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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Chapter 15 Inescapable News Coverage: Media Influence on Lessons About Islam

From the book Contesting Religion

  • Audun Toft


For a long time, stories about terrorism, conflicts, and controversies, which are in various ways put in connection with Islam and Muslims, have been a prominent part of Norwegian news coverage. Based on a case study of a Norwegian secondary school, the current chapter deals with the ways in which the news coverage, and themes, events, and discourses contained in it, come to be included in religious education about Islam. Using the concepts of prototypes and cognitive frames, it is argued that the news coverage establishes and maintains certain associations and narratives connected to Islam. Due to the frequent and substantial use of media materials in RE classrooms, influencing the ways Islam is represented and talked about in the classroom, the same problematic issues are thematized over and over again in similar ways across the observed classes. By constantly addressing the news coverage with the intention of nuancing and correcting problematic representations of Islam, the result may in some instances be to reinforce and confirm the association of Islam with terrorism, conflict, and controversy established by the media.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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