Just give us a chance: Muslims and media

Just give us a chance: Muslims and media

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The controversial topic of terrorism is discussed enough in the media for people to have a sufficient understanding of what terrorism really is, it’s reach, and even on methods being implemented to prevent it.

However often when the topic is the centre of public discourse, the community at it’s core is not being heard, and in this case, that is the Muslim community. Public

When it comes down to debating the topic of terrorism publicly, it is clearly evident that only certain voices are being heard from the Australian community. There is a clear distinction being made between acceptable voices on the topic, and voices that should not be heard.discourse will often discuss the community without actually including the community, having them spoken for and heard.

Take, for example, the coverage of the Lindt Café Siege in Sydney in 2014. The media attempted

to give the wider community an insight into how Muslims felt about the siege by interviewing “Muslim community leaders”.

However, this did not provide the community a proper look into how the “everyday” Muslim feels, instead, discussions were focussed on terrorism and politics in general. The focus and selective choice of voices restricted the conversation on Muslims and the impact this has on their lives.

It also meant there were voices chosen to maintain an image of Muslims.

The distinction can play out in many different circumstances. An “everyday” Muslim is a person who would generally share a brutally honest perspective on how they felt about terrorism, whereas, a community leader would have to be much more cautious of what they say, because of the inevitable backlash they would receive.

The controversial topic of terrorism is discussed enough in the media for people to have a sufficient understanding of what terrorism really is, it’s reach, and even on methods being implemented to prevent it.

However often when the topic is the centre of public discourse, the community at it’s core is not being heard, and in this case, that is the Muslim community. Publicdiscourse will often discuss the community without actually including the community, having them spoken for and heard.

When it comes down to debating the topic of terrorism publicly, it is clearly evident that only certain voices are being heard from the Australian community. There is a clear distinction being made between acceptable voices on the topic, and voices that should not be heard.

Take, for example, the coverage of the Lindt Café Siege in Sydney in 2014. The media attempted

to give the wider community an insight into how Muslims felt about the siege by interviewing “Muslim community leaders”.

However, this did not provide the community a proper look into how the “everyday” Muslim feels, instead, discussions were focussed on terrorism and politics in general. The focus and selective choice of voices restricted the conversation on Muslims and the impact this has on their lives.

It also meant there were voices chosen to maintain an image of Muslims.

The distinction can play out in many different circumstances. An “everyday” Muslim is a person who would generally share a brutally honest perspective on how they felt about terrorism, whereas, a community leader would have to be much more cautious of what they say, because of the inevitable backlash they would receive.

If an “everyday” Muslim were to be interviewed

in the street at random, then a clearer perspective of how the general Muslim community feels about terrorism would finally be more widely shared.

This would, idealistically, open the floodgates to a less ignorant and more compassionate society.

It is crucial to understand that the Muslims in Australia are not holding the wider Australian community accountable for being ignorant. Instead, it is the media being held responsible for not properly sharing the perspective’s of the Muslim community, which is the heart of this topic. It is their responsibility to accurately reflect the perspectives of the community, and it is their failures here that have caused such issues to emerge.

If the “everyday” Muslims were to have a proper voice in the media, then the wider Australian community would hear what it is like to be labelled a terrorist; that Islam doesn’t condone violence towards anyone or anything; the minority that is radicalised does not follow the Sunnah (Proper teachings of Islam) of Islam; and that terrorism has no religion.

These shared perspectives could help shape the discussions around Muslims in Australia, and more accurately reflect the challenges

Muslims are facing in Australia, instead of allowing the focus around Muslims to be their explanation of terrorism and politics.

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