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Amina Yaqin discusses Framing Muslims

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Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 13:29

Amina Yaqin, co-project leader of Framing Muslims, discusses her research with FACULTI media.

 

   

Weekly Links 18th-25th February 2013

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Here is the nineteenth installment of our weekly links. Feel free to share your comments and recommend links.


Harron Siddique talks to director Amjod Khazir about his short film ‘Combinations’, for the Guardian.

 

Monia Mazigh reviews Katherine Bullock’s new book ‘Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil’, for Muslim Link.

 

Alam Shaha reviews BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Islam without God’, for the New Humanist Blog.



Wood Turtle argues BBC 3’s ‘Make Me A Muslim’ offers a reductive view of Muslim women.



Jeffrey Alexander
speaks at Birkbeck College on multiculturalism, Muslims and modes of incorporation, from Back Door Broadcasting.

   

Channel 4's 'Complicit' Framing

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Channel 4’s ‘Complicit’, a drama about terrorism, torture and race, has been broadly praised by reviewers in the British press. Though it has been suggested as offering an extra edge of complexity than other shows in the genre, Muslims seem framed as duplicitous, violent and in opposition to British values.

 

Edward (David Oyelowo) is an MI5 agent involved in investigating a terrorist group with international links, believed to be plotting a terrorist attack in Britain. Waleed (Arsan Ali) is then arrested in Egypt in connection with the plot.  Complexity is added to the drama by the consideration of whether torture would appropriate way to extract information from Waleed, as well as by Edward’s belief that institutionalised racism is holding back the progress of his career, and his investigation in to the terror plot.

 

‘Complicit’ sheds light on the effects the perception of institutional racism might have, but the drama pays no attention to the reiteration of cultural stereotypes of Muslims. What viewers see are the effects that being reduced to a racialised ‘other’ might have for black people, but Muslims are not given the same complexity of narrative.

 

Complicit starts with an air of suspicion, the call to prayer, followed by Muslims burning poppies in YouTube videos. The cinematography lends an air of suspicion, where the camera zooms in at the Qur’an swinging in the rear-view mirror of the taxi of an informant. There is the impression of ominous threat when Muslims are shown. Later, in the scene when Waleed beckons on MI5 agent Edward with a racist slur, the language of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ is ever present in Edward’s speech. Britain is described as having given social services to ‘those’ Muslims, with terror the only gift offered in return. It renders Muslims outside of British identity, and incapable of any form of criticism.

 

This is point is disputed by Arsan Ali. Stating that dramas such as ‘24’ and ‘Homeland’, invoke a “mythology that every single dark-skinned guy is a baddie”, the ambiguity of Waleed’s character offers “a refreshing change”. Yet neither Waleed, nor other Muslims in the programme, are ever seen outside of a prism of mistrust, of questionable allegiances and of threat. Interestingly, Channel 4’s scheduling department decided to broadcast ‘True Lies’ directly after the airing of ‘Complicity’, suggesting the Sunday night tonal unity of terrorist bad guys who speak Arabic trying to destroy things.

 

This drama cannot be blamed as the sole source of fear of Islam and Muslims, but as a reiteration of a narrative that frames Muslims negatively.

   

Weekly Links 11th-17th February 2013

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 06:50

Here is the eighteenth installment of our weekly links. Feel free to share your comments and recommend links.

 

Rachel Shabi questions whether ‘Argo’, ‘Zero Dark Thrity’ and ‘Homeland’ truly offer nuanced interpretations of Muslims and Islam, for the Guardian.

 

Sharrae reviews ‘Ask a Muslim’, an online series where black American Muslims introduce Islam through topics chosen by non-Muslims, for Muslimah Media Watch.

 

Hasnet Lais talks to three British Muslim reverts about Islam and female empowerment, for the Independent.

 

Professor Leon Moosavi writes about Islamophobia in contemporary Britain for the University of Liverpool blog.

 

David Graham reports on suspicions into arecent high-profile appointment of Obama’s, for the Atlantic.

 

A recent edition of BBC’s Sunday programme reports on a High Court ruling on religious divorce with the possibility of great implications.

   

‘It seems that almost overnight it’s changed from Acton Vale into Acton Veil’

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Last Updated on Sunday, 24 February 2013 12:10

In a recent opinion piece for the Telegraph, Jan Kelly’s argued that ‘all of us’ are becoming reluctantly racist, and multiculturalism is to blame. Kelly’s definition of multiculturalism is ill-defined, but suggests a policy towards immigration that is opposed to assimilation, but rather promotes linguistic ghettoization and ‘Islamisation’. The article’s imagery of the real and insurmountable difference that multiculturalism brings is striking; the undertones of which reflect deep suspicion of Islam.


Multiculturalism is used as by-word for linguistic and cultural dominance by a Muslim ‘other’. The outwards signs of this threat include Arabic writing on shop fronts, female neighbours in niqab who, in her words, “flap” down the road, and young Muslim men talking on their phones in shops, rather than pay her due regard. Areas where there is public use of languages other than English, or were people dress in particular ways, become “giant transit camp[s]” that are “home[s] to no one”, in Kelly’s eyes. These areas are products of multiculturalist policy.

 

Later in her article, Kelly shares her belief that ‘good’ schools mean ‘mainly white English’ schools, and that “good” areas have ‘pleasant cafes’ and ‘nice housing’. This language creates the impression of white affluence that is the better of Islamicly-inspired, multi-lingual ‘bad’ neighbourhoods.

 

Her article romanticises a fictive past that is cut off from return, where she wishes for a “journey on public transport [that] didn’t leave me feeling as if I have only just arrived in a strange country myself”. Jane Kelly’s opinion piece goes some way towards the reframing of Muslim ‘otherness’ as distinctly opposed to British identity.

To read the article, click here

   

Weekly Links 4th-11th February 2013

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Last Updated on Monday, 04 February 2013 10:32

After some absence, here is the seventeenth installment of our weekly links. Feel free to share your comments and recommend links.

 

Clive Field looks closely at the recent YouGov poll into attitudes towards Muslims in Britain, for British Religion in Numbers.

 

The BFI recently hosted a day conference for school students on 'Representing Islam'.

 

Gabriel Tate reviews the BBC3 documentary 'Make Me a Muslim', for Time Out London.

 

Alex Kane reports on a recent Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition meeting into "stop and frisk" policies in New York, for Mondoweiss.


Andrea Plaid interviews creator of the 'Badass Muslim Girl' blog, Ainee Fatima, for Racialicious.

 

Catrin Nye reports on World Hijab Day, designed to promote greater religious dialogue, for the BBC.

 

John Plunkett reports on how BBC Radio 4 executives cut lines from drama thought to 'potentially misrepresent', for the Guardian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Weekly Links 8th-14th October 2012

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Here is the sixteenth installment of our weekly links. Feel free to share your comments and recommend links.

 

Alternet’s Lynn Paramore discusses the long history of Muslims in America.

 

CBC News reports on the Canadian government’s cutting of non-Christian prison chaplains.

 

The Muslim Debate Initiative’s Abdullah al-Andalusi blogs about its decision to host a debate with EDL leader.

 

Marwa Hamad, for Racialious, looks at the framing of Zayn Malik, of boy band One Direction.

 

Islamophobia Watch look at the reporting in the British press on plans for Newham’s ‘mega-mosque’.

 


   

Weekly Links 1st-7th October 2012

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Here is the fifteenth installment of our weekly links. Feel free to share your comments and recommend links.

 

University of Derby’s Paul Weller & Sariya Contractor’s conference podcast looks at religion, belief discrimination and equality in England and Wales.

 

Jadaliyya’s Kifah and Jennifer review Jon Stewart’s very respectful interview with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

 

Race & Class’ recent edition includes an article by Kundnani on the deconstruction of ‘radicalisation’.

 

MMW’s Krista reviews new book ‘Islam in the Hinterlands’, with a chapter on the press’ framing of Canadian Muslims.

 

The Tanenbaum Centre provides various perspectives of those against the Geller’s New York subway ads.

 

In light of recent events, the Muslim Debate Initiative post a poignant video speech by Edward Said.

 

Mondoweiss’ Philip Weiss looks at Saudi writer Al-Fayad’s critique of the bounds of Western free speech.

 

MMW’s Nurul Syahirah looks at how violent acts by Muslim women are portrayed in the media.

   

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