Images of Islam in the UK: the representation of British Muslims in the national print news media 2000-2008
Lewis, Justin Matthew Wren
- Publisher: Cardiff University
Our findings suggest that the coverage of British Muslims has increased significantly since \ud 2000, peaking in 2006, and remaining at high levels in 2007 and 2008. This rise is partly \ud explained by the increase in coverage devoted to terrorism and terrorism related stories - \ud 36% of stories about British Muslims overall are about terrorism. This is especially notable \ud after the terrorist attacks in the US and the UK in 2001 and 2005. \ud \ud In recent years, however, we have seen the increasing importance of stories focusing on \ud religious and cultural differences between Islam and British culture or the West in general \ud (22% of stories overall) or Islamic extremism (11% overall). Indeed, 2008 was the first year \ud in which the volume of stories about religious and cultural differences (32% of stories by \ud 2008) overtook terrorism related stories (27% by 2008). Coverage of attacks on or problems \ud facing Muslims, on the other hand, has steadily declined as a proportion of coverage. In sum, \ud we found that the bulk of coverage of British Muslims - around two thirds - focuses on \ud Muslims as a threat (in relation to terrorism), a problem (in terms of differences in values) or \ud both (Muslim extremism in general).
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