Since the last twosome of decennaries, the topics of Islam, the Muslim community and particularly Muslim adult females seem to hold dominated the Western media. It started with the inordinate coverage of September 11, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the forbiddance of the head covering in Europe, to the terrorist onslaughts and self-destruction bombers in the Middle East. These are merely a few images to call that the Western societies and states have been absorbing in their day-to-day lives, finally organizing their attitudes, perceptual experiences and thoughts about the Muslim universe.
It all started with Samuel P. Huntington ( 1997 ) “ Clash of Civilizations ” , harmonizing to Macdonald ( 2006 ) . It was Huntington who came within range of this debatable relationship between the East and the West. “ Clash of Civilizations ” is a portion in his book that is called “ The Rest Vs. The West. ( Macdonald, 2006 ) . After the Cold War ended, the desire to seek for a new planetary ideological menace has emerged to replace the prostration of Communism. Since so, it was predicted by the Westerns experts that the Western World is confronting a new enemy: Islam. Macdonald ( 2006 ) .
Huntington impression pointed out that Islam has a noticeable contradictory vision and action to the Western political orientation, thoughts of autonomy, and democracy. This phenomenon has been developed and spread into a discourse and got to the full attending of the Western ‘s ( United States, the United Kingdom and its Alliess ) perceptual experiences and its relationships towards the universe of the Middle East, the Muslims and Islam. As a consequence of such phenomenon and political orientation, the stereotyped thought that Islam and its followings are anti-democracy and anti-Western has become fixed within the heads of the Western society. ( Macdonald, 2006 ) .
The Acts of the Apostless of pigeonholing persuade people to react and act in the same manner that is both negative and prejudiced. The word Arabs is meant to portray a individual from the Middle East, it besides meant to portray this Arab as terrorist, ignorant, and a individual that contradicts with the Western political orientations. In malice of the world that these individuals are from different states, with varied civilizations, attitudes, beliefs, and a diverseness of faiths, they are typify by one word “ Arabs ” . ( Cheney, 1986 ) .
Several films have been beliing Arabs work forces and adult females through the old ages. It is has been pointed out by Cheney ( 1986 ) , that Jack Shaheen, ( 2003 ) , stated that 900 movies done by in the American film showed how Arab work forces adult females and kids shaped as different and endangering. Hollywood movies from 1896 until today portraying Arabs as heartless, enemies, cruel, burglars, extremist in their faith, barbarous liquidators, and maltreaters of adult females. ( Cheney, 1986 ) .
History shows that since the beginning of film, Hollywood ‘s films have been beliing Arab adult females. Clearly, movie shapers did non make these images but inherited Europe ‘s preexistent Arab stereotypes. These images have been created long ago ; in the 18th and 19th centuries, European creative persons and authors offered fictional versions of adult females as bathed and submissive alien “ objects ” . As a consequence, through the clip, the stereotype came to be accepted as valid, going a lasting portion of European popular civilization ( Cheney, 1986 ) .
In his book “ Reel Bad Arabs ” , Shaheen noticed that “ In Arabian Nights phantasies such as The Sheik ( 1921 ) , Slave Girl ( 1947 ) , and John Goldfarb, Please Come Home ( 1964 ) , Arab adult females appear as leering out from thin head coverings, or as unsated, disposable ‘knick-knacks ‘ lounging on flowery shock absorbers, scantily-clad hareem maidens with au naturel middles, closeted in the castle ‘s adult females ‘s quarters and/or on show in slave markets ” ( Shaheen, 2001:23, cited in Cheney, 1986 ) . The watercourse continues in the 3rd millenary. In Disney ‘s remaking of “ Around the World in Eighty Days ” ( 2004 ) , for illustration, Arnold Schwarzenegger portrays Prince Hapi, a Mideast tribal sheik with ‘one hundred or so married womans. ‘ This means that movies continue to demo Arab adult female as a slave for sex, even though the image of a terrorist dominated after 9/11.
A research paper aimed to analyse U.S. and international newspaper articles on Arab and Muslim adult females from 9/11/01 boulder clay 9/11/05, in order to understand how adult females who wear the head covering are represented in western media. It was found that Reporters seldom give adult females the opportunity to talk to look beyond the stereotype and acquire to cognize Arab adult females. Whether oppressed, victimized or turned into a superwoman, that adult female in the intelligence is more frequently non imitation of the Arab and Muslim adult female in existent life. Readers have non yet able to have a consistent and accurate representation of the diverse personalities, lives and sentiments of these adult females. ( Sakr, 2004 ) .
It ‘s been ever known that Television shows influence Western people perceptual experiences and attitudes towards assorted issues, particularly when it comes to issues related to the Middle East and Arabs. So, most of the misperceptions towards Arab adult females are caused by the flow of information through Television Stationss. ( Kaufer & A ; Al Malki 2009 )
Harmonizing to Kaufer & A ; Al Malki ( 2009 ) , on the 28th of September 2009, Oprah Winfrey hosted the “ Goodwill Ambassador for the UNICEF ” ; the celebrated Lebanese vocalist “ Nancy Ajram ” on her Television show on CBS station. In that show, Winfrey referred to Lebanon as being “ profoundly conservative ” and presented a docudrama that shows Lebanese adult females veiled like the Afghani 1s and compared these adult females with Nancy ‘s Ajram manner and dance moves. With no uncertainty, Oprah ‘s docudrama misrepresented Lebanese adult females and created misconception in the heads of Western people about Lebanese adult females who are the most modernised adult females in the part. In fact, Nancy Ajram manner and manner represent a big section of Lebanese females. Statisticss show that 75 % of the Lebanese adult females are unveiled and have freedom of frock ; they have their full instruction that exceeds that of work forces with 44 % compared to 40 % of work forces.
The media is fascinated by the portraiture of Arab adult females and they manner they dress. Harmonizing to Ahmed ( 1992 ) , when it comes to portraying Muslim adult female, the media in the West seems to be attentive and obsessed by the manner they dress which is the head covering in peculiar which has resulted in a great figure of reactions and arguments. These arguments shows that the head covering is perceived as a mark of cultural difference in the Western universe as it differentiate Arab adult females from Western 1s. ( Ahmed, 1992 ) . Muslim Arab adult female are ever severely portrayed as the shapeless and shade adult females in their Islamic frock.they are truly confounding the western normal people as it ‘s non their mistake that what they are seeing on Television is that it ‘s the mistake of the western media.
The Negative stereotyping and reactionist coverage have historically symbolized coverage of Islam and Muslims and have been reflected clearly in the theory of Orientalism created by Edward Said in 1978 which states that the East and its populations are considered rearward, barbarian and foreigners to Western society. ( Posetty, 2008 ) . As a consequence, it seems that the media helps in making the image of the Muslim adult females as the laden other, which will take to imprecise decisions, stereotypes and misperceptions of these adult females. ( Macdonald,2006 ) .
Harmonizing to the Orientalist theory, when adult females are portrayed, they are portrayed as being oppressed, alien, cryptic, and shy. In add-on, the Western media have ever been portraying Arabs as violent, stupid, and barbarous people that treat adult females as objects and that they are marginalized in their ain society, and that the East all likewise in their image for the West. ( Macdonald,2006 ) .
Therefore, when the Western media frames adult females as sexual slave and oppressed by work forces as they are mistreating their adult females, beaten, and humiliated, they are being true as this is the image that has been ever stuck in the Westerns heads. In fact, the West has been pigeonholing Arab adult females since forever, and they did n’t alter their expression for the Arab adult females till now. Photographs and French19th Century pictures represented Arab adult females as belongings, plaything of work forces, submissive and still, dependant on a adult male who is the lone motivation for their endurance. ( kaufer, 2009 ) .
Footings such as the head covering, the hareem, female Circumcision helped in the formation of such misconceptions every bit good as gave the feeling to some of the associated images with the laden Muslim adult female. The job is that these perceptual experiences have been falsely generalized with no distinction. ( Gwinn, 1997 ) . This job has made it harder for the veiled Muslim adult females populating in the West, as they tend to endure more from the intolerance from the manner they dress, in add-on, they are barely accepted in the Western communities. ( Mohanty, 2005 ) .
Arab adult females in immigrant communities and who are populating in Western societies, are victims of these negative stereotypes and gender based media representations. As Morin ( 2009 ) , noted that these adult females face negative media coverage that is based on cultural misconceptions and the recent political struggles that have spoiled Arab-Western dealingss. As a consequence, Arab adult females in immigrant communities can non win the battle for better media acknowledgment while they continue to be viewed inside the bound of traditional Arab-Islamic stereotypes. ( Morin, 2009 ) .
As Posetty ( 2008 ) stated in his article, in the portraiture of Muslim adult females, attending is often focused on the manner they dress, with their vesture seen as a symbol of their threatening, foreign position. Images of Islamic frock are progressively used in the media as ocular stenography for unsafe extremism, and Muslims all over Europe are enduring from the effects of such associations. The chief job as Ahmed ( 1992 ) pointed out, is that the act of veiling among Muslim adult females or the veil itself is frequently associated with the deficiency of traditionality and retardation that does non suit into the modern society and among Western adult females who do non necessitate to veil ( Ahmed, 1992 ) . This phenomenon suggests that we can make the other cultural difference and how the West is fascinated with distinctness and still continues within the Western media towards the Muslim universe ( Ahmed, 1992 ) .
Ayish ( 2010 ) pointed out in his paper that the Western media tends to portray Arab work forces as aggressive and maltreaters of adult females, and that they control adult females. Media portray that the adult females is ever have oning her head covering, remaining at place raising kids and merely obey her hubby who she fears. Newspapers surveies has showed that Western illustration of Muslim matrimony issues is obscure and this is because the deficiency of the cognition of foreign civilizations and faiths One could differ that the major issue is Islamophobia, many Western journalists, unfamiliar with Islam faith, have a inclination to see the religion as cruel, backward and the contradictory of tolerance. ( Ayish, 2010 ) .
Morin ( 2009 ) stated in his research that narratives investigated about Muslim adult females have shown that Western intelligence studies represents adult females as the laden, abused married woman, who is obligated to a prearranged matrimony by her parents or obligated out of a matrimony, and that she is incapacitated and voiceless in both state of affairss.
Another disproportionate as stated by Ayish ( 2010 ) , Sometimes, the Arab Muslim adult females is represented as the money huntsman, who does non believe about who she marries every bit long as the adult male she is traveling to get married is rich plenty to indulge her hungriness for money. In these state of affairss on the other manus, Arab Muslim work forces think with different greed, they are sexually deprived and tends to handle adult females as sexual objects. The work forces are besides rough and commanding, playing with adult females ‘s feelings and menaces adult females through unwritten divorce. Womans are therefore represented by the Western media as weak and have no rights which permit work forces to claim high quality ( Ayish, 2010 ) .
Dominant images of the veiled Muslim adult female are ever covered in the Western media to show the Muslim adult female as a victim every bit good as being oppressed. ( Ahmed, 1992 ) . The veiled of Arab Muslim adult females has ever been misrepresented by the media as it has became a symbol of the subjugation of the Muslim adult female. This representation as stated by Ahmed ( 1992 ) , has been extremely evoked since the event of the 9/11. As noted in Posetty ( 2008 ) research paper, Alison Donnell argues that the September 11 terrorist onslaughts resulted in media representations of veiling as an object of mystique, exoticness and erotism and that the head covering, or headscarf, is seen as a extremely seeable mark of a detested difference.
The subjugation of Muslim adult females has been on a regular basis used in Western media as suggestive of the barbarian and pre-modern features of Islam. As Helen Watson remarks in her article ‘the image of the veiled Muslim adult female seems to be one of the most popular Western ways of stand foring the “ job of Islam ” . ( Posetty, 2008 ) .
Harmonizing to Ahmed ( 1992 ) , the head covering has become the typical symbol of adult females ‘s subjugation in Islam, and is perceived as it creates ill will to Westerns. In fact, the Western media has ignored the fact that veiling as a pattern existed before the rise of Islam, particularly in Syria and Arabia. It was besides a usage among Greeks, Romans, Jews and Assyrians, and non merely to Islam. At that clip, the veiled Arab adult female was perceived as respectable and protected. ( Ahmed, 1992 ) .
However, as Ahmed ( 1992 ) pointed out, the veiled adult female is normally represented as holding denied pleasance, merriment, or bodily self-expression. In some of the Western conceptualisations veiling is used as a agency of executing muliebrity self-exploration and drama with individuality.
With these lifting and uninterrupted biass against Muslims and, particularly, Muslim adult females, it seems to show that there is still a immense spread, a barrier that appears to forestall a sense, blessing and understanding towards the Muslim ‘other ‘ . And by ‘the other ‘ we mean ‘the oppressed ‘ , ‘the traditional-bound ‘ , ‘the factory-worker ‘ , ‘the hapless ‘ , etc. ( Macdonald,2006 ) .
As mentioned before, besides the head covering, treatments of the Circumcision, polygamy, the Islamic law ( Islamic ) jurisprudence, the hareem, forced matrimonies, etc, are merely a few issues that have made this group of adult females fit into the absolute, homogeneous ‘oppressed Muslim adult female ‘ class. ( Macdonald,2006 ) .
As noted in Falah & A ; Nagel ( 2005 ) paper, the job lies when these ocular images tend to portray Muslim adult females as a stereotyped figure ; an laden figure enduring from a rough civilization. The head covering particularly is the major subject that is associated with the restrictions and the subjugation of Muslim Arab adult females as it was invariably deployed and replayed once more in our visually dominated civilization. Falah & A ; Nagel ( 2005 ) argue that the head covering is non merely stand foring the laden Muslims and Muslim adult females universe, but besides the concealed premise about the high quality of the West in relation to that universe. In this instance, the figure of the veiled Muslim adult female that is being represented through the media, is be givening to stand for these adult females as inactive victims, muted, nontraditional, and oppressed, which hence creates a cultural-ideological barrier with the Western adult females. Therefore, the job is that the danger that is resulted from these representations of veiled Muslim adult females tends to make a division between Western adult females ( as modern, liberated ) and Eastern adult females ( as backward, oppressed ) , while besides disregarding the diverseness of patterns, positions and experiences of these adult females. As Falah & A ; Nagel ( 2005 ) pointed out, it seems of import that the inquiry on how to pass on with the other who is culturally and traditionally different has become one of the most pressing and immediate dockets within North-South/West-East dealingss and interactions. What is needed is an apprehension of this sense of ‘urgency ‘ , ‘gaps ‘ and ‘barriers ‘ that links to the Western ‘s cognition of the ‘veiled Muslim adult female ‘ ( Falah & A ; Nagel, 2005 ) . As a consequence, veiled Muslim adult females become hushed and misrepresented.
Another major characteristic found in the Western media particularly in advertisement is the imagined positions such as the myths and phantasies Western civilization has about Islam, the Muslims, and particularly, veiled Muslim adult females. This means that non lone misconceptions and misinterpretations towards Muslim adult females have been uninterrupted in modern times, but it has besides became widespread and cosmopolitan by the coming of modern engineering. ( Falah & A ; Nagel, 2005 ) .
Miladi ( 2010 ) pointed out in his research paper that modern images of Muslim adult females in American advertizements, argues that Western advertizers tend to distribute stereotypes and the incorrect representations of the head covering and Muslim adult females in order to appeal to consumers. As a consequence, advertizers use certain images of Muslim adult females that have been historically fixed in the Western head, such as the hareem, the hammas ( public baths ) , the cryptic veiled adult female or the laden adult female populating under an oppressive swayer or work forces and utilize this to pull consumers.
The head covering particularly is itself is considered as an tremendous selling tool, as sellers frequently use the head covering in order to sell sex. ( Miladi, 2010 ) . The usage of the laden adult females and the head covering in advertizements will do the Western consumers think that by purchasing the advertised merchandise every bit good as purchasing the favours of the cryptic adult female behind the head covering. ( Miladi, 2010 ) .
The job as stated by Miladi ( 2010 ) , is that Westerners are normally purchasing certain merchandises for purchasing these fanciful images of the ‘other ‘ . As a consequence, through the uninterrupted and insistent corporate expounding to the media, a larger corporate imaginativeness will go on to be created and produced about this image of the fanciful veiled Muslim adult female “ other ” . As mentioned by Gwinn ( 1997 ) , the oppressed veiled Muslim adult female in the ads may besides be connected to the lifting biass and arguments that environment Muslim adult females and the head covering in the Western universe.
The laden stereotypes of Arab Muslim adult females as stated by Ahadi ( 2009 ) , has negative impacts on those adult females that is really obvious. Stereotypes occur when persons are classifieds by others as holding something in common because they are members of a peculiar group or class of people. Media stereotyping of adult females as objects and incapacitated existences creates really low outlooks for society ‘s Arab adult females. As mentioned by Morin ( 2009 ) , adult females populating abroad face typical favoritisms from the Western communities. Western adult females are ever considered as superior to Arab Muslim adult females particularly, the veiled 1s. In fact, Arab Muslim adult females are being oppressed by the negative representations created by the Western media. In add-on, these representations may impact on these adult females psychologically as Western populations perceive the head covering as a barrier between them and the veiled adult females.