The Islamophobia which could be read as a modern conceptualization of opposition to Islam, is accepted as a modern and secular discourse following September 11 in places where Muslim immigrants live densely, it actually is a phenomenon that has its roots back to the Middle Ages in Europe.
The perception of Islam as a threat to secularism, democracy and to Western civilizations in relation to that, seeing Islam and Muslims as a phenomenon that belongs to the Middle Ages due to many reasons, have all played a role directly in spreading fear of Islam and hatred from Islam while forming the theoric ground of mentioned opposition.
Western media’s misquotation, misinterpretation and misuse of Islamic ideals have portrayed Muslims as extremists and terrorists. Misconceptions of Islam, Muslims, and stereotypes of fundamentalists have negatively impacted on a peaceful Islamic community.
The western media’s prejudice against Muslims has downgraded their status in society and sparked a wave of “Islamophobia in light of recent terrorist attacks.
According to Elizabeth Poole in the Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies, the media has been criticized for perpetrating Islamophobia. She cites a case study examining a sample of articles in the British press from between 1994 and 2004, which concluded that Muslim viewpoints were underrepresented and that issues involving Muslims usually depicted them in a negative light. Such portrayals, according to Poole, include the depiction of Islam and Muslims as a threat to Western security and values. Benn and Jawad write that hostility towards Islam and Muslims are “closely linked to media portrayals of Islam as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
Double standards in terminology
Egorova and Tudor cite European researchers in suggesting that expressions used in the media such as “Islamic terrorism”, “Islamic bombs” and “violent Islam” while not using the same terms relating to non-Muslims have resulted in a negative perception of Islam.John E. Richardson’s 2004 book (Mis)representing Islam: the racism and rhetoric of British broadsheet newspapers, criticized the British media for propagating negative stereotypes of Muslims and fueling anti-Muslim prejudice.In another study conducted by John E. Richardson, he found that 85% of mainstream newspaper articles treated Muslims as a homogeneous mass who were imagined as a threat to British society.