I have recently decided to change my research topic. Previously, I was doing a project on Big Data since it is related to my major, but now I wanted to focus on a completely different subject, but it is one that I am very much interested in. I want to focus on how major news corporations portray Islam and Muslims in the media, how it has given a rise to Islamophobia in the digital sphere, and how people have to then defense the Islamic Religion on digital sites. I want to discuss how different situations and news topics are talked about on major news casts and websites and the specific wordings that are used to describe different topics, as well as topics that are not discussed on news sites. I then want to move towards the digital sphere, and see how people rely more on smaller digital news companies who provide information the major news corporations omit. I also want to include how people openly express either their hate or their defense of the Islamic Religion on the web, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, or more commonly, in the comments section of a news article. When major news corporations post something that involves the words Muslim or Islam, or the like, then there are generally major comments people have to share on the web. For example, when the Chapel Hill Shooting occurred not to long ago, major news sites definitely covered this piece of news, but attempted to omit the claim that this incident was a hate crime. They questioned if it was a hate crime, or if the motive was something completely different. Many individuals shared their disappointment on the style of its coverage through smaller digital news agencies, facebook, twitter etc. They claimed that if the roles were reversed then news agencies would undoubtedly highlight the words “terrorism,” “islam,” or “muslim.” There then came a rise of the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter, which was used after the use of #BlackLivesMatter, when the Ferguson incident occurred. Then there were, of course, the retaliating comments that came about after people began sharing their opinions online. I want to gather differing viewpoints and samples of public comments as data in my research project.
I also found a Gallup study which discusses Islamophobia in depth and has a wide set of data available that I can use in my project. The website is http://www.gallup.com/poll/157082/islamophobia-understanding-anti-muslim-sentiment-west.aspx
This site is a great source that provides different results to numerous survey questions. The questions ask a variety of questions related to Islamophobia. As an example, I have taken a sample of data from the study and pasted it below. I will be using data from this study as a base in my capstone project.
According to “Fear, Inc.,” a report by the Center for American Progress, a network of misinformation experts actively promotes Islamophobia in America. The promotion of Islamophobia creates both prejudice and discrimination among the general population. Prejudice plays a key role in the existence and proliferation of Islamophobia. Prejudice alone, as a negative judgment, opinion, or attitude, is a detriment to a population’s overall wellbeing. Prejudice combined with overt actions, rising to the level of discrimination, creates a dangerous environment for its victims. Gallup analyses offer an examination of prejudice against Muslims and Islam in a number of countries and regions globally.
In the U.S., about one-half of nationally representative samples of Mormons, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, and Jews agree that in general, most Americans are prejudiced toward Muslim Americans. Specifically, 66% of Jewish Americans and 60% of Muslim Americans say that Americans in general are prejudiced toward Muslim Americans.