Western movies promote negative image of Islam

Western movies promote negative stereotypes of Muslims by casting them as villains, according to a new study released by a British Muslim group.

Western movies promote negative image of Islam
The report, by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, concluded that Western movies play a major role in portraying a bad image of Muslims.

"There is no such thing as a Muslim good guy," Arzu Merali, co-author of the study, told Reuters.

The commission also carried out a survey, based on opinions taken from about 1,250 British Muslims, which found that 62% believe that the Western media is "Islamophobic" and that 14% called it "racist."

"Cinema, both in Hollywood and Britain, has helped to demonize Muslims. They are portrayed as violent and backward. That reinforces prejudices," said Merali, head of research at the campaigning body.

"This stretches back before the 9/11 attacks in the United States," he added.

The report pointed the finger of blame as far back as the 1981 blockbuster "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in which "the cultural stereotypes and scenarios are patently obvious" as veiled women hurry through the bazaar to snake-charming music.

The 1998 movie, "The Siege", starring Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington, also reinforced "the monolithic stereotype of the Arab/Palestinian/Muslim being violent," the report said.

Disney's cartoon was also criticized for describing Aladdin's homeland as "barbaric."

The commission urged British movie censors to be given greater power to cut out "objectionable material" and urged media watchdogs in Britain to ensure "responsible coverage of Muslims."

Recent studies showed that Western media largely contributed to the growing negative image of Islam, particularly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

Some analysts believe that the rise in Islamophobia emerged from the policies of many Western governments who want to protect their interests in the Middle East through tarnishing Muslims' image to justify their political and military interference in Arab and ME nations.

In Britain, Muslim leaders say that the policies of the government after the 7/7 London bombings have "driven a wedge" between Muslims and the wider community rather than curb extremism, despite the authorities' claims that they are trying to win the heart and minds of the country's 1.8 million Muslims.

Although the rise in Islamophobia affected Muslims' efforts to integrate in Western societies, many Muslims succeeded in establishing themselves in the West, and played a key role in their countries' social and political life.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16