Friday, May 20, 2016

Islam in Media

By Dima Tarazi

Media is a growing industry. People watch, read and listen to the news all the time to see how their families are doing abroad, to find out what’s happening in the world and sometimes it could be unintentionally playing in the background such as the radio. In addition, since the media is what people all around the world refer to, they tend to believe everything; the true, the false, and the exaggeration. This further allows me to get into my topic, which is the media brainwashing people into believing that Islam encourages terrorism when on the contrary, Islam actually encourages peace.      
Etymology of the word Islam: (Wikipedia 1)
(Derivation of) Salama
The stinging of a snake or the tanning of the leather
To be saved or to escape from danger (when refering to a female)
To be saved or to escape from danger (when refering to a male)
To submit
To surrender
To receive a salutation or becoming submitted

This etymology is an important initial step for everyone to further understand what Islam as a religion is. Islam as a religion should not be the victim of terrorist attacks all over the world because people simply do not know who else to blame. Terrorist groups using Islam as a back bone for the reasons of their attacks allows the media to directly or indirectly say “the Muslims strike again”. People naïve enough to believe that this is the only truth only allows more support to further classify Muslims as ‘outsiders’ or ‘others’ giving into orientalism. Even if people do not believe the news, there’s always the subconscious where information sticks, out of hand. So the next time there is a terrorist attack, or any form of attack, people may link Islam to it automatically but unintentionally.
To some people, it stopped being a shock and started being casual to link Islam with terrorism, and media plays a big role. Media is a trusted source of information, and people can constantly back themselves up by saying “I saw it on the news today” when there would be 100 other sides to the story that are not actually shown on the news.
My art project is mainly about people being brainwashed by the media and, in this case, about Islam being linked to terrorism. My project is a Photoshop illustration of a regular everyday man who could be from anywhere around the world, sitting down watching the news when the media directly states “Muslims strike again” after a terrorist attack. The information travels to his brain and is shredded like any other piece of info which brainwashes him automatically. In addition, it’s to show people how the media operates when it comes to such a sensitive subject.

For all of the above reasons, I chose to do my end of semester art project on Islam in Media, because, in my opinion, media shapes the world and in time, people’s thoughts and this is what I see is happening in the case of a peaceful and beautiful religion such as Islam. Personally, I am tired of such stereotypes, and one of my main goals of this end of semester project is to destroy the link between terrorism and Islam and make it mostly about Islam and the peaceful religion. Moreover, to alert people to learn more before they assume anything at all in order not to make people victims for no reason. 

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