The argument being advanced is that since, the Muslim extremists were responsible for the 9/11 disaster, the construction of the Muslim religious center would inculcate the jihad teachings and dishonor to the memory of the 9/11 victims. The question one would ask is this, what about the strip clubs, bars and other activities that are zero blocks away from the hallowed ground, do they honor the victims of the attacks. Consequently, it can be argued that Politicians and anti-Muslim groups found an easier way to agitate the crowds by exploitation of their Islamophobic instincts with the aid of the media framing of the issue. In same the interview, what comes out clearly is that Pamela fights against what she perceives as Islamization of America as opposed to Americanization of Islam. She later describes the center, which she refers to as ground zero mosque as a war memorial against the Americans by Muslims (CNN, July 15th 2010).
A look at a majority of the clips indicates a figure of speech used as a framing tool. A metaphor by the CNN on November 11, 2010 is used to describe the Park 51 site as the "Cordoba House." This term has been interpreted by the critics to mean the conversion of the Church in Spain into a big mosque by the Muslims in the 12th century. This was meant to antagonize the Muslim groups with the other Americans in what Geller perceives as Islamic domination and expansion. They create a feeling that the intension of the Muslims was to conquer and convert the site into a victorious site as was done in Spain in the 12th century. The Cordoba issue has featured prominently directing the thoughts pondering and imaginations of the audiences by magnifying the America where the "triumphant" Muslims can just decide to build a "rogue mosque" with impunity and without government intervention.
Another segment of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 gave Fischer, television airtime to contribute that Islam is totalitarian and that it is anti-Christian and seeks "the extermination of Western ideology on civilization" and in yet another segment, Anderson Cooper featured Benham of prolife, anti-Islam crusade Operation Save America, where Islam was termed as a lie from hell. This is in fact use of depiction as a framing device to cause the listeners to collectively use Christianity to shun Islam and Muslims. The act of inviting an individual who had already made his/her stand known amounts to siding with him and a pointer that the audience should be prepared to hear one sided view and a chance to win the otherwise neutral listeners to his side of opinion (CNN, August 16th 2010).
On watching Fox news, the frequent frames that are common; Visual images, Islamophobes, Metaphors, short hand as the common and most conspicuous framing devices.
On this bulletin, Laura Ingle describes the park 51, as the ground zero in order to keep the people's mind on the issue will it is a known fact that the proposed site was never at ground zero. This is well-known by the journalists that if the attachment with the ground is missing, the news becomes irrelevant since there are other mosques around the place which do not raise a lot of dust as this does (FOX, 11th December, 2010).
The use of the metaphor "Cordoba house" to refer to the park 51 is one technique of imagery that the media has used to put Muslims to task to explain why they compare the building of the most to the conquest of a church in Spain during the medieval period. The question comes in the minds of many is, are the Muslims celebrating the "Conquest" of the area around ground zero? This has been a creation of the press which seems to take sides with the Muslim critics.
While the Mainstream media, describes the Imam behind the construction of the mosque as a moderate Muslim, Laura ingle uses a narrative to bring this modernization in question by a saying he once claimed that even Christians had bombed Hiroshima but when Moslem extremists bomb, it's a big issue. This framing was meant to cast doubt into the personality of the Imam and discredit his genuineness in condemning terrorism.
In these two channels, framing tools that are used are narratives, Visual Images, Metaphors, short hand and Islamophobes. In both channels, the frame that features conspicuously are use of visual images by carrying placards, the metaphor of Cordoba House which the Critics want associated with Muslim "victory" over the Christianity and the American civilization just like was at the time they converted the catholic church...
The following frames are commonly used to denote mostly during the Pamela Geller's interview with CNN; "Islamic Domination," "rogue mosque," Islamization of America," "Ground zero" and it is noteworthy that these same frames are being recycled by Fox, CNN and even other media houses like MSNBC and other print media like Big government, the salon, Atlas Shrugs among others. Even though both media houses use the above framing devices, CNN uses the term Cordoba House with so much regularity that even member of the audience who is ignorant finds himself asking, What about Cordoba and why is it such an issue here?
Social and political consequences of the frames
While many people wonder why the Islamic furor is at its zenith and tempers are flaring nine years after the 9/11 attack, it is clear that the media's attention has brought with it Islamophobia within the American citizens and reversed the healing process. This is viewed as a result to be as a result of the media's framing of the issue in conjunction with the anti-Islamic crusaders who create the whole mountain out of a mole hill.
Relevant theories for explaining the consequences of the frames
An analysis of the news clips from CNN and FOX revealed that the viewers of the "Mosque at ground zero" controversy suffered consequences that can be explained using two dominant theories. These are:
This is a social theory that is used to examine the cumulative as well as the overarching impact that television has on the viewers' view of the world (Morris, 2010).This theory emphasizes on the effects of viewing television on the attitudes of the viewers rather than on their behavior. The viewers who watched stations that had most framings on the Ground Zero Mosques dad them believe that America was in real danger of being taken over by extremist Muslims.
The mean world theory
This is when people who are exposed to a lot of media end up believing that the world is a dangerous place that it is in reality. The resulting sense of insecurity makes the viewers to have a great desire to protect them from the danger and threat which is perceived as being eminent (Morris, 2010).The resulting panic that some Americans felt due to the Islamophobic slur and images (visual effects) can be said is a consequence of the mean world theory.
The use of frames has also taken a new turn and the Americans now view the Imam at the controversy, which was initially seen as a Muslim moderator as an extremist who is out to celebrate Muslim triumphalism over the twin towers bombing. Feisal Abdul Rauf, whose wife is spearheading the Cordoba House, has been portrayed differently by the media and this causes the audience to revise their thoughts about him. Many people now see him as a man behind the Islamization of America and a celebrator of the human caused disaster that befell America nine years ago. Were it not for the press, people would have seen these issues of the Islamic center differently as other Mosques are also around without raising eyebrows within the vicinity.
Although it was initially seen that the attack on the mosque was done by criminals who were out to tarnish Islam as a religion, the present media coverage now asserts that the whole Muslim community is responsible for the September 11 attacks collectively by the virtue of the site for the construction of the Islamic center. This has caused stereotyping of all Moslems to be war mongers and the issue of Conceptualization of media framing
Contrast between media houses on framing
The main contrast between the media houses was the gravity of reporting the extent of media framing. This is depicted in the work of Nisbet and Garrett (2010) whose analysis shown that FOX News was responsible for most of the rumors and misconceptions concerning the construction of the ground zero mosque.
The concept of media framing can be used positively and effectively in various parts of the human society such as in effectively improving businesses instead of using it to trample on basic human rights. It is important that it be used since it can be used in eliciting the true meaning of certain events.
Berger, PL. & Luckmann, T (1966)the social construction of reality. A treatise on the sociology of knowledge. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
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