Essay On Comparative Analysis Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Islam, Muslim, Religion, People, Media, Church, Middle East, Literature

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/13

At present time a lot of attention is given to Muslim countries and their religion – Islam. Indeed, Islam is usually considered to be one of the fastest growing religions around the globe. However, it is important to mention that people and especially the media tend to misrepresent Muslims and their religion. When something bad happens in the world, for instance, a terrorist attack, it is a common thing for the media to blame Muslim citizens. In fact, when speaking about Muslims, people usually use the term of “otherness”. Thus, people view Muslim values and principles as something unusual and very distinct, something that is hard to tolerate. The problem of unfear treatment and misrepresentation of Muslim people is discussed in the articles “The Media and its Representation of Islam and Muslim Women” by Sairra Patel and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Moshin Hamid. Thus, the authors of the articles argue that quite often the media is rather subjective and unfair in relation to Muslims, and try to understand the roots of such unfair treatment.
In her article “The Media and its Representation of Islam and Muslim Women” Patel tries to understand why people and the media present Islam in a rather negative light. Moreover, the author is preoccupied with the fact that people do not understand the values of Muslim women and misrepresent them. Thus, the author starts her article with the claim that when the Media hears of a terrorist attack, it immediately and without any investigation blames Muslims and Islam. Patel supposes that the representation of Muslims and Islam religion as something barbaric became a certain kind of trend in the contemporary world. The author also claims that such a misrepresentation brings a lot of negative effects and the main of them is a growing misunderstanding between Islam and the West. Furthermore, in such a situation Patel blames the media saying that it is mainly TV and other sources of information that may influence people’s minds. Patel states that TV shows and programs usually portray Muslim people as “savage terrorists, killing innocent people with no remorse” (Patel). Thus, always blaming Muslims in all the terrible events that happen in the world may result in the society’s negative attitude to these people as well as to their religion. For example, when people hear the word “Islam” they associate it with only negative images. The author things that such judgments are quite unfair and irrelevant as in reality many people don’t know anything about Islam as well as about Muslims’ values, principles and assumptions. That is why many of their conclusions regarding Islam are usually biased.
Moreover, Patel is concerned with the way Muslim women are represented in the world. The author emphasizes the fact that being a woman with Muslim values stemming from Islam and adopting some ideas and principles from the west she represents many Muslims who in fact are quite rarely described in the media. These are people who are proud of their identity and who at the same time are aware of their position in the West. Thus, judging from her own example, Patel states that Muslim women are usually misrepresented in the world. The author states that different magazines and newspapers as well as television often portray Muslim women as “being weak and submissive to a religion which seeks to oppress and dominate” (Patel). With these words Patel tries to explain that the media tends to misrepresent Muslim women and their religion. Thus, without analyzing background of Islam and its main values the media usually believes that Muslim women are subordinate to men. People usually feel pity for those women who decide to cover themselves, they think that Muslim women are the victims of patriarchal religion. Being aware of her religion Patel claims that according to Islamic religion, “women are seen as the spiritual and intellectual equals to men” (Patel). However, this image of Muslim women is never represented in the media. Moreover, the author adds that Muslim women usually follow their traditions in order to express their allegiance to Islam. For instance, they cover their heads not because they are forced to do it but because they respect their faith. Therefore, the author makes an argument that people’s knowledge of Islamic religion is not based on reputable or reliable sources. The author believes that many journalists and reporters usually begin their study of Islam with already preconceived ideas. It seems that the media simply got used to portray Islam and Muslim people in quite a negative light. Next, Patel is also interested in the question why the media chooses to present Muslims in such a negative way. Thus, she said that the possible explanation of Muslims’ misrepresentation may be the lack of knowledge regarding this religion and these people. Nevertheless, there a lot of good and reliable sources from which it is possible to learn objective information about Islam. Some people claim that media misrepresents Muslims on purpose as it doesn’t agree with their values and assumptions. On the whole, the author claims that this question is still debatable and the problem of Muslims’ misrepresentation is still accurate nowadays.
It should be also noted that Mohsin Hamid is also concerned with the problem of Muslims’ misrepresentation. Hamid expresses his opinion through his monologue in the work “The reluctant Fundamentalism”. His relation to the problem may be identified through his talk with a Native American. During his monologue it is clear that the narrator, being Pakistani, suffered a lot from stereotypes regarding Muslim people. Thus, when he started to talk with an American his first words were: “Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America” (Hamid). The fact that the narrator had to mention that he was a lover of America suggests that his Muslim appearance made some people got afraid of him. Again, it is possible to say that people got used to think of Muslims in a negative way. It seems that most of them were imposed to think that a typical image of a terrorist is the following: a man of Muslim identity with dark hair and a beard. Moreover, the narrator always had to repeat that he wouldn’t do any harm to his listener. Thus, he claimed: “You seem worried. Do not be” (Hamid). These words serve an example that Muslims have to suffer from unfair treatment and stereotypes. Thus, if one Muslim committed crime it does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists. Moreover, the narrator made some notes about the way he was treated by America. Thus, he said that the country’s approach towards him was pragmatic and effective. He claimed that it chose the brightest Pakistanis who could contribute their talents to the society and to make use of them. The narrator finds this system rather unfair. That is why it may be said that Hamid claims that the image of Muslims in the West is quite negative.
In conclusion, it should be said that both authors in their articles present the problem of Muslims’ misrepresentation. The authors claim that the conclusions about Muslim people as well as about their religion are often made without proper investigation. In this situation it is also possible to blame the media which usually portrays Muslims in a negative light and makes them guilty of practically all the terrible events that happen in the world. The possible explanation of such behavior was provided by Patel who claims that people simply could not tolerate “otherness”. The author claims that many people do not agree with Islamic values and principles. Both authors agree that the problem of unfair treatment of Muslims and Islam is quite accurate at present time and needs to be solved.

Works cited

Hamid, Mohsin. “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” Readers Read. n.d Web. 11 Apr. 2015
Patel, Sairra. “The Media and its Representation of Islam and Muslim Women” The Modern Religion. n.d Web. 11 Apr. 2015

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