Islamophobia in the Western Media: A Linguistic Investigation of Two Counter Arguments

  • Naimah Al-Ghamdi, Raghad Khalid Safrah


This paper aims to present a linguist-semiotic analysis of the Islamophobic discourse in the Western media. It attempts to exhibit the ability to applying Van Dijk's (2008) Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a conceptual framework for examining and investigating the distorted, verbal and non-verbal Islamophobic discourse in the Western media. The study traces the linguistic manipulation and the distorted and overgeneralized depiction of Arabs and Muslims. Moreover, it outlines verbal, and non-verbal, racial, and ethnic targeting seen in different forms of Western media. It sheds light on the Portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the Western arts and journalistic contexts while simultaneously drawing an analogy between the counterarguments of both. The study attempts to emphasize the vital role of mass media in the generation and reproduction of one type of racism, which is Islamophobia. It is hypothesized that such stereotypical and prejudiced portrayals result in the "othering" of Arabs and Muslims. In order to trace Islamophobia and assess how these dominant representations reinforce numerous stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs in general, samples of newspapers, articles, movies, paintings, books, and cartoons will be used for the data collection process. Also, this study will take on a qualitative and descriptive approach as its research design. The study found that the Western media tends to present disfigured, fabricated, and overgeneralized portrayals and images of Arabs and Muslims, resulting in an "us" versus "them" dichotomy.