Most news coverage of Muslims is negative. But not when it’s about devotion.

Source: The Washington Post

Are Muslim religious practices more intense than those of other religions and inherently dangerous to Western societies? Many people believe so. In recent surveys of 15 European countries, the Pew Research Center found that between 23 and 41 percent of respondents agreed that “Muslims want to impose their religious law on everyone else.” A similar survey in the United States revealed that 35 percent of respondents believe that American Muslims are prone to extremism, and 41 percent feel that Islam encourages violence more than other faiths — expressed in former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s comment that Islam is “the most radical” religion in the world.

We expected to find such hostility to Muslim religiosity in Western newspapers. Research finds that the news media tend to portray Muslims negatively, frequently associating Islam with terrorism and cultural differences that conflict with mainstream values.

But when we studied this, we found that newspapers cover Muslim devotion positively, not negatively. Newspaper articles that contain references to Muslims and devotion are not as negative as stories about other aspects of Islam — and, in some cases, are even positive.

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