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Impact Of The Canadian Media On The Way Muslim Women Are Perceived In Society

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The media has intensely affected society, an effect so immense that people don’t notice its presence sometimes. Individuals become solely dependent on communication and information inherited from the media to keep them moving in the right path within their daily lives such as work, entertainment, education and so on. The media feeds people data and generally lets them know what is exact. It is the just a single perspective which influences what people do in the public arena. Despite the fact that it serves as a significant role to the general public, certain issues arise due to the bias perspectives and many coverages portrayed by different sources. The Canadian media, specifically the Quebec news print, has played a crucial role in the way Muslim women are perceived in society. The news gives the crowd a representation of reality which as a rule can be one-sided and out of line as far as generalizing, sensationalizing or even exaggerating a topic. When it comes to the representation of Muslim women, these techniques transmit certain ideological qualities to the audience which can frequently have a negative effect on the way that a specific social group is respected and looked at by society. The influence of these news outlets promotes oppression and stereotypes. This research will further discuss the generally negative symbols associated with images that the hijab/veil incite oversimplified understandings which leave restraints in the stories that are brought up through the Quebec context. The reason for this study is to demonstrate that the news print media in Quebec build representations of Muslim females which are hurtful to their identities.

These representations add to racism, segregation and distortion about their way of life and religion. Also, they neglect to show Muslim women as dynamic and active members in Quebec. With the view from Orientalist lens, and articles from Quebec’s media prints, such as La Presse and the Gazette, this essay will support how these common talks add to and strengthen different types of segregation and racism. Research Question: The question that it raises is does a basic literary investigation of the news print media’s representations of Muslim women uncover an unobtrusive racialized talk?

Essentializing as victims

One for form that Muslim women are seen in is the concept of essentialization. In his work, James brings up the definition of essentialism. He defines this term as “the notion that certain traits or behaviors of racial, ethnic, cultural, or even gendered groups are both fixed and universal, hence not allowing for variations among individuals, within groups, or over time”. In this, Muslim women appear to be victims who have symbols such as their clothing such as the veil or skin colour that creates a chaperon image of social persecution. In this manner in the minds of Quebecois, veiled Muslim women’s image are settled, constant and static. Along with essentialization comes the idea that these women are victims and that the idea of the veil was forced upon them.They neglect to recognize its social capacities or examine the way that numerous Muslim females who wear it do as such by decision and by choice. Essentializing the identity of Muslim women isn’t just a type of prejudice, yet in addition a type of social mastery and control. As the white predominant gathering, Quebecois set the terms of the talk which impacts how critical contemplations, for example, race, personality and citizenship, are at last characterized and represented.


Muslim women demonstrates an absence of readiness to comprehend the experience of Muslims and the idea of Islam as a religion. It does not allow the society as a whole to get positive outlook of them but rather a negative and falsely placed one. Mahrouse speaks on how Quebec women look at themselves as ones who have achieved equality and that these Muslim women have always been victims of Islamic patriarchy. He states that “The image of the veiled woman has long been captivating to the western imagination because she epitomizes the oppressive practices of the Muslim world, thereby enabling westerners to understand themselves as liberated and perhaps more importantly, as liberators”.


Muslim women are viably racialized as a minority gathering and thusly arranged as outside of the predominant discussion inside the news articles. In this manner they are not concurred the privilege to have a voice to decide their perspectives on the issues. They are dealt with as objects to be managed rather than subjects who take part in the exchange. The way that Muslim women are viewed as various on account of their religion or victimized in light of their sexual orientation, prohibits bigotry as any reason for separation. Alongside the media, people in general passionately invalidated allegations of prejudice. In this, their contention holds that they are not treating their race but rather other socio-social perspectives as different. Choudry et al speaks on those who look at themselves as true Quebecois who are seen as white French or English speaker who has the essential appropriate to interest in state forms, in which they have the role “in determining who can and cannot belong according to perceived differences of values”.

Media framing and racialized representations

The news print media are broadly viewed as a trusted and solid. They are portrayed as impartial and objective reports of the truths that serve as a significant part in any present day working democratic system. A large portion of the articles in this study introduce Muslim women who wear the hijab as though it is the only main significant part of their identity. They are excluded often in which they are spoken to as individuals who are inactive, hidden and apparently impersonal. In the article Media Misrepresentations: Muslim women in the Canadian Nation, Bullock and Jafri discuss that “because of this Western cultural fixation on Muslim women’s dress a symbol of oppression, Muslim women often have to focus on that aspect of their identity as well, even if they would rather talk of something else”. By critically examining the substance and structure of the media one can open the ideological recommendations installed in the news content and the way people perceive it. The ideological suspicions shape and fortify the mentalities and assumptions of the individuals in Quebec, which results in how they perceive Muslim women. Some Quebecois are quick portray their equality and democratic values in which they ignore the fact that discrimination does exist. They reject that they are bigot, and they would dismiss claims that representations in the news media of Muslim women are racialized. However, some of their articles do contradict otherwise.

In Quebec, there are two main news print outlets which are Gazette and La Presse. Gazette’s outlet displayed and article that is titled “Covered Heads at poll booths queried”. This article relates back to Syed’s article “the case of the Hijab ban in France and Quebec”. He illustrates the case of that in “September 1994, at a Montreal high school, a 13-year-old Muslim girl was expelled by her principal because she wore a hijab”. This questionable article discusses the idea on whether to permit Muslim ladies to vote while wearing their religious clothing such as the veil, hijab or niqab. Andre Boisclair, the chief electoral officer indicates that there is a line that can’t be crossed and that this line has been crossed. He illustrates that permitting women to vote while “hidden” is depicted as essentially unsuitable. Mario Dumont communicated his conviction that this choice is saved for the boss discretionary officer. A delegate from the “Fédération des femmes du Québec” is cited as being against permitting Muslim ladies to vote while hidden bringing up that they should remove their niqab for identification pictures.

An article that stood out on La Presse’s website is called “L’Effet”, with the aid of English translation, it became easy to critically analyze what the article was about. The article starts with a case of 30 South American migrants who as of late settled in provincial areas of Saint-Marc-du-Lac-Long highlighting the way that it was just a matter of days until they started to create ties with the group. Likewise, the article depicts the foundation of a Mosque in Chicoutimi by Muslims who have not chosen to request any sorts of “extraordinary settlement.” The article covers a portion of the responses of different districts and their tenants with respect to settlers and sensible convenience. The reverberating assumption that it illustrates is that immigrants or minorities must regard the models and lifestyle of Quebecers. However, if they wish to do this then they ought to go home.


This paper has argued that mainstream media coverage of Muslim women in Canada tends to posit Muslim women as outsiders in society, deny them of plurality and diversity of voice and present them as weak and powerless victims. Throughout this research it was found that the veil was exceptionally controversial, evoking the absolute most heartfelt responses. Compared with the estimations of secularism and sexual orientation equity in Quebec society, the shroud is view by some Quebecois as an over image of both religion and sex oppression. The following research has added some support to the research question does a basic literary investigation of the news print media’s representations of Muslim females uncover an unobtrusive racialized talk? It open doors to distinguish how minority groups are looked at and how the media prints demonstrate these topics. This teaches and adds value on to the point of in which people should develop understandings and become sensitive when it comes to depicting and speaking about a minority group such as Muslim women. Although this research aims to view the representation of Quebec’s media print when it comes to Muslim females, questions were raised about their historical background and how it can play a part in discrimination. The question is “how the geographical location impose a sense of connectedness within one’s self identity and how does it play a part within the minorities?”

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