Dr. Ann Gordon
Islamophobia has been a growing issue in the United States, especially after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center twin towers in 2001, from innocent people being harassed on the street or various social media platforms to a Muslim ban implemented by former President Donald Trump. The rise of online media has allowed individuals, organizations, politicians, and news outlets to post their opinions/ articles that perpetuate a fear of Muslims in the United States and worldwide. As media consumption has skyrocketed in recent years, American society has become more exposed to Islamophobic content than ever before, and its effects are undeniable. In this paper, I examine how online media consumption and demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, marital status, and more, contribute to Islamophobia in American society. Relying on the Chapman Survey of American Fears, I found that those with a higher social media consumption are more afraid of Muslims than those who limit their social media consumption or do not use social media. I also found that women were more likely to agree with the statement that Muslims are more likely to engage in terrorist activity as opposed to non-Muslims, and people in the West and South are more likely to fear Muslims compared to those living in the rest of the country. Interestingly, age does not impact how afraid one is of Muslims, while the marital status of an individual does. Eliminating Islamophobia from society is unachievable due to prejudices that are deep-rooted in society. However, when reading a post or article about Muslims, one should question who we should really be scared of- Muslims or the media.
Athanasiadi, Anastasia, "Media Consumption and Islamophobia" (2023). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 604.