Date of Award

3-1-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Gary McLouth

Second Reader

Ronald Seyb

Abstract

With the continuation of terrorist attacks committed by Muslim extremists, it is necessary for moderate Muslims Americans to disassociate themselves from terrorist groups and to make their moderate and progressive views known. In the United States, moderate Muslim Americans have been less than successful at having their voices heard through media. The questions in this study ask why that is and will direct two hypotheses at certain cable news/entertainment programs. The first hypothesis asks, as scholar Edward W. Said proposed, if the Islamic world is simply too foreign to be properly understood by western media. The second hypothesis to be studied is that the cable news business, like all media, is more concerned with corporate profits than with educating the public, therefore leaving Muslim Americans and their needs by the wayside. As Muslim Americans hold small hope of changing the business structure of media, the issues of how Muslim Americans can move from being outside media to being part of the decision making elite and how they can present themselves as a market force to be considered by advertisers will be presented as a solutions.

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