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date: 06 December 2023

Media Interactions with Muslimslocked

Media Interactions with Muslimslocked

  • Nofret Berenice Hernandez VilchisNofret Berenice Hernandez VilchisDepartment of History, CIDE


The so-called “Global War on Terror” shows the tense relationships between mainstream media and Muslims around the world. Islam and Arab culture serve as a contrasting otherness in the construction of Western identity. Orientalism allowed first Europe and then the United States to carry on their civilizing missions and expand their culture through the Arab and Muslim world. Since the 19th century, an Orientalist narrative was built to describe an “oriental other” that justifies domination. This tense relationship can be seen in the way mainstream media reproduces an Orientalist narrative that has “migrated” from the global North to the global South. Here, “mainstream media” refers to the most prominent European and American media, including newspapers, TV broadcasting, and news agencies with global reach such as: The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Le Monde, Figaro, CNN, the BBC, France 24, DW, the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, and Agence France Press (AFP).

Since the beginning of the 21st century the Orientalist narrative in mainstream media changed from being discriminatory speech into hate speech or Islamophobia. Peripheral media sources reproduce this narrative, as is the case with Mexico’s leading newspapers El Universal, Reforma, and La Jornada. Analysis of the treatment that these newspapers have offered of specific events such as the Second Intifada, 9/11, and the American invasion of Iraq illustrates how the Orientalist-Islamophobic narrative from mainstream media is reproduced to a large degree in the global South. Findings from a current postdoctoral research study involving interviews of Arabs and Muslims living in Mexico make it possible to establish how and to what extent the Orientalist-Islamophobic narrative spread by the mainstream media from the global North affects Arabs and Muslims in the global South.


  • Islamic Studies

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