Investigating Islamophobia in the Daily Mail

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Investigating Islamophobia in the Daily Mail

Islamophobia is defined in the dictionary as being hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the London 77 bombings amongst others some say islamophobia within the media has increased significantly This work intends to discuss the coverage of Muslims and the religion of Islam as a whole within the middle market newspaper The Daily Mail and explore whether publications such as the Mail are representing the Muslim race in a negative light

Ones interest in the subject matter involved is one that has derived from what is seen amongst others as bad journalism middle market and tabloid newspapers inaccurately reporting issues concerning races such as Muslims On a daily basis one can pick up a newspaper these days and spot numerous flaws incorrect language or overall representation of a religion such as Islam Also a personal affliction or view in the area is the way in which Muslim communities within the UK are slowly being isolated and are being criticised collectively for the actions of a small population of the religion

When exploring the relationship between the modern West and the East one should look upon the concept of Orientalism Saids 1978 work draws on the concept of us and them Orientalism is never far from what Denys Hay has called the idea of Europe a collective notion identifying us Europeans as against all those nonEuropeans Said 1978 7 This notion refers to the historical manufacturing of Eastern beings as alien the Other by the West It is the negative portrayal of extremist Islamic images within frameworks such as the Mail that progresses as Halliday 1996remember reference for this see notebook 2 suggests this myth of confrontation that pardons the West of any need to excuse its enmity towards the East and religions such as Islam

Before this paper looks at effects of the theory of islamophobia it is worth evaluating the polarity of the term itself Whilst some could say the branding of the term can draw attention to the issue for positive means further comprehensive literature on the subject and enquiries commissioned eg 1997 Runnymede Trust Islamophobia A Challenge for Us All there is a flipside Academics have inferred that this is just another more refined form of new racism according to many sociologists Sociologist Professor Gerard Delanty describes the use of the term islamophobia It is rooted in mainstream hostility to migrant workers and asylumseekers and is based to a considerable degree on ethnocentrism and xenophobia on ignorance and fear of the other Delanty Conference see notebook for full reference1 Delanty is saying here that the categorisation of the idiom of islamophobia could be creating a new form of acceptable racism

The UK media industry is said by some to be institutionally racist

This racism is rooted in the countrys imperial past with feelings of racial superiority and crude nationalism now deeply embedded in the dominant culture Keeble 2009 175

2 per cent of the NUJ membership was black Asian and Arab in the first mediaindustry wide survey in 1995 by Anthony Delano and John Henningham Comparing this alongside the national ethnic minority population percentage of 526 percent at the time and it does speak volumes My research will include a plan to address this view and explore how far or to what extent this reflects an islamophobic nature within newspapers such as The Daily Mail However to discuss how deep rooted this patriotism or national feeling of superiority over other races goes would be discursive from the intended discussion of the titles topic

The role of a national newspaper such as the Mail needs to be highlighted to display the contextualising link between islamophobia and the public

The fact that a familiar newspaper offers a sense of identity and possible security to its regular readers is an important contextualising factor when considering questions of race and ideology Ferguson 1998175

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