The Arab Image in the Mind of the Western Image-Makers

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Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Insecurity in the modern world is on the rise due to the increased terrorist activities and the growing number of armed militia groups. Most of the terror activities are linked to the Arabs and the Islamic world. It has facilitated the wrong impression about the Arabic world image from the Western image markers in media. The western world has a wrong misconception of the Arabic world and its people concerning their culture, religion and the way of life. This research paper traces the root cause of the bad image perception for the Arabs by the western countries that has lasted for many decades.

A study was conducted from a sample of 168 respondents from both genders from the American and European origin. Several questions were presented regarding their encounter with the Arabic world, how they perceived, how the media treats the Arabs and the Muslims in general. The data was analyzed to arrive at the desired results to answer the research questions. Different media organization were interviewed on their view about their perception 0f the Arabic world and the way they cover news regarding the Islamic world.

The distorted Arab image in media traces its way many centuries ago. The western world has over the years viewed Arabs as inferior. In Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered for the mass executions of the Jews who were of Arab origin. Those who survived the ordeal were repatriated to the Middle-East states causing the current human conflict in most of the Arabic state like Palestine and Israel. sIt has widened the hatred and conflict gap between the Western and the Arabic nations. The mistrust is in place up to date as evidenced by the ongoing Islamic Jihadist atrocities against the European countries, American, and other nations with relations to the Western powers.

The western image makers perceive the Arabs as fundamentalists with strong believe about their culture and religion. There is the need to differentiate the Islamic religion, Muslims, and the Arabs. Islam is a religion that is submissive to the teaching of Allah as contained in their holy book the Quran. In the real sense, the Muslims are honest and intelligent people just like any other race of the people in the world.

On the contrary, the western people take the Arabs to be Anti-West, Anti-human-right, aggressive, Terrorist, anti-women, backward, primitive, anti-monetary, and lazy. It is attributed to superiority complex of the western world due to their early industrialization and civilization. They have an informed ill-mind about the Arabs due to prejudice without any proven assertion. Not all Muslims are radical therefore the idea of generalization paints a negative imagine to the non-culprits of the ill motives of the Islamic radicals. The western countries are convinced from the deeds of a few extremists that all the Arabs are evil, but in essence, it is wrong. Not all Christians or Buddhists as a result of actions from a few in the whole religion.

The Arabs are bound by the teachings of the Quran especially to matter relating to women. This stirs the minds and reasoning of the western cultures who are the champions for women rights and equality. According to the Islamic religion, women are supposed to be a homemaker that is a contradiction to the western beliefs who accord equal rights to women and men. It creates a rift between the western perception and the Arab about how they handle the matter which makes the Arabs sound anti-women and anti-human rights. It is important to learn and understand other peoples beliefs and cultures to accept them.

The distorted image of the Arabs to the western image makers is as a result of lack of information about the Arab issues. The Arabs have a way of life that is unique and different from that of the western countries. The western image makers have inaccurate information about the Arabs leading to the distortion of the image. The historical and military conflict between the Arabs and the Western countries are also fuelling the bad image for the Arabs. The western countries especially the America is in constant conflict with the Arabic countries as a result of military rivalry and historical differences.

The western media coverage is always biased about the Arab issue and will always perceive them as hostile people and terrorists. The religious difference between the Arabs who are Muslims and their Christian counterparts from the west triggers this bad image manifestation. The Arabs have an anti-western attitude with most of the Arabic nations terming the western as masters of neo-colonialism which in turn triggers a Western retaliation. The western retaliates by terming the Arabic world as the origin and home to the modern terrorists and perpetrators of crimes against innocent citizens. The assertion triggers the western media to paint a bad image of the western countries.

The Arabs fail to understand the how the Western media operates in reporting and broadcasting the international matters. The international oil crisis also adds weight to the bad image about the Arabic nations who are custodians of the many oil fields. In conclusion, it calls for national and international tolerance and respect for peoples way of life. It is prudent to understand and respect other peoples beliefs, and religion will encourage international cooperation and integration which in turn favor globalization.


Merskin, D. L. (2011). Media, minorities, and meaning: A critical introduction. New York: Peter Lang



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