The current media saturation of violence in the Middle East and intended Sharia-world-takeover feeds anti-Islam networks with ammo to fire off new claims and spark fear within greater society. Media outlets take the opportunity to turn the actions of a fringe group, actions justified by a very specific and alternative interpretation of the Qur’an, and promote this as the behavior and actions of the general Islamic population. But this is a falsehood through and through. By portraying this small group’s actions as the norm, greater society has become naturalized to the idea of a Muslim as dangerous, as the ‘other’. This naturalized norm, or the fact that the broad public has become so accustomed to seeing violent representations of Muslims throughout media, demonstrates the power of media in propping up stereotypes of and misinformation regarding Islam and Muslims in the US.
A 2010 Gallup poll showed that 76% of people interviewed said increased contact between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens would be highly beneficial. That’s the majority. Furthermore, in 2006 another Gallup poll showed that 75% of Americans wouldn’t mind living next to a Muslim (only 71% said the same about homosexuals).
Abu Dhabi Gallup Center. (2010). Measuring the State pf Muslim-West Relations: Assessing the “New Beginning”. Gallup Incoporated. [Online]. Accessed 2015.02.27
Available at: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/RFP-USA/My%20Documents/Downloads/131484_Measuring%20the%20.pdf
Saad, L. (2006). Anti-Muslim Sentiments Fairly Commonplace. Gallup Americas. [Online]. Accessed 2015.02.27
Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/24073/antimuslim-sentiments-fairly-commonplace.aspx