My dissertation research is finally coming together. After analysing over 350 articles, here are some of the main things I have discovered so far:
- Muslim women are largely mentioned in the British press in relation to ‘the veil’; this us unsuprising, and the perpetuation of these images can be damaging to the way Western society views these women. If ‘we’ impose the veil as a symbol of oppression by Islam (falsely so), we are creating yet another hurdle for these women to overcome by essentialising them in this way.
- Whilst newspaper coverage of Islam has risen continuously over the last few years, coverage of Muslim women has fluctuated up and down, however no pattern showing development in the amount of coverage they are receiving.
- An overwhelming amount of coverage of Muslim women fits the stereotype of them being oppressed by their culture or religion, needing our help and citizens who don’t quite fit into our ‘Britishness’.
What these results are showing is that there is a pressing need for more positive images of Muslims and Muslim women in the media, ones which do not show them as outsiders but rather part of our society. Images where Islam is not demonised but rather shown for the way 99.9% of its followers perceive it, a peaceful religion. It’s time to separate the extremists from every other Muslim, who are each an individual and should not be defined by radical interpretations of their beliefs.
**More to follow***
This is something which I have become really passionate about over the course of my dissertation and would like to see changes in…