The Impact of Media Representations on the Understanding of Islam and Attitudes toward Muslims in Queensland

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Rane, Halim
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2007
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The image of Islam and Muslims has often been portrayed in a negative fashion by politicians, the mass media and Orientalist literature. The relationship between Islam and the ‘West’ has also been depicted as one of confrontation and indifference. Such depictions are not a recent phenomenon, but has been handed down by Orientalist discourse as early as the seventeenth century. Certainly, the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and other international events as the Bali bombing, helped exacerbate this image. In Australia, it has become the norm for some media outlets and politicians to paint Australian Muslims and Islam in a pejorative and derogatory manner. According to some scholars this led to constructing Australian Muslims as the new ‘other.’ This social misconstruction had a detrimental impact on the lives of many Australian Muslims, and has certainly strained the relationship between them and the wider Australian community.

In order to practically create better understanding about Islam and the Muslims, and to build sustainable bridges between Queensland Muslims and the wider society, Multicultural Affairs Queensland (MAQ) and the local Muslim community formed the Muslim Community Reference Group (MCRG) in 2006. Working with, and not on behalf of, the local Muslim community brought immediate positive and constructive results. This project is one of them.

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© 2007 Multicultural Affairs Queensland and The Author(s). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher’s website for further information.
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