Media And Terrorism There are several views on the role of media in relation to terrorism. Media sometimes are known as the main agent in transmitting messages to society on the danger of terrorism.
According to Mc Quail (1995), in certain conditions, media can help the government dealing with terror issues by giving a negative label or name to terrorist groups and generating some panic situations to terrorists through the information spread. Lowenthal (1989) claims that without the collaboration of the media, terrorism would be impotent. By dramatizing the terrorist threats and demands and by refusing to condemn them outright, the media often contribute to the moral confusion which tends to romanticize the terrorist and leave his victim forgotten. Despite all contributions made by the media in creating awareness of the danger of terrorism which then leads to having a sense of hatred among society, media are said to be able to give publicity as well as legitimacy to certain terrorist political agenda due to some failures made by the government (Mc Quails, 1995).
Researchers on terrorism believe that one of the reasons of any terror acts or sabotage done by terrorists is for publicity or to attract society’s attention. According to Simonsen & Spindlove (2000), the media give negative effect on handling terrorism even though a government does some filtrations in selecting information for neutralization purpose.Based on this role, Winegar (2008) claims that all parties namely the government and terrorists seemed to work hard to have a good relationship with the media. Should the media refuse, they will experience harmful effects; the government may implement any hindrance such as some strict filtrations of any information disseminated by the media while allowing only information on terrorism provided by the government itself.
Hence, Hashim (2009) stresses out that media and terrorism related issues are always perceived from three aspects; terrorists’ objectives on media, government’s objectives on media and media’s own objectives on related incidents linked to terrorism. Media Labelling On Islam According to Orbe & Harris (2008), after the September 11 incident, terrorist labeling has been identified as Muslim fundamentalists or ‘Islamists’ which has increased some prejudices, discriminations against and attacks on Muslims or Middle East. In fact, some labels given are extremely outrageous such as ‘uncivilized’ and ‘barbaric’. Media labeling is not something segregated from the agenda of certain countries or an opposing ideology. Peter Drucker (in Laqueur, 2002) a famous scholar in the US management in his famous book that talks about “post-modern” world, once stressed out that the next threats after the downfall of the Soviet on the development of capitalism are the attacks made by suicide bombers which somehow directs towards Islam, because there are many Muslim activities especially from targeted groups that apply suicide bombing method as a revenge against discrimination made by the West over Muslims. Wright & Beliaev (1991) claim that the relationship between religion and violence labeled in the media is, in fact, not new.
Some media label religion and terrorism with holy wars and inquisitions. The words “assassin”, “zealot” and “thug” are used to project some fanatic groups within respectively Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. Later, Wright and Beliaev addressed Muslim terrorists as Muslim fanatics who involved i