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Representations of Islam in the News

A Cross-Cultural Analysis

Edited by Stefan Mertens and Hedwig de Smaele - Contributions by David Abadi; Arshad Amanullah; Anna Berbers; Jan Ceuppens; Dorien De Booser; Rozane De Cock; Koenraad Du Pont; Leen d'Haenens; Elke Ichau; Joyce Koeman; Elien Kok; Lut Lams; Stefan Mertens; Stefanie Nijs; Elizabeth Poole; Hedwig de Smaele; Roza Tsagarousianou and Chris Verschooten

The representation of Islam is unquestionably a critical test for comparing journalistic reporting across countries and cultures. The Islamic religion has weight in international reporting (defining what we termed “foreign Islam”), but it is also the religion of numerically important minority groups residing in Europe (“national Islam”). The first part of the book is “setting the scene.” Three chapters provide insights in dominant patterns of the representation of Islam as detected by various authors and studies involved with Islam representation in Europe. Part two, the core section of the book, contributes to the development of the field of comparative journalism studies by comparing several countries and six media systems in Western Europe: the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (Flanders), the French-speaking part of Belgium (Wallonia), the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the U.K. Part three of this book presents two reception studies, one qualitative and the other quantitative. Equally important, as the bulk of attention goes to Western Europe, is the extension towards the representation of Muslims and Islam outside Western Europe. Part four of the book is devoted to the representation of Islam in some of the so-called BRICs-countries: Russia, China, and India. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 296Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-1-4985-0987-9 • Hardback • April 2016 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4985-0988-6 • eBook • April 2016 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
Stefan Mertens is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leuven.

Hedwig de Smaele is coordinator of the master's program in journalism at the University of Leuven.
Introduction, Stefan Mertens and Hedwig de Smaele
Part I: Setting the Scene
Chapter 1: Muslims in Public and Media Discourse in Western Europe: The Reproduction of Aporia and Exclusion, Roza Tsagarousianou
Chapter 2: The U.K.’s Reporting of Islam and Muslims: Reviewing the Field, Elizabeth Poole
Chapter 3: Recent Trends in German Integration Discourse: From the Sarrazin Controversies to the Decline of Political Correctness, David Abadi, Leen d’Haenens, and Joyce Koeman
Part II: Cultural Values in the News: A Cross-Cultural Content Analysis of the Representation of Islam in Western European Media
Chapter 4: European Media Coverage of Islam in a Globalizing World, Stefan Mertens
Chapter 5: A Comparison of News Reporting on Islam and Muslims in Flanders and the Netherlands, Stefan Mertens
Chapter 6: The Representation of Islam and Muslims in Flemish TV news, Elke Ichau and Leen d’Haenens
Chapter 7: A Comparison of News Reporting on Islam and Muslims in Wallonia and France, Rozane De Cock and Koenraad Du Pont
Chapter 8: The Representation of Islam and Muslims in Germany, Jan Ceuppens
Chapter 9: The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the U.K., Stefan Mertens
Part III: Reception of Media Representation of Muslims and Islam
Chapter 10: Reception of Media Representations of Moroccan Ethnicity and Islam in Belgium and the Netherlands: The Case of the “Syria Fighters,” Anna Berbers, Joyce Koeman, and Leen d’Haenens
Chapter 11: News Exposure and Fear of Islamic State: Survey Results among Flemish Adults, Rozane De Cock and Elien Kok
Part IV: Representation of Islam and Muslims in the Media across the World: Extending the Framework
Chapter 12: The Representation of Islam and Muslims in Russian Newspapers Kommersant’ and Rossijskaya Gazeta, Hedwig de Smaele and Dorien De Booser
Chapter 13: Salience and Representation of Islam and Uyghur Muslims in the Chinese Communist Party Press, Lutgard Lams
Chapter 14: Framing ghar wapsi and Muslim Identity in Indian Print Media, Chris Verschooten, Arshad Amanullah, and Stefanie Nijs
Given the continued politicization of religion and the exclusion of Muslims in many European countries and beyond, studying media representations of Islam is of great importance. This well-structured edited collection, based on an international project funded by the Research Foundation, Flanders, gathers a range of empirically grounded studies investigating the media portrayal of Muslims and Islam across a variety of cultural and political contexts and from different perspectives.... Although each chapter can be read as a stand-alone study, the book as a whole also advances a number of more general arguments about the factors that influence and help explain the patterns found in the news coverage. These include the difference between the coverage of internal or domestic Islam and external or foreign Islam, differences rooted in the political orientations of news outlets and specificities stemming from national contexts. Together, this valuable collection thus brings not only an important descriptive analysis of representations of Islam but also helps us understand why these representations are as they are.
European Journal Of Communication

In these current times of increasing politicization of religion, the representation of Islam is a topic of great importance. Analyzing the media discourses in Europe, this volume offers a careful account of the patterns and contradictions in news coverage relating to Islam. In so doing, the authors adopt a cross-cultural approach. In a highly sophisticated way they convey an understanding of representing Islam as a transcultural phenomenon in Europe.
Andreas Hepp, University of Bremen

This book successfully brings the research results of a comparative European study on media representations of Muslims and Islam into conversation with research on the same topic in the context of India, China, and Russia. In addition, it is a relevant reading for anyone interested in combining the methodologies of comparative content analysis and audience reception studies.
Karina Horsti, University of Jyväskylä

Mertens and de Smaele have assembled a well-rounded and thought-provoking volume on representations of Islam in the news. Combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, it offers insights into a wide number of countries within and beyond Europe. Its contributions provide a deeper and truly comparative understanding of media portrayals of Islam that will serve as a model and a reference point for future research.
Erik Bleich, Middlebury College

This is an extremely ambitious volume. It offers readers the opportunity to learn about the specific cultural contexts and cultural politics around Islam in multiple countries, revealing an overwhelming tendency to produce polarizing discourses about Islam that contribute to justifying Muslims’ political exclusion from many European countries.
Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan