cover image On Islam: Muslims and the Media

On Islam: Muslims and the Media

Edited by Rosemary Pennington and Hilary E. Kahn. Indiana Univ., $18 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-253-03255-3

This adroit collection gathers the voices of scholars, journalists, and religious practitioners who share their research and experience with media coverage of Islam and Muslims. Challenging the common representation of Muslims as refugees and radicals, and of Muslim men as inherently violent and women as innocent victims, the authors suggest that future media coverage should be balanced, attentive, and religiously literate. The book places a special emphasis on Muslim voices speaking for themselves. In addition to contributors offering guidance on how to avoid framing Islam and Muslims in negative and stereotyped ways, the editors provide a “crash course” on Islamic basics in a question-and-answer style. “Life as a Muslim in the Media” from Little Mosque on the Prairie creator Zarqa Nawaz is a standout, detailing the intersecting priorities and conflicts that arise in trying to faithfully represent Muslim communities to a general viewership, as is Elizabeth Poole’s perceptive essay on the portrayal of Muslims by the British press. Though slim, this book goes a long way in combating Islamophobia and exposing how media representations often exacerbate the ignorant fear of Islam and Muslims. (Feb.)