Worldtown Hearsay :: Muslims Face Most Discrimination in America; Media Not Helping.
Every year, as the crisp winds of September arrive and labour day post-summer humdrum is laid to rest - a painful anniversary reminds all of us why the world we live in is a very different place than it was 8 years ago: 9/11. And whenever we think things really couldn’t get much worse than: deportations in the name of homeland security, the War on Terror, a steady rise in Conservative, Xenophobic governments and a Right-Wing conspiracy to expose the President as a teetering “Radical Islamist”, we’re reminded why Muslims - not only in America - are marked negatively for life. Pew Research Centre has released a report depicting Muslims as facing the most discrimination in America, reminding us once more why exactly this date is such a bitter pill for so many of us year after year.
But 9/11 did push the Muslim into the mainstream, and although that’s sometimes been a slow, painful - full of menacing depictions and misrepresentations - kinda relationship, at least there’s a stage to celebrate….. this encounter? This September, coinciding with the holy month of Ramadhan, there’s an upsurge of stories trying to convey the “human interest” side of Muslims in America - though of course, with a fair-share of cringe-worthy focal points. Good thing we have some of our blogger friends challenging these stories de rigeur.
- CNN’s August special entitled Generation Islam, hosted by Christiane Amanpour charting everything from misperceptions about the Hijab, to uncovering the “Real Afghanistan” could have been a really well-done and timely piece, had it not been such a dissappointing and veiled effort to try to dichotomize Muslims as those who embrace America, and those who are violently opposed to it.
- Elan Magazine has an interesting response to the Generation Islam series that conveys the difficulty in swallowing outsider depictions of Muslims, especially when the Muslims covered in the piece, the so-called “Generation Islam” are directly tied to the War on Terror.
- This photo series in TIME Magazine is another example of outsider goes into a few communities of America (or New York State) in an attempt to cover the plethora of faces of Muslims in America.
- Complex Magazine’s blog decided to list and “celebrate Ramadhan” by showing The 10 Hottest Muslim Women. Read Muslimah Media Watch’s poignant response to that one.
- On the positive side of things - while this is not a representation of Muslims - Cherien Dabis’s soon to be released ‘Amreeka’, showing the immigrant experience of Christian-Palestinians is getting great reviews for being an authentic and timely narrative of Arabs in America. ‘Amreeka’ is opening for wide-release in most cities this month.
Most of these attempts may be well-intentioned, but fall short of actually presenting Muslims in the diverse arrays of colors and skins they come in - packaging them into a display box as if they must be “handled with care.” It’s disconcerting to see that despite all these years, Muslims are still the most targeted and discriminated against group - but how do these stories help change that? Let us know what you think - share your own views about these items!