survey of the American Muslim population from 2004, allowing for insight into the effects of discrimination in the years immediately following 9/11″” (Takyar 35). This is basically proving that after the attacks on 9/11 people has been more prejudice against Muslims, and people are never allowed to move on and forget because the Media is always there shoving it in their face, and not being specific enough for the audience, leading them to thing all Muslims are bad. In addition to the media not being specific enough, in Nader Ghotibi in his article “”Violence and Terrorism in the Middle East”” discusses the Islamic religion and culture and gives cultural information that many people are not aware of, and that the media usually leaves out:
“”Islam as a religion may not incite violence and/or terrorism any more than other mainstream religions and refer to the fact that most Muslims are peaceful. Others suggest that most recent terrorist attacks are committed by certain groups of Islamic fundamentalists, known as ‘Salafi Jihadists’ and violent aggression including terrorist attacks is more common in parts of the world where ‘Salafi’ Muslims live, such as in the Middle East.””
This is basically showing that the Islamic beliefs and people of Muslim background are usually very calm people that are not frantic, and just want to live their life, there are some groups of people that have an Islamic background but do not follow the typical rules that Muslims follow, they are very violent and harmful, these are usually the type of people to be involved in terrorist attacks. However, the media fails to acknowledge this, and use this information to halt panic in our community. Overall, the media fails to give proper information when discussing areas of Muslim terrorism, and because of this it leads to people stereotyping and discriminating against other and all Muslims.
The U.S. is one of the most diverse places, full of people from every place, every religion, every culture, and every race. However, because of the Media’s inability to explain proper information about Muslim terrorism, people tend to discriminate and fear all Muslims that embrace their culture. The YouTube channel “”DuoHK”” have a variety of different social experiments that test people when wearing regular American attire versus how people treat them when wearing their traditional Muslim attire. These two Bangladesh men, split up, Kasar is usually the man who wears the American appeal, while Habib is usually the man who wears the traditional Muslim attire.
In one experiment called the “”smiling experiment,”” they sit down on a bench and they look at someone and casually smile, greet them, and ask how they’re doing. They each approached 11 strangers, Kasar got 11/11 responses back, meaning that he got greeted back, and was able to start a conversation with the people he approached. Habib only got 1/11, throughout his approaches, as he sat down on the bench several candidates got up and walked away, one even felt like he needed to run. One of the approaches resulted in a white male telling Habib that he straight up doesn’t like him or his type of people, and he doesn’t feel safe around his type of people after 9/11 attacks. Habib tried to rationalize with the white male by saying that he also lost family in 9/11 and he should not judge Muslims based on what they wear, or their culture. One other approach, was when Habib was sitting on the bench alone when a young Caucasian boy approached him and asked him to blow his balloon, Habib thought the little boy was adorable and went along and blew his balloon, the mother approached Habib and screamed that he was attempting to steal her son, and that her son would never play with a Muslim. Habib only response was from a Black male in his 50’s that pleaded that he understands what he is going through as a black male traveling, people often discriminate against him to. From this social experiment it confirms that people do discriminate against Muslims, and they feel threatened by the forces of their presence. Nevertheless, the smiling experiment shows that people do discriminate people of Muslim attire, and they feel unsafe by their presence.
In another experiment, called the “”Hold my Bag”” experiment was to pretend that they had an urgent call, and then ask the stranger next to them to hold their bag because they must go help their friend and they will be back in a minute. Kasar was once again the male that was dressed in regular American apparel while Habib was the male dressed in Muslim attire. They once again approached 11 people each. Kasar got 7/11 people to help him while Habib got only 2/11 people to help him. People that refused Kasar simply denied because they wouldn’t babysit a bag for anyone, same as I. Muslim or not I personally would not babysit someone’s bag. Habib was also denied partially for these reasons but there were about 4 candidates that refused him because he was Muslim. One person refused him and made him open his bag to see if there was anything inside. She then continued to say, “”can’t trust anything with you Muslims.”” Another person refused him and then took the bag and threw it at him and said, “”go back to the middle east, we don’t do terrorist over here.”” One person refused and when Habib left, she made the holy Jesus cross and looked in the sky. The fourth person refused him and simply laughed in his face and said, “”I would never hold a Muslims bag, do I look stupid?”” The first person to hold Habib’s bag was someone that was white, but as soon as she took the bag from him, she looked at the bag and looked at the man sitting next to her, got up and left, leaving the bag behind. The second person to hold Habib’s bag was a white male, but he was also a muslim. He genuinely said yes, and after Habib left and came back, he was still there with the bag. Kasar and Habib continued to tell the man that he was a part of a social experiment and he was the first person that held Habib’s bag without having an issue. The homeless man responded by telling Habib that he was also Muslim, and it is cruel to see that people discriminate against you because of the traditional clothing. He also says that it is so shameful so see people act this way in the face of Allah, and as a homeless person in Times Square, he’s had his share of cruel treatment, but never expected to see people be so demeaning to another religion. As you can see from this social experiment Kasar and Habib are clearly seeing different results due to the things they wear. Just looking like a Muslim, and wearing the traditional attire, it led people to automatically think that they are terrorist, and they are not safe around them. Thus, the hold my bag experiment is another successful social experiment that shows the discriminatory side of people, and the way that people truly think of traditional Muslims.
This treatment is due to the way that media is portraying things, and the way that people are interpreting. Without giving all the facts, the media tends to form an unstable and prejudice environment for Muslims like Kasar and Habib to live in. Not only does the media play a role in society, it also plays a role in our daily lives. It is the one thing that keeps us updated with the rest of the world. If people are hearing the words Muslim and terrorism every day, people are eventually going to start associating Muslim with terrorism. Psychology defines this as the unconditional stimulus and response. At first when people hear that a Muslim was a part of a terrorism, (unconditional stimulus) it causes a new response, something that the body is surprised by (unconditional response). However, eventually if the two is constantly paired, especially by the media that has a daily influence on society, people will start to develop a conditioned stimulus and response. This basically means that when two things are constantly paired, the response to those things will be considered normal, and when hearing one thing, people will think of the other that is paired along with it. In this situation it means that people will start to associate Muslim religion with terrorism, and terrorism with being Muslim because they are repeatedly hearing the two paired by the Media. Overall, the social experiment that Kasar and Habib ran shows that society does not trust and treat Muslims like they treat everyone else, and this is because of the role that media plays in brainwashing society with biased information pairing both Muslim tradition and religion to acts of terrorism and harm.
In conclusion, this essay argues about the connection between media and Muslim discrimination in the United States. There is a connection that media has with informing society, and it affects the people living in that society. The media gives out information, but they only give little bits and pieces instead giving people the full amount of information that they deserve. In addition, there has been a lot of problems globally, yet the Media is still focusing on Muslim terrorism instead of expanding their story topics. This eventually calls out to daily stories being spun out about Muslim people being terrorist, instead of focusing on deeper topics, and other acts of terrorism made by people that aren’t Muslims. Overall, this leads people to constantly hear that a Muslim committed an act of terrorism and soon people will begin to think of the word terrorist when they see something related to Muslim religion or tradition.
DuoHK, Kasar Habib. “”Muslim SMILING Experiment (Social Experiment).”” YouTube, YouTube, 16 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD0_oGn5ik4.
Ghotibi, Nader. Violence and Terrorism in the Middle East. Nader, Ghotibi, 2016.
Vergani, Matteo. Loyola Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 25, 0AD.
William Hoynes, David Croteau. Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences. 5th ed., vol. 5 1, ser. 1, David Croteau, William Hoynes, 2014.
Takyar, Delaram. Engagement without Participation: Post-9/11 Discrimination and Muslim Political Engagement. 1st ed., vol. 1 1, ser. 1, 2016.
DuoHK, Kasar, Habib. “”HUG Muslim Vs Non-Muslim Experiment (Social Experiment).”” YouTube, YouTube, 25 Feb. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4eN_eKOd1A.
“”Introducing the United States Extremist Crime Database (ECDB).”” Ideological Motivations of Terrorism in the United States, 1970-2016 | START.umd.edu, start.umd.edu/publication/introducing-united-states-extremist-crime-database-ecdb.