Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media 7

Most significant is the Central News Network’s (CNN) 1998 live coverage of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, or hajj, and a half-hour special report dedicated to the event. With two live updates every day throughout the pilgrimage, the coverage was unprecedented. CNN, and the CNN International Anchor, Riz Khan, set out to educate their world audience about Islam’s beliefs and ... Read More »

Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media 6

While Muslims were responsible for the Iranian hostage cri¬sis and the World Trade Center bombing, those Muslims were not acting on behalf of all Muslims and were not, in all cases, American Muslims, yet media simplification causes us to hold all Muslims as responsible. The stereotypes hurt and affect all Muslims. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) says that ... Read More »

Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media 5

Admittedly, radical Islamic extremists, called Islamists by academics, probably live in the United States, but their number must be small. According to FBI statistics, from 1980 until February 1996, only two of the 170 terrorist acts committed in the United States were carried out by radical Muslims. However, there are not enough extremists among American Muslims to warrant alienating the ... Read More »

Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media 4

The primary New York Times article on the arrest of Moham¬med A. Salameh, eventually convicted of the World Trade Center bombing, is relatively straightforward until the fourth para¬graph, where writer Ralph Blumenthal abruptly introduces Salameh’s background as a so-called “Muslim fundamentalist.” He writes, “The arrest of Mr. Salameh, who law-enforcement authorities say is a Muslim fundamentalist, provided the most dramatic ... Read More »

Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media 3

What effect does NBC Nightly News have on Americans? Does a television or newspaper article really affect us? I think it does and, in this case, for the worse. An American Muslim Council (AMC) poll found that the most disliked religious group in America was Muslims. I’m the first to admit that some extremist Muslims, people whom I don’t consider ... Read More »

Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media 2

One female protestor wore a body-cover, similar to the cover Saudi Arabian women wear, to a public hearing on the issue, and somehow claimed that by allowing the Islamic Saudi Academy to be opened here, women on American soil would be forced to wear this dress—“Islamic fashion police” she called it. Others said that Ashburn women and girls would suffer, ... Read More »

Generalizations and Stereotypes: Muslims and the American Media

Like other Americans, I tend to generalize. I wonder how many of these generalizations that I and others subscribe to are influenced by what we hear from the media. Does the media influence us positively or negatively? Does the media have a responsibility to the public to be fair and to educate us? Americans tend to associate all Muslims with ... Read More »

Farrakhan’s Choice: Militancy or Moderation 7

NOI prison ministry may be stronger in other states. For example, according to an article in the Bay State Banner news¬paper, NOI has 20 prison outreach ministers for the Suffolk County House of Correction and other Massachusetts facilities. The article did not say how many NOI followers were prisoners, however. I draw a big distinction between the work Diwan and ... Read More »

Farrakhan’s Choice: Militancy or Moderation 6

The conversion of prisoners to Islam by Muslim religious groups is flourishing even more today than it did in Malcolm’s time, and it has also taken on a different character. During Malcolm’s time, NOI was the major Islamic group converting prisoners, to a racist brand of Islam that was barely in line with the Qur’an. (In the 1960s and early ... Read More »

Farrakhan’s Choice: Militancy or Moderation 5

There are signs that Farrakhan is thinking about taking his NOI mainstream, as Warith Muhammad did when he inherited leadership of the group upon the death of his father, Elijah. Farrakhan has had dialogues with Middle Eastern leaders and American Sunni groups like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He has said in public the shahada, proclaiming that there ... Read More »