Very less attention is given to Muslim women’s character and their roles in stories
Numbers regularly do inform a tale, an instead murky one. Sample this: out of the 200 most appropriate television series aired in the U.K., U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, only 1% of tale arcs targeted Muslim characters and their stories. If those narratives existed at all, those shows had been on the whole connected to place their characters as “outsiders” and in the context of violent acts and behaviors. These had been the worrying findings of a document on Muslim representation on famous television indicates. Titled “Erased or Extremists: The Stereotypical View of Muslims in Popular Episodic Series,” the study changed into posted through researchers at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The researchers checked out the television indicate that aired between 2018 and 2019, examining a few 8,885 characters that had talking roles throughout 200 indicates. Think of applications like Eastenders, Next of Kin, Empire, Russian Doll, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons, Jack Ryan, FBI, and more. Out of those, there had been the simplest 98 Muslim characters throughout the large breadth of characters crafted for television. There changed into one Muslim woman for every 90 characters coming from different social backgrounds. And nearly 87% of the collection tested featured no Muslim characters. If one had been to in addition dilute this number: there had been 4,432 talking men characters across 100 indicates in 2019. Only eleven of them had been Muslim women.
The document articulates the proliferation of cultural stereotypes through data, portraying a “disheartening truth of Muslims on screen.” The query of illustration needs to additionally spill over to bear in mind what correct portrayal has to appear like, and the harm dangerous representation can do. This truth is also supplied in violent and dehumanizing ways. For instance, greater than two-thirds of the characters have been portrayed as “foreigners,” individuals who aren’t local English speakers but “outsiders” to the cultural audience in which those shows have been being viewed. This is no matter the truth that Muslims stay the various maximum racially and ethnically various religious groups in the world — their roots cross past the Middle-east or North Africa.
In Jack Ryan, the Muslim characters proven in Nigeria have been individuals of the Boko Haram militia. In different phrases, while Muslim characters have been placed in Muslim-ruled countries, they have been by hook or by crook related to terrorist activity,” they have a look at authors noted.
Almost 37.2% of Muslim characters have been proven as “criminals” in those indicates, while 40% of characters have been targets of violent attacks. Abundant studies indicate how non secular, ethnic, and racial minorities are frequently etherized and alienated from the bigger national identity. Language turns into a website of violence too. The common phrases used to disparage characters on those indicate went something like this: “terrorist,” “pedophile,” “monster,” “college shooter,” and “psychopath.” These depictions suggest how suddenly and violently the presence of Muslim lives can cross “from mute to menacing,” as one op-ed noted. The disaster of illustration isn’t limited to TV alone.
Last year, a have a look at by the same researchers confirmed fewer than 2% of characters in films released between 2017 and 2019 have been Muslims. The truth of gender right here is likewise a pertinent inclusion. If the racist tropes display men as violent and aggressive, girls are portrayed to be oppressed and caged to an anti-feminist system. The studies confirmed that out of all of the Muslim characters with talking time, only 30% of them have been women, and greater than 1/2 of them have been portrayed as women usually wearing hijab. They have been usually depicted in emotional and bodily torment, and have been nearly usually unemployed compared to their male counterparts.
And empowerment handiest ever comes by distancing themselves thru stirring gestures from one’s non secular values. Netflix’s Spanish teen drama Elite — although now no longer considered in the ambit of this study — is based on this construction. One of the display’s leads, Nadia, walks right into a membership having removed her headscarf, beverages alcohol, and having intercourse with her white friend. “Instead of a nuanced method to her identity, the once-oppressed teenager must make a statement,” argued author and activist Mariam Khan.