Impact of blasphemous movie “innocence of Muslims” on the Muslims countries; Analysis of such stereotypical representations by western media.
Media is held responsible for the distorted and caricature image of Muslims and their most holy figure prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the West. The movie “innocence of Muslims” is the most recent stereotype demonstration of them. People’s thinking on a matter, which they don’t have much knowledge about, is largely formed by what media determines, following an agenda setting theory. Islam has always been such issue in the West and Muslims have always been shown as fanatics, extremists and violent killers thus giving negative connotations to Islam. According to semiotic theory of sighs, every image or sign has a coded message, which is always decoded by different people in the same way by a common cognitive system. When the messages in the carton images of Prophet Muhammad published by a Danish magazine Jyllands-Posten in 2006 were decoded, there was an outcry in the Muslim world, which later developed a carton controversy around the global politics. This blasphemous movie of prophet Muhammad, another genre of visual communication, created the same political conflict between East and West and upheaval in the politics of Muslim countries too. The first part of my paper which is a media plan for Pakistani government to deal with the issue, analyses how Muslim world reacted to this movie and how a troublesome situation in all the Muslim countries is affecting the relations of Muslims’ with the U.S. Second part examines how western media, in the name of freedom of speech, has been deconstructing the bodies of Muslims as violent treacherous men and their religion as a danger to West. This message has been continuously shot into the heads of masses since ages analyzing magic bullet theory of media. Media effects theory can easily elucidate the results of such efforts. The article advocates media should consider ethical boundaries while discussing religions and religious entities. Key words: Muslims, stereotypes, prophet Muhammad, cartons, movies, western media, protests, politics. Background of the problem.
Just a 14 minute trailer of the blasphemous movie “innocence of Muslims” caused a great upheaval in the Muslim world .the holiest figure of Islam prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been shown in this movie as a child molester, womanizer, drunk and a violent killer. This is not the first movie, there is a list of such movies against Muslims and Islam, e.g. Black Hawk Dawn, the kingdom, the Seige, fitna, which created havoc in Muslim world and we saw riots, violence, boycotts and deaths as a result of them. Later on, such trouble tic situations were always manipulated by politicians.(see links of movies trailers in references) This movie produced by Nakoula Basseley led Muslims protests in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia and in many other Muslim countries including the killing of US ambassador to Libya in a violent attack by extremists. Obama and Clinton condemned this movie like many other governments of the countries, even Cindy Lee Garcia told The Hollywood Reporter that she and many actors were duped by filmmaker. “He has a price to pay, this Mr.Bacile, maybe not here on Earth, but he’ll stand before God one day for what he has done”. These protests were going on and “meanwhile a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published the controversial cartoons of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) further inflaming Muslims’ sentiments”.(the Dawn 30 sep) Such protests were started in earlier September in Pakistan where hundreds of thousands from all walks of life recorded their protest against this movie and publication of carton images again. Many marched towards US embassy in Islamabad and many were killed and wounded in clash with police there. There were rallies of protests nationwide having more than 45,000 people earlier...
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