Misrepresentation of Muslims and Islamophobic public discourses in recent Romanian media narratives

Doru Pop

Abstract


This paper represents a case study interpretation of the political and media discourses in Romania referring to Islam and the threat of Muslim refugees. Using a selection of media narratives from the public debates that took shape immediately after the Brussels attacks on March 22, 2016, this study uses a critical discourse analysis approach as an interpretative tool to understanding how in Romania the opinion leaders, the political elites and the media are building an anti-Islam propaganda. By applying a textual and ideological analysis of a selection of media discourses that refer to the terrorist attacks and the implicit threat of Islam, the author describes the dominant rhetorics of conflict between the West and the Muslim world. By elaborating a list of Islamophobic stereotypes used in the Romanian mainstream media and by discussing the negative narratives propagated in the public sphere, a case is made against the artificial growth of intolerant attitudes. The central argument of the author is that we are witnessing a generalized anti-Islam propaganda, where a specific religion and its followers are demonized by politicians, cultural figures and opinion leaders. This paper's conclusion is that in the Romanian media and the political discourses a form of unjustified Islamophobia is cultivated for ideological purposes.

Keywords


Islamophobia, propaganda, critical discourse analysis, ideology, media, misrepresentations, political discourse, stereotypes, negative narratives

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