This paper examines the hidden link between “gendered Islamophobia” and the mythologized journalistic unconsciousness of western journalists in crafting “discrepant experiences”. As Edward Said argues, “If one believes with Gramsci that an intellectual vocation is socially possible as well as desirable’ then it is an admissible contradiction at the same time to build analyses of historical experience around exclusions” (p. 35). Exclusions, according to Said (1993) problematize long established theories of “Essentialism”, giving rise to “polarizations that absolve and forgive ignorance and demagogy more than they enable knowledge (p. 35). To explore critically those disenabling polarizations that impoverish knowledge, this paper begins by interrogating Essentialism.
The primary aim of this paper is to critique the complicit culture of contentment of consumers and producers of islamophobic news in the West that ignores cultural relativism. The substitution of universalist standards for women spread across diverse cultures with cosmopolitan standards for women that tend to normalize the dominant discourse of young, white middle-class women located in the Western centres of cultural and political power are discussed as it compromises all scopes for any objective rendition of journalism on Muslim women.
Journalism is nothing but drafting history in progress to inform and extend our social memory. As Siddiky (2007) argues, history in the making is drafted by journalists at present while it is crafted by the historian by investigating the past. When the same history drafted by the journalists at present is evaluated by the legislator in the future, the history drafted by the journalist becomes a tool for the vindication of the future, offering to what happened in the past a funeral service (p. 1). In other words, a discrepancy is being created by the journalists between what happened in the past and what was recorded at the present for its evaluation under changing circumstances in the future.
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