New Orientalism: Depictions of Muslims in the Canadian Media
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 14:58 by Hanan Harb
This paper seeks to examine the topic of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism that is currently present in reports of mainstream media and the implications it has on the lives of people in the Muslim community in Canada. The Western media has played a major role in both reviving historical Orientalist depictions of the 'other' and shaping the views of many ordinary Canadians about Muslims and people from the Middle East. Negative portrayals of Islam, and more specifically Muslims, have often been defended in the West under the principle of freedom of speech and the press, and this type of racism has been allowed to continue to exist in society under the contentious pretext of security. This paper draws on examples from two mainstream Canadian media outlets: The Toronto Star and Maclean's Magazine. The analysis of the Toronto Star is limited to articles that were published between June 2nd, 2006 and July 29th, 2008 about the Toronto 18 case. The Maclean's magazine analysis focuses on articles that were written between January 2005 and July 2006, many of which have also been at the center of a complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.