Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

One Religion, Many Identities? The Reception 
of Islam Related News Items by Muslim 
Women with Turkish, Moroccan and 
Flemish roots in Flanders 1

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

This paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge regarding the relationship between media and diasporic identity formation by moving beyond the notion of Muslim women as a uniform group and questioning the dichotomy of the West versus Islam. To investigate the (versatility of the) relationship between media, culture and (re)created collective identities, focus group interviews were carried out with Muslim women with Turkish, Moroccan and Flemish roots, all living in Flanders. They were shown a number of news items representative of public service broadcasting and commercial television newscasts that were analyzed for the representation of ethnic minorities, followed by focus group discussions. The results demonstrate the diversity and hybridity within the Muslim women’s identities—with religious, ethnic and cultural aspects mediating the reception of these media texts resulting in a ‘polyphony’ of Muslim identities.

1. Ang Ien ( 2003). "Representing Social Life in a Conflicting Global World: From Diaspora to Hybridity". Hong Kong Journal of Sociology Vol 4: 112.
2. Barth Frederick ( 1969). Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference . Boston: Little Brown.
3. Bhabha Homi K. ( 1994). The Location of Culture . London: Routledge.
4. Bousetta H. ,and Bernes L. A. ( 2007). Muslims in the EU: Cities Report: Preliminary Research Report and Literature Survey 2007 . University of Liège: Eumap.
5. Cottle Simon ( 2000). Ethnic Minorities and the Media . Buckingham: Open University Press.
6. Devillé Aleidis ( 2008). Schuilen in de schaduw. Mensen zonder wettig verblijf in de Belgische samenleving. Een kwalitatieve ‘multi-method’ benadering[Hiding in the shadow. Sans papiers in Belgian society: A qualitative ‘multi-method’ approach]. Mechelen: Wolters.
7. Devroe Ilse ( 2007). Gekleurd nieuws? De voorstelling van etnische minderheden in het nieuws in Vlaanderen. Context, methodologische aspecten en onderzoeksresultaten[Colored news? The representation of ethnic minorities in Flemish news: Context, methodological aspects and research results]. Gent: Universiteit Gent.
8. d’Haenens Leen ,and Susan Bink ( 2006). "Islam in de Nederlandse media: Focus op het Algemeen Dagblad [Islam in Dutch media: Focus on algemeen dagblad]". Tijdschrift voor Communi­catiewetenschap Vol 34( 4): 351367.
9. Dhoest Alexander ( 2009). "Establishing a Multi-Ethnic Imagined Community?: Ethnic Minority Audiences Watching Flemish Soaps". European Journal of Communication Vol 24( 3): 305323.
10. Entman Robert M. ( 1993). "Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm". Journal of Communication Vol 43( 4): 5158.
11. Foblets Marie-Claire ,and Cornelis Eva ( 2003). Migratie, zijn wij uw kinderen? Identiteitsbeleving bij allochtone jongeren[Migration, are we your children? Identity perception among ethnic minorities]. Leuven: Acco.
12. Gardikiotis Antonis ( 2003). "Minorities and Crime in the Greek Press: Employing Content and Discourse Analytic Approaches". Communications Vol 28( 3): 339350.
13. Hafez Kai ( 2008). "European-Middle Eastern Relations in the Media Age". Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication Vol 1: 3048.
14. Hall Stuart ,( 2000). "Who Needs ‘Identity’?"In Gay Paul D. ,, Evans Jessica ,and Redman Peter (eds.), Identity: A Reader , pp. 1531. London: Sage.
15. Hallam Elizabeth ,and Street B. ( 2000). Cultural Encounters: Representing Otherness . London: Routledge.
16. Hussain Mustafa ( 2000). "Islam, Media and Minorities in Denmark". Current Sociology Vol 48( 4): 95116.
17. Kanmaz Meryem ,( 2003). "Onze nationaliteit is onze godsdienst. Islam als identity marker bij jonge Marokkaanse moslims in Gent [Our nationality is our religion. Islam as identity marker among young Moroccan Muslims in Gent]". In Foblets Marie-Claire ,and Cornelis Eva (eds.), Migratie, zijn wij uw kinderen? Identiteitsbeleving bij allochtone jongeren , pp. 115129. Leuven: Acco.
18. McNair Brian ( 1993, 2009). News and Journalism in the UK . London: Routledge.
19. McQuail Denis ( 2000). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory . London: Sage.
20. Mertens Heidi ,( 2003). "Plaats en identiteit. Belevingen van Turkse jonge vrouwen in Brussel en in Istanbul [Place and identity: Perceptions of Turkish adolescents in Brussels and Istanbul]". In  Foblets Marie-Claire ,and Cornelis Eva (eds.), Migratie, zijn wij uw kinderen? Identiteitsbeleving bij allochtone jongeren , pp. 4159. Leuven: Acco.
21. Nacos Brigitte L. ,and Torres-Reyna Oscar ,( 2003). "Framing Muslim-Americans before and after 9/11". In Norris Pippa ,, Kern Montague ,and Just Marion (eds.) Framing Terrorism: The News Media, the Government and the Public , pp. 133158. London: Routledge.
22. Nederveen Pieterse Jan ( 1992). White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture . New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
23. —— ( 1998). World Orders in the Making: Humanitarian Intervention and Beyond . Houndsmills: Macmillan Press.
24. Neuendorf Kimberly A. ( 2002). The Content Analysis Guidebook . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
25. Phalet Karen ,( 2003). "De constructie van etnisch-religieuze identiteit en alteriteit: beeldvorming en beleving van de islam in Nederland [The construction of an ethnic-religious identity and alterity: Representation and experience of Islam in the Netherlands]". In Foblets Marie-Claire ,and Cornelis Eva (eds.), Migratie, zijn wij uw kinderen? Identiteitsbeleving bij allochtone jongeren , pp. 155176. Leuven: Acco.
26. Poole Elizabeth ( 2002). Reporting Islam: Media Representations of British Muslims . London and New York: I.B.Tauris.
27. Saeys Frieda ,and Devroe Ilse ,( 2005). "Media ‘à la carte’. Mediaconsumptie van Turkse en Marokkaanse jongeren in Vlaanderen [Media ‘à la carte’: Media consumption of Turkish and Moroccan youngsters in Flanders]". In Saeys Frieda ,and Verstraeten Hans (eds), De media in maatschappelijk perspectief , pp. 239261. Gent: Academia Press.
28. Said Edward W. ( 1978). Orientalism . London: Vintage.
29. ——— ( 1995). Culture and Imperialism . London: Vintage.
30. Sarkar Mahua ( 2001). "Muslim Women and the Politics of (In)visibility in Late Colonial Bengal". Journal of Historical Sociology Vol 14( 2): 226250.
31. Shadid Wasif ( 2005). "Berichtgeving over moslims en de islam in de westerse media: beeldvorming, oorzaken en alternatieve strategieën [Coverage of Muslims and Islam in western media: Representation, causes and alternative strategies]". Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap Vol 33( 4): 330346.
32. Shankland David ( 2003). The Alevis in Turkey: The Emergence of a Secular Islamic Tradition . London and New York: Curzon Press.
33. Shohat Ella ,and Stam Robert ( 1994). Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media . London: Routledge.
34. Signorielli Nancy ,and Milke Elizabeth ( 1985). Role Portrayal and Stereotyping on Television: An Annotated Bibliography of Studies Relating to Women, Minorities, Aging, Sexual Behaviour, Health and Handicaps . Westport: Greenwood.
35. Iyal Smith, Karl E. ,( 2008). "Hybrid Identities: Theoretical Examinations". In Iyal Smith Karl E. ,and Leavy Patricia (eds.), Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations . Leiden: Brill.
36. Speleman Eefje ( 2006). Denken in beelden. Het gebruik van koloniale beeldvorming van vrouwen in hedendaagse modereclame(Licentiaatsverhandeling) [Thinking images: The use of colonial representation of women in modern fashion advertisements]. Leuven: K.U. Leuven.
37. Sterk G. ,and Liu S. F. ( 2003). Rapport kijkerspanel nieuws en actualiteiten[Report viewer’s panel news and current affairs]. Utrecht: Mira Media.
38. ter Wal Jessica ( 2002). Racism and Cultural Diversity in the Mass Media: An Overview of Research and Examples of Good Practice in the EU Member States . Vienna: EUMC.
39. Triandafyllidou A. ( 1998). "National Identity and the Other". Ethnic and Racial Studies Vol 21( 4): 593612.
40. van den Bulck Hilde ,( 2002). "Tools for Studying the Media". In Newbold Chris ,, Boyd-Barrett Oliver ,and van den Bulck Hilde (eds.), The Media Book , pp. 55100. London: Edward Arnold.
41. van den Bulck Hilde ,and Broos Deborah ,( 2009). "When ‘Us’ Meets ‘Them’: Representations and Reception of Muslim Women in a Flemish Documentary". In Castelló Enric ,, Dhoest Alexander ,, and O’Donnell Hugh (eds.), The Nation on Screen: Discourses of the National on Global Television , pp. 157176. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
42. van Dijk Teun A. ( 1988). News Analysis: Case Studies of International and National News in the Press . Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
43. —— ( 1991). Racism and the Press . London and New York: Roudledge.
44. Vanbeselaere Norbert ,, Lagrou Leo ,, van de Sande Caroline ,, Snauwaert Boris ,and Soenens Bart ,( 2003). "Sociale identiteit en belang gehecht aan nationaliteit: een onderzoek bij Marokkaanse jongeren in België [Social identity and the importance of nationality: A study among Moroccan youngsters in Belgium]". In Foblets Marie-Claire ,and Cornelis Eva (eds.), Migratie, zijn wij uw kinderen? Identiteitsbeleving bij allochtone jongeren , pp. 99111. Leuven: Acco.
45. Walseth Kristin ( 2006). "Young Muslim Women and Sports: The Impact of Identity Work". Leisure Studies Vol 25( 1): 7594.
46. Ziegler D. ,& White A. ( 1990). "Women and minorities on network television news: an examination of correspondents and newsmakers". Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic media Vol 34( 2): 215223.
47. fn1 1 This analysis is part of a wider, four-year project on Media, Gender and Ethnicity, 
sponsored by the FWO, the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research.
48. fn2 2 News item 1 (VRT, 7 June 2003): The Arabic European League (AEL) accuses police of the city of Sint-Niklaas of racism because they selected 55 ethnic minority immigrants for a random identity check. The AEL chairman and the mayor are interviewed. News item 2 (VRT, 2 October 2006): The first Belgian Islamic university opens in Ghent. One female and one Muslim student and the university spokesman are interviewed. News item 3 (22 June 2007): Eye surgeons warn about unhygienic use of contact lenses. A black ethnic minority immigrant wearing traditional clothing and speaking poor Dutch 
is shown visiting an eye surgeon for an eye infection. The man and two eye surgeons are interviewed.
49. fn3 3 M = Moroccan, T = Turkish and C = Flemish Muslim women converts. Numbers replace names to guarantee anonymity.
50. fn4 4 In recent years, wearing headscarves in schools and public administration is a topic of public debate and political dispute.
51. fn5 5 A branch of Shi’a Islam ( Shankland 2003).

Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: a)Researcher, Member of research Group Media, Policy and Culture, University of Antwerp, St Jacobstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, Email: ; 2: b)Professor of Communication Studies, Head of research Group Media, Policy and Culture, University of Antwerp, St Jacobstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, Email:


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation