Anti-Islam attitudes, particular towards the Muslims and their informal and formal policies and codes of conduct are has become the main target of the Western media. This prejudice has manifested itself in various parts of the non-Muslim world. The Muslims have been portrayed by the Western media as dirty, brutal, uneducated, untrustworthy and fanatical terrorists. Throughout the western world, there exist a strong Islam-phobia; the strong feeling of Islam-phobia takes very many forms including hate and discrimination. Islam-phobia linked to terrorist attacks that are carried by Islamic fundamentalists. The strong anti-Muslim attitudes are widespread in Britain, France, United States and other western countries (Tucker and Roberts 110).
The western media is quick to pick on any negative activity conducted by the Arabs and they magnify it. The western media has resorted to ethnic stereotyping when depicting Muslims. This has taken the form of anti-Semitism, the hostility towards the Jewish during the Second World War. Anti-Semitism was the most heinous expression of European antipathy towards Judaism. The creation of the state of Israel enhanced the spread of anti-Semitism sentiments in the global Muslim community and in the entire Arab world. These sentiments still remain strong today just as anti-Arab sentiments in the western world (Tucker and Roberts 111).
Before the World War 11, anti-Semitism was a discrimination against Jews as an ethnic group and a religion. During this period, the definition of anti-Semitism was very complex. The strong anti-Semitism sentiments were due to prejudices, dialogue and stereotypes associated with the Jews. The western media has perpetuated the wring perception that Islam is a very backward religion and it depicts Muslims as fundamentalists using religion to justify and further their course. This creates avoidance and panic. The political discussion regarding Islam and the western media creates a platform for stereotyping (Kincheloe and Steinberg 20).
In both Islam phobia and anti-Semitism, religion is applied as a tool of creating fear and maintaining status quo. Anti-Semitism feelings was propagated by pre-World War 11 stereotyping of the Jews as people determined to take over the world and creation of the fear that Europe will no longer be Europe. There was artificial perception that Jews are penetrating from within. Both anti-Semitism and Islam-phobia are comparable in the sense that the stereotypes were formed to propagate it and to reinforce discrimination and prejudice (Kincheloe and Steinberg 22).
The orientalist discourse, women used their position to enter the Muslim female space and also to collect any evidence of the victimhood of Muslim woman. There were very many paintings that sought to depict a typical Muslim woman. The paintings by Brown illustrated the victimization of Muslim women by Islamic practices of sexual segregation and polygamy. Orientalist feminists identify feminism as a dichotomy between the west and the orient. Orientalist is considered as a place of religious dogma, irrationality and backwardness and this identified by the treatment of women. The orientalist discourse paints a monolithic picture of victimized women of orient that require to be rescued. In the Muslim world, women are portrayed as an oppressed lot and need empowerment (Sharma 196). The Muslim is depicted as a society with widespread inequalities. The women are depicted based on scientific knowledge and they are viewed as emotional, sentimental, passive and intellectually inferior. Both Muslim men and women are seen as unified and homogeneous static things and that they both carry inherent characteristics. The depiction however reinforces the superhot of man over women.
Kincheloe, Joe L, and Shirley R. Steinberg. The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2004. Print.
Sharma, Arvind. The World's Religions: A Contemporary Reader. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011. Print.
Tucker, Spencer, and Priscilla M. Roberts. The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.