Exploring Representations of Muslims in Western Discourse: An Analysis of Sally Kohn’s Most Debated Tweet

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Atia Anwer Zoon
Muhammad Abdullah
Dr. Ghulam Ali Buriro


The representations through discourse reflect the attitude and mindset of the people of one society towards people of other society or one individual towards another individual, whereas, discourse interpretations are contextualized to understand the human mind. In the present time, tags of extremists, terrorists and fundamentalists are attached to people of different ethnicities and faiths, especially the Muslims which result into natural reactions by those who are not involved in such activities. Due to wider popularity and influence of Western media, Western discourse is considered as the leading and dominant discourse in the current scenario. The present study has targeted of the most prominent tweets of Sally Kohn which reflects the biased labeling of people on the basis of their ethnicity and faith. The qualitative analysis is carried out through Van Dijk's notion of ideological square, which is characterized by the dual standard of positive self-presentation and at the same time negative other presentation. The analysis of the lexical and structural choices used in the tweet shed light on the way Islam, Muslims and blacks are (MIS) represented. The tweet captures the bias in representation as it very satirically points out to the ways Muslims, Islam, and blacks are negatively stereotyped in Western media.

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