The Policy Representation of Muslims in the US Media: A Case Study of the Newsweek Magazine (July to November 2001)

Zahra Emamzadeh


The 9/11 attacks were a watershed in the history of the United States as it greatly influenced different aspects of the American society including its economy, politics, culture, and dominant ideology. It is no exaggeration to say that the 2001 terrorist attacks altered the American domestic and foreign policies. In this policy shift, the media played an important role since they were one of the main instruments which propagated and controlled the representation of different groups, especially Muslims, who came to be held accountable by the American mind for 9/11 attacks. The present thesis applies Saeid Reza Ameli’s theory with regard to the representation of Muslims by westerners, classified into four major categories: Islamophilia, Islamoromia, Islamoverita, and Islamophobia. The present study aims to discuss the Islamophobic representational strategy as employed by the American weekly magazine of Newsweek two months before and two months after the 9/11 attacks. The research project uses Stuart Hall’s representation theory to analyze Newsweek’s articles about Islam before and after the 9/11 attacks. It also employs content analysis, and particularly SPSS, to come to a quantitative result about the dominant representational strategy of the magazine. After analyzing the findings, the researcher demonstrates the dominance of the Islamophobic representational strategy in the Newsweek magazine.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n16p561

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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