Next Article in Journal
Acknowledgment of Country: Intersecting Australian Pentecostalisms Reembeding Spirit in Place
Next Article in Special Issue
Hate in a Tweet: Exploring Internet-Based Islamophobic Discourses
Previous Article in Journal
Spiritual Distress in Cancer Patients: A Synthesis of Qualitative Studies
Previous Article in Special Issue
Who Is the Muslim? Discursive Representations of the Muslims and Islam in Indian Prime-Time News
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(10), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100286

Are Unidentified Terrorist Suspects Always Muslims? How Terrorism News Shape News Consumers’ Automatic Activation of Muslims as Perpetrators

1
Department of Communication, University of Vienna, Währinger Straße 29, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Department of Communication Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau (Campus Landau), Fortstraße 7, 76829 Landau, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti Muslim Racism and the Media)
Full-Text   |   PDF [642 KB, uploaded 21 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Two experimental studies investigated how news reports about terrorist attacks committed by unidentified perpetrators influence beliefs about the perpetrators and Muslims in general. In Study 1, a quota-based sample of 354 Germans was exposed to terror news coverage describing either non-Muslim or Muslim victims with no reference to the perpetrators of the attacks. Upon stimulus exposure, participants were asked the likelihood that the perpetrators were either Islamist extremists, far-right extremists, or lone operators. In Study 2, no information about the victims was provided, but the perpetrators were either Muslims or unidentified. In addition, we measured news consumers’ Islamophobic attitudes in both studies. Results from Study 1 revealed that participants attributed perpetrator-unidentified attacks to Islamist perpetrators when the victims were non-Muslims. In contrast, terrorist attacks directed against Muslim victims were more likely to be attributed to far-right extremists. Additionally, Study 2 revealed that news consumers associated perpetrator-unidentified terrorist attacks with Islamist extremists to an equal degree as terrorist attacks that were committed by Muslim perpetrators. Attributing the attack to Islamists was in turn significantly related to Islamophobic attitudes in both studies. Implications of these findings for journalism practice and society at large are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrorism; news coverage; Islam; Muslim; Islamophobia terrorism; news coverage; Islam; Muslim; Islamophobia
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schmuck, D.; Matthes, J.; von Sikorski, C.; Materne, N.; Shah, E. Are Unidentified Terrorist Suspects Always Muslims? How Terrorism News Shape News Consumers’ Automatic Activation of Muslims as Perpetrators. Religions 2018, 9, 286.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top