Under Mass-Media Influence Image of Muslim at Kievites Often Associates with Terrorism

Under Mass-Media Influence Image of Muslim at Kievites Often Associates with Terrorism
25/02/2010
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The image of a Muslim woman causes thoughts of terrorism even at those inhabitants of Kiev who welcome cultural variety. And if to a woman covered according to the norms of Islam they usually show general interest, Muslim men at Kievites cause obviously uncooperative altitude. Such concepts are formed under the influence of mass-media which constantly connect Muslims with acts of terrorism. Results of the social experiment carried out by the students of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy, directed on studying of the phenomenon of Islamophobia in Ukraine and in the city of Kiev in particular testify to it.

As the authors of the research informed the edition of "Islam in Ukraine", there were questioned 115 persons in different city districts: on Kreschatik, on Zhitniy market, beside Kontraktovaya square, on the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk monastery and Mihaylovsky cathedral. The answer of each respondent was estimated from the point of view of its positive or uncooperative attitude to Muslims.

So, 48 % of respondents expressed neutral attitude to a Muslim community, 30 % demonstrated positive moods and only 22 % stated hostility to Muslims on the territory of Kiev. The uncooperative altitude was inherent basically in youth - to men at the age from 21 till 30 years, though hostility to Muslims quite often was stated by the representatives of the senior age groups.

It is interesting that the majority of female respondents treated Muslims neutrally - such estimation received more than a half of questioned women. At the same time, men were more radical in their answers: the neutral estimation received 43 % of respondents, the other 57 % of male respondents had different opinions - 24 % treat Muslims negatively, while 33 % of men showed positive attitude.

Social experiment

For the studying of the phenomenon of Islasmophobia in the Ukrainian capital researchers simulated a real situation at which Kievites had possibility to show their attitudes during a meeting with a "Muslim" girl. According to the students, after numerous stories about murders of foreigners it was a little bit scary to go on research, therefore they took with themselves several guys for confidence. However, during the following exits into research field necessity in "security guards" disappeared, after all, physical power to the improvised Muslim girl was not shown.

Throughout the experiment researchers noticed the general interest to the appearance of Muslim girls from the inhabitants of Kiev. In the course of the interview, women and men said that Muslim women are very beautiful and look exotic.

At subconscious level the image of a Muslim woman is connected with terrorism

As it is marked by the authors of the social experiment, pretty often the image of a Muslim woman is associated with banal expressions, such as "terrorist" and "Al-Qaida". "It is obvious, that these concepts are formed by means of mass-media - in particular by constant connecting of Muslims with acts of terrorism", researchers emphasize.

Though the term "terrorist" was not mentioned by the respondents, even when they answered something like "we welcome cultural variety, we are not afraid of her", it was often added "Sure, she is not a terrorist, such a tender girl". "I.e. it is possible to draw conclusions that somewhere at subconscious level Muslim women in traditional clothes cause thoughts on terrorism", it goes in the research.

In the course of experiment it was found out that in spite of the fact that actually the lady's wear reminded of terrorism, a lot of respondents (mainly men) answered "Girls are girls. We are mostly irritated by guys". Proceeding from it, authors of the research conclude that actually the phenomenon of Islamophobia is directed mainly on males.

By "Islam in Ukraine"

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