Tuesday, February 9, 2016

This study shows how the media fuels support for anti-Muslim discrimination — and even war


Muslim woman wearing a headscarf looks out a window (Shutterstock)

Since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, news stories with negative portrayals of Muslims have dominated the media. This negative coverage is made more problematic when right-wing news channels fail to explicitly distinguish between radical Islam and the interpretation of Islam that is accepted by the overwhelming majority of Muslims, who do not support terror. In fact—maybe unsurprisingly—at least one empirical study has shown that Fox News watchers are significantly more likely to have negative views of Muslims.
At the same time, anti-Muslim sentiment appears to be increasing across America. At Donald Trump rallies, we have seen overt hostility towards Muslim attendees. Most of us needn’t look further than our social media newsfeeds to see evidence of a growing animosity towards people of Islamic faith, especially amongst more conservative friends or unstable, mildly racist uncles. In accordance with these observations, a new study has found that short-term exposure to news that portrays Muslims in a negative way actually causes viewers to support policies that harm Muslims internationally and domestically.
The study’s clever design broke participants into three groups, where each group was shown a 2-3 minute news clip from YouTube that portrayed Muslims in different ways. The news clip featured either a negative story, a neutral story, or a positive story about Muslims. The negative story involved an attempted terror attack on Fort Dix, in which six Muslim males were captured after their plot to kill as many American soldiers as possible was discovered and thwarted. 
The neutral news story discussed how a football practice schedule was changed due to Ramadan, a holy month in which Muslims fast during daylight. The positive news clip featured an Islamic leader urging the Muslim community to come together to help non-Muslim citizens during Christmas. After the news clip was presented, each group was given surveys that assessed their support for military action against Muslim countries, as well as their support for civil restrictions against Muslim Americans.
What the study found was that the participants who viewed the negative news clip perceived Muslims as more aggressive, and as a result were more supportive of attacks on Muslim nations. With this in mind, it is easy to see why Republican presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, who has suggested that we “carpet bomb” areas of the Middle East—which would undoubtedly kill a significant number of civilians—are receiving widespread support from viewers of right-wing news outlets.
Additionally, and perhaps more disturbingly, those who watched the negative news clip were in favor of restricting the civil rights of Muslim Americans, which once again can help explain the changes in popularity of certain Republican presidential candidates. For example, when Donald Trump stated that if elected president he would ban all Muslims from entering the country, he received a dramatic rise in the polls. Similarly, neurosurgeon Ben Carson saw his only significant boost in the polls immediately after he stated that he believed no Muslim should ever be elected president. 
This recent study is significant because it provides convincing evidence that the negative news stories that are commonly broadcast by the media have real and harmful effects on Muslims at home and abroad, and that politicians are actively exploiting the fears they promote.
there is much more to the article please read.  it is obvious that the republican agenda is to do to Muslims what they have and still do to any not like them.  they create in te heads of those who listen the latest bogeyman with real images of real acts but as with most things there is always another side that is more positive.  the repeatedly try to get Pres. to be complicit to their bigotry by trying to make his say Islamic terrorism a term they coined and has no relevance beyond them.  

it's that kind of broad brush painting that has the gullible red meat hungry base receptive to the misinformation but they bristle when a label of bigot or racist is tied to them goose gander syndrome in reverse.  many are beginning to see through the lies and want nothing to do with them and their hate fest even evangelicals are fleeing from their propaganda driven rhetoric.  even the die hard card carrying haters.