Day/Jour 2

WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE/MERCREDI 20 JUIN

 

KEYNOTE 5

 

Floya Anthias

Emeritus Professor, University of Roehampton

Visiting Professor, City University and University of East London

 

Intersectionality and Diversity/superdiversity in addressing social space: complexity, inequality and knowledge production

 

This paper engages with two approaches to contemporary social complexity: intersectional frames and those that utilise notions of diversity and super-diversity. It interrogates some of the problems and potential in these approaches for understanding the changing configurations of modern society in relation to globalities and their related inequalities, and the potentially new forms of collective identity as well as conflict they engender. The ‘translocational’ nature of peoples’ location gives rise to new questions about processes of sociality and the limits of existing knowledge frameworks which generally have relied on bounded notions of social space. The question of the racialisation of different groups is essential in intersectionality and in diversity debates and the paper will explore  the role of the ‘Muslim’ category in the discourse and practice of diversity and integration in the UK in particular.  Issues of populism, the debate around Brexit, and the potential for solidarity politics are discussed.

 

 

 

KEYNOTE 6

 

Eric Macé

Centre Emile Durkheim, Université de Bordeaux

 

« L’islam c’est compliqué… » : la difficile représentation médiaculturelle des musulman.ne.s en France depuis les années 1980.

 

En France comme ailleurs, les médias de masse ne constituent pas une unité mais doivent être saisis, que ce soit dans les récits d’information comme dans les récits de fiction, comme des arènes et des scènes de conflits de définition entre les acteurs concernant les cadrages interprétatifs du réel. Les professionnels des médias apparaissent ainsi moins comme des « gate keepers » arbitraires que comme des acteurs devant composer d’un côté avec les stratégies de cadrage hégémoniques ou contre-hégémoniques des acteurs (et les stéréotypes et contre-stéréotypes qui vont avec), d’un autre côté avec les normes professionnelles du journalisme et les règles de programmation des fictions. On peut illustrer les variations médiaculturelles de ces tensions en France avec l’apparition successive de trois musulmanes dans le feuilleton quotidien Plus belle la vie depuis 2004 : Samia en 2004, Jamila en 2007 et Fatiha en 2015.

 

 

 

SESSION 4: CULTURE, DISCOURSE & INTERSECTIONALITY

(LA CULTURE, LE DISCOURS ET L’INTERSECTIONNALITE)

 

Nelly Quemener

IRMECCEN, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle

 

De la disqualification à la requalification : luttes définitionnelles et intensités affectives autour de l’Islam dans les controverses médiatiques

 

Des problématiques des banlieues (Garcin-Marrou, 2007 ; Rigouste, 2004), aux débats sur le voile ou le Burkini, en passant par l’imaginaire éprouvé du terrorisme (Rigouste, 2010) et ravivé par les attentats de 2015 et 2016, l’Islam cristallise dans l’arène médiatique française une attention publique accrue, qui se traduit tout à la fois par de multiples luttes définitionnelles (Hall, 2008 [1982]) et une intensité affective aux effets auto-réalisateurs (Grossberg, 1992, 2005). Cette communication souhaite interroger les modalités par lesquelles l’Islam et les musulmans se voient érigés non seulement en « problèmes publics » (Céfaï, 1996) mais aussi en sujet digne d’un intérêt particulier, c’est-à-dire qui imposent son importance au travers des discours et des prises de position dont ils font l’objet. Autrement dit, cette communication s’intéresse au processus qui tend à faire de l’évocation de l’Islam et des musulmans de France un lieu d’intensité, au sens de forte attention et d’émotionalité propice à la controverse. Pour cela, elle propose d’explorer les modalités d’évocation des questions relatives à l’Islam lors d’une controverse en particulier, celle déclenchée fin 2013 par la médiatisation de propos antisémites tenus sur scène par le comédien Dieudonné et la volonté d’interdiction de ses spectacles par le ministre de l’intérieur de l’époque Manuel Valls. Au-delà des régimes discursifs, il s’agira de voir dans quelle mesure l’Islam et les musulmans sont un des territoires de « réactivité » de la part des acteur/trice.s de la controverse et des journalistes, mais aussi des publics du comédien, amenant autant de prises de position vis-à-vis de Dieudonné et de l’interdiction. Pour répondre à cette question, nous explorerons la configuration des débats dans deux arènes publiques distinctes. Nous reviendrons d’abord sur le lien qui unit, au sein de l’arène des grands médias (notamment la presse quotidienne nationale qui consacre près de 7000 articles à la controverse en l’espace de trois semaines) entre les publics de Dieudonné, l’antisémitisme et l’Islam. Nous défendrons que dans cette première arène, l’antisémitisme, évoqué sous les termes de « haine des Juifs » et projeté sur les publics minoritaires, participe à faire de l’Islam et des musulmans une menace pour la République et le vivre ensemble et l’expression publique du refus de l’antisémitisme une condition de respectabilité lorsqu’est évoqué le cas Dieudonné (Skeggs, 20019, 2010). Dans le sillage de la politique culturelle des émotions de Sarah Ahmed (2004), nous insisterons sur le mécanisme émotionnel à l’œuvre dans cette médiatisation, qui consiste à faire des musulmans un objet de méfiance et de danger, et de la République un territoire à défendre, car menacée, et à « aimer ». Nous évoquerons dans un second temps l’arène numérique, notamment celle des discussions en ligne autour des vidéos de Dieudonné, au sein de laquelle l’Islam se voit davantage évoqué en tant qu’objet disqualifié et investi comme territoire minoritaire. Nous mettrons à l’épreuve l’hypothèse selon laquelle émerge de ces commentaires un régime de respectabilité alternatif, qui substitue au refus de l’antisémitisme l’évocation publique de l’appartenance à la religion musulmane et une mise en discussion, souvent virulente et contradictoire, de la relation entre Juifs et musulmans.

 

 

Sabiha Allouche

SOAS University of London

 

Sexed Colonial Legacies: Gay-Friendly Islamophobia and Perverted Sex

 

An increasing number of self-identified queer men and women in Lebanon are opting for “strategic” marriages in order to escape kin pressure whilst pursuing same-sex desire elsewhere. Seen from a liberal lens, strategic queer marriages are celebrated as a smart move that circumvents the hostility of Lebanon’s legal system towards same-sex desire. At the same time, the custom-practice of temporary marriage among the Shi’a community in Lebanon, which is largely linked to Hezbollah fighters in western mainstream media, particularly the US’, is seen as a hypocritical and “disgusting” practice that serves as proof of women’s oppression.  Briefly explained, temporary marriage is a “Shi‘i-specific practice that allows for (often) undocumented marriages between a man and a woman for a specified time period” (Deeb 2010).

 

Both strategic queer marriages (SQMs) and temporary marriage share the strategic element, in the sense that both are produced and practiced in tandem with, and in response to historically specific, local, and gendered socio-political discourses related to sex and sexuality, and where each of the “religious, social, and moral rubrics” (Deeb and Harb, 2013) comes into the equation. This paper thus asks, why the celebratory stance in the case of “strategic queer marriages,” and the condemnation of the practice of temporary marriage?

 

In its attempt to answer the question above, this paper adopts a queer intersectional analysis in order to argue that: a. the demonization of Shi’a sexuality alongside further “perverted” practices is necessary for the legitimation of the US’ military interference in the region since it sustains the “grotesque” and “strange” (Ahmed 2000) ways of “them” Muslim folks, especially since temporary marriage is portrayed by US media as prevalent among Hezbollah fighters; b. the increased globalization of “gay identity” is leading to a superficial transnational solidarity that rests on capitalist and neoliberal principles that contribute to the exclusion of desires that operate outside their boundaries.

 

 

Florian Vörös

Université de Lille SHS

Chercheur associé au Centre d’études sur les médias, les technologies et l’internationalisation de l’Université Paris 8

 

Assemblages anti-antiracistes : les réactions hostiles à la présence critique des femmes musulmanes dans les débats télévisés

 

Les notions de racisme et d’antiracisme font aujourd’hui en France l’objet d’un intense conflit de définition . Prenant pour objet la configuration médiatique de cette controverse, cette enquête a commencé par la constitution d’un corpus de débats télévisés traitant du racisme sur la période allant de 2005 à 2015. J’abordais ces émissions comme des rituels de confrontation mettant en jeu le cadrage d’un problème public . Après des journées passées à explorer ce corpus aux archives de l’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, il m’arrivait de visionner chez moi le soir des débats télévisés en direct, tout en suivant les commentaires dont ils faisaient l’objet sur Facebook et Twitter. Je me rendais compte que cette participation en ligne était partie prenant de mon expérience télévisuelle et qu’elle était prise en compte par les articles de presse qui commentaient l’émission dans les jours suivants. Fruit de cette élaboration progressive de l’objet, cette communication analyse le cadrage du problème du racisme au croisement des débats télévisés, des réseaux socio-numériques (via le Dépôt Légal du Web) et de la presse nationale (via Europresse). Elle interroge en même temps ce que la spectacularisation et la numérisation des débats télévisés change aux rapports sociaux de sexe, de classe et de race qui organisent le débat public.

 

La communication s’ouvre sur une réactualisation épistémologique et méthodologique du concept de « dispositif de débat télévisé  ». Ce cadre d’analyse est ensuite mis à l’épreuve de l’étude comparée de deux affaires médiatiques. La première se déclenche en réaction à la dénonciation par Wiam Berhouma, enseignante du secondaire, de la banalisation de la parole islamophobe  sur le plateau de l’émission Des Paroles et Des Actes diffusée sur France 2 le 21 janvier 2016. La seconde se déclenche en réaction à la présence de Houria Bouteldja, porte-parole du Parti des Indigènes de la République, sur le plateau de Ce Soir (Ou Jamais !) diffusée sur la même chaîne le 18 mars 2016. À travers l’étude comparée de ces deux affaires, la communication décrit la formation d’assemblages anti-antiracistes , entendus comme des ensembles hétérogènes et néanmoins articulés de réactions hostiles à la prise de parole antiraciste, en l’occurrence par des femmes se définissant comme musulmanes.

 

 

Ella Fegitz

London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

 

Karima and Ruby: At risk girl vs post-feminist sex worker

 

This paper focuses on the representation of Karima El Mahroug, alias Ruby Rubacuori (Ruby Heartstealer), in the online editions of three Italian newspapers (Il Giornale, Repubblica, Corriere della Sera). Karima/Ruby was thrown under the spotlight when her liaisons with the Italian ex-Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, led to his trials for exploitation of underage prostitution, which ran from 2011 to 2015. Originally from Morocco, Karima moved to Italy as a child with her family, settling in Letojianni, Sicily. After running away from home, Karima entered the orphanage system, repeatedly fleeing from homes, surviving on odd jobs as a waitress, or, more often, as dancer in night clubs and bars, as well as committing small thefts. In 2009 she moved to Milan, where she made the acquaintance of Berlusconi.

 

Discourses about race and otherness play a central role in the construction of Ruby in the coverage of the case, contributing in an exoticisation and eroticisation of otherness. Indeed, Karima’s national and religious origins contributed in constructing her as a vulnerable, voiceless and fragile girl, made so by a traditional and sexist culture of origin. However, as the trial proceeded, a different construction of Karima, now fully identified with the name Ruby, emerged: an agentic, determined and assertive post-feminist sex worker, who knowingly employed her sexual desirability for her own personal gains, as well as employing other ‘feminine’ characteristics in order to exploit the situation to her own advantage (namely duplicity, cunningness and manipulation). As part of this evolution, Ruby shreds her otherness, becoming not only symbolic of Italian younger generations, but of the moral degeneration of the whole country.

 

Ultimately, the subject position which dominates is the one of an agentic, determined and assertive post-feminist young, social inequalities playing no part in processes of subjectivation and life choices. This not only confirms the normative subject position in neo-liberal post-feminist societies, but also goes to illustrate what McRobbie (2009) has argued in relation to the UK: that the neoliberal rationality which has come to represent young femininity has been ‘democratised’ such that ‘ethnic’ women are encouraged to integrate with the majority and abandon multi-cultural differences. The narrative parabola Karima/Ruby that is engendered in the newspapers fits well within this framework, which sees the incorporation of the Muslim woman in post-feminist culture, as well as her naturalisation as Italian, as long as she subscribes to its specifically neoliberal gender relations.

 

 

 

SESSION 5: MEDIA & TERRORISM

(LES MEDIAS ET LE TERRORISME)

 

Marie Figoureux

Institute for Media Studies – KU Leuven

Baldwin Van Gorp

Institute for Media Studies – KU Leuven

 

Radicalization, what is it all about? The use of frames and counter-frames in the Belgian news media

 

This paper discusses the different frames on radicalization in the Belgian social debate, reconstructed by conducting an inductive framing analysis on Belgian news media. The Belgian society has witnessed a significant departure of “radicalized Syrian-fighters”. The reasons for this radicalization and possible solutions are the subject of social debate (e.g. Coolsaet, 2016; Sieckelink, Kaulingfreks & De Winter, 2015; Vidino, 2017).

Starting 2004 – 2005, following the attacks in Madrid and London by homegrown terrorists, the term suddenly became widespread; equally in policy documents (Coolsaet, 2016; Kundnani, 2012) and in the media (Hörnqvist & Flyghad, 2012). However, 14 years later, the concept remains ill-defined (Coolsaet, 2016). Radicalization soon became a “container concept”, used to refer to “everything that happens before the bomb goes off” (Neumann, 2008, p. 4). Today, the word “radicalization” entails a negative connotation, whereas before the term was more neutral. Over the years, the meaning of the term narrowed into “Muslim-radicalization” (Fadil, 2017), into “a new lens through which to view Muslim minorities” (Kundnani, 2012, p. 3).

This research aims to determine the prevailing frames (or lenses) in the current public debate in Belgium about radicalization, and to identify alternative ways to communicate about it. Framing can be defined as follows: ‘to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described’ (Entman, 1993, p. 52).

 

The frames were reconstructed by performing an inductive framing analysis (e.g. Van Gorp, 2012). The data was collected by using GoPress Academic, a news database. The data consists of news articles and reports published in popular and quality newspapers, news-websites and magazines from January 2016 to this date. To ensure enough diversity, the newspaper sample was supplemented by a convenience sample of TV-debates, radio-programs and documentaries. In total, 250 texts were collected. Out of these articles, 2607 citations were coded that contain words, images, metaphors or arguments that directly or indirectly referred to radicalization, its causes, consequences, solutions and possibly moral judgments. These citations were used to systematically reconstruct the different frames.

The ten determined (counter)frames offer an overview of the different perspectives on radicalization in Belgian media. Four of them offer a problematizing definition: “revolution”, “disease”, “two roosters in one cage” and “criminal career”. Six counterframes were found, which deproblematize the concept: “puberty”, “resilience”, “meaningfulness”, “freedom fighter”, “catalyst” and “mosaic”. An example is “puberty”, which refers to the rebellious phase in life where youngsters provoke authority, and consequently results in a definition of radicalization as a temporary stage of identity confusion and psychological search.

The provisional results were validated through a total of 10 interviews, with active stakeholders in the social debate (imams, youth workers, academics, journalists). It is discussed how the reconstructed frames and counterframes can help to get a grip on personal communication and get a better insight in other stakeholders communication.

 

 

 

Diana Salzano, Antonella Napoli & Felice Addeo

University of Salerno

 

The Islamization of terrorism and racialization without race: the Italian case

 

As for the mediatization paradigm (see Lundby, 2009; 2014; Hjarvad, 2008; Hepp, 2013) the media symbolic violence can lead to a change in the attitudes and behavior of the public exposed to the media pressure (Bourdieu e Passeron, 1970; Boltanski, 1993; Morcellini, 2003).

The communication of fear stated by Altheide (2002) in fact seems to trigger some processes among which there is the Islamization of terrorism which involves, as known, the identification of terrorism with a specific religious belief and which fixes a political reading of this belief.

Among this process, the narratives produced by the mainstream media and processed through the social media often return a confused message about some categories of individuals which are considered in an undifferentiated way: Muslims in general, Arabs, refugees, migrants, religious extremists and terrorists.

These narratives spread in a historical moment which seems to be deeply marked — in Europe and in Italy in particular — by a widespread sense of insecurity and a profound social crisis, and they end up detonating a distorted perception of fear.

The regurgitation of nationalist attitudes throughout the European Union is echoed in the Italian context: racism and xenophobia seem to be popping up again, legitimized by terrorist attacks — even though they actually did not happen in Italy — and by the narratives linked to the problem of migrants and refugees. In short, what Baudrillard (2002) would call a “terroristic situational transfer” becomes the instrument of vengeance of whoever is or feels suffocated by the System. The liberal mondialisation is about to take place in its reverse form of a total control, and of a security terror.

It therefore seems that, in Italy, the increasing Islamophobia is intersecting with new and overwhelming discourses about the race (cfr. Meer 2012): the cultural construction of racism, in fact, does not exclude religious and cultural elements although it considers the physical appearance as a distinctive sign (Meer e Modood 2009). Though the Islamophobia and racism are often addressed in the literature as separate phenomena, the observation of the Italian context, especially of its more recent facts, shows how they intersect and mix each other in the public sphere.

The race issue therefore continues to be a powerful social construction with political consequences (Modood 2005): in particular, the renewal of the process of Muslims’ racialization (Meer e Modood 2010). The Muslim, perceived as a generic Other, then becomes a victim of a clear-cut fascist and racist attitude, exasperated by the current election campaign and amplified by the media.

Our contribution therefore aims to observe the nature of the social imaginary behind the contemporary racism, its impact on the issues debated on the web and its profound implications in current historical circumstances.

In particular, we would discuss about the findings of a qualitative online research on Twitter, based on the content analysis of tweets collected regarding the theme of racism and Islamophobia and selected by means of a defined keywords’ set.

According to the research findings, behind the supposed socializing nature of communication, online conversations became contexts where ultra-nationalist, racist and identitarian tones and themes re-appear with force — and are accepted — while immediately calling into question the fascist issue.

The Other, the enemy, is perhaps a migrant, confusedly Arab and Muslim, and presumably a terrorist. It is the new disturbing element of the social order, an alibi for security measures and conformity reinforcement.

As we will discuss, with the aim to protect and restore the racial dimension of society, the emerging fascist fringes try to stem the “demographic revolution” which they ascribe to the migration process, with an underlying syllogism that links the concept of ‘protection’ to that of ‘security’ and the latter to that of ‘identity’ throughout a “racism without race” process.

 

 

Andreas Bock, Felicitas Qualmann, Enis Bicer & Aron Trieb

University of Applied Science Berlin

 

Anti-Muslim racism and its manifestations in German media: Intersectional discourse analysis on terror and violence related perceptions

 

 

In our paper we would like to discuss first conclusions from our current research project “The threat scenario of ‘Islamist terrorism’ from the perspective of politics, media and Muslim communities”.  Thereby we look at manifestations of antimuslim racism within the news coverage on Muslims and (racialized) violence and terror incidents.  As a recent example from Germany the so called NSU (National Socialist Underground) serves as a particular example of racialization and criminalization of Muslims by media and state authorities. Between the years 2000 and 2006 nine Muslims and Muslim labeled persons have been brutally murdered by an extremist right-wing terrorist group, which have been only uncovered years later in 2011. Although relatives of the victims immediately pointed towards the possibility of neo-Nazi terrorism, state authorities ignored and actively denied this direction of investigation for a long time. Instead authorities and media focused on racialized and culturalized explanations, for example by pointing towards organized crime and criminalized the victims and their families. Within this period, while the homicides took place, the media failed to draw attention on the perspective of the dependents, by not highlighting the possibility of racist motivated murder. This is just one of many examples of how media representations establish and reproduce the social construction of a dichotomy between “Germans” and “the Muslim Other”. Within this dichotomy Muslims are perceived as a constitutive “Other”, associated with cognitive concepts of crime and threat to the society. This misrepresentation by the German media has serious consequences for Muslims and Muslim communities, with special regard to social acceptance, their sense of security and affiliation with society, and thus endangers social cohesion. Therefor in this paper we aim to perform an intersectional discourse analysis, shedding light on how media representations racialize, culturalize and criminalize Muslims and Muslim labeled persons, and thus contributes to a specific form of biased terror and violence related perceptions.

 

 

Elizabeth Poole, Eva Giraud & Ed de Quincey

Keele University

 

#stopIslam: exploring the dynamics of anti-racist hashtag campaigns in contesting right wing populism

 

This paper examines the dynamics of creative, grassroots responses to right wing populism, following the resurgence of openly xenophobic discourses about migration (Kriesi and Pappas, 2015; Vieten and Poynting, 2016), in a European context. For instance, narratives about the refugee crisis arising from the war in Syria; discourses of national sovereignty; and criticisms of freedom of movement in the EU have become intertwined and muddied in mass media contexts (Miller et al, 2016), resulting in a rise in hate speech (Demos, 2016).

However, prominent counter-narratives have also emerged that have contested anti-immigration rhetoric at a grassroots level. Downey and Fenton (2003) have (after Habermas, 1996) described how counter publics can mobilise politically to gain influence in the mass media public sphere, particularly at times of crisis. Online counter-narratives are frequently framed as an instance of this form of mobilisation (Jackson 2016; Rambukanna 2015), what Jackson and Foucault-Wells (2016) have described as hijacking – an attempt to contribute to and correct discursive frames. Despite digital media platforms being criticised for their political limitations – due to economic (e.g. Dean, 2009, 2010) and structural (e.g. Cammaerts 2008) factors – they have nonetheless been seen as a site for the formation of counter-publics and counter-narratives (Cammerts, Mattoni and McCurdy, 2012; Dencik and Leistert, 2015).

This paper examines a key instance of counter-narrative creation, drawing on (big) data from the #StopIslam campaign on Twitter, which gained prominence after the Brussels terror attacks of March 2016. Through identifying the main actors, the networks and the allegiances being forged in these counter narratives, we explore whether these narratives can themselves be appropriated by experts and advocates who claim to speak for Muslims, in ways that reinforce representational inequalities.

 

 

SESSION 6: JOURNALISM & NEWS VALUES

(LE JOURNALISME ET LES VALEURS DE L’INFORMATION)

 

Asmaa Malik

Ryerson University

 

Eyes without a name: A case study of news values in digital media images and captions illustrating Quebec’s “niqab ban”

 

In October 2017, Quebec’s National Assembly passed Bill 62, establishing la neutralité

religieuse de l’État, sharply limiting the use of public services by citizens wearing face coverings .

Colloquially referred to on English-language social media channels as the #niqabban , stories

about the legislation appeared on digital news sites across Quebec and Canada featuring file

and wire images of unidentified, niqab -wearing Muslim women from all over the world.

Accompanying these photos, which in some cases depicted anonymous women in other

Western countries, often were vague captions that may have given readers the impression,

though never explicitly stated, that these niqab -wearing women were currently in Quebec.

Researchers estimate that between 50-100 of the 150,000 Muslim women who live in the

province wear the niqab . What did the digital publication of these disassociated images and

captions mean – especially in the digital news realm, where visual elements are given

prominence at a time when newsrooms are cutting back on photo editors and photojournalists –

for how Canadian media represented veiled Muslim women in light of the “ niqab ban?” This

paper takes a discursive approach to examine how these published photos and captions

constructed newsworthiness in this event, even when the impact of the law affected only a

minute percentage of the Quebec population. Using discursive news values analysis (Caple and

Bednarek 2016), or DVNA, this paper analyzes the photos and captions accompanying the

news articles that appeared on Canadian media websites in the weeks leading up to the

passage of the law and the weeks after. Within the DVNA framework, news values such as

negativity, timeliness, proximity and consonance, are constructed by non-linguistic and linguistic

elements. This research offers valuable insight into how stories about Muslim women and the

niqab are constructed as newsworthy.

 

 

Sebastien Chazaud

Université de Liège

 

Le traitement des musulmans par les médias suisses (2001-2009)

 

Le début du troisième millénaire constitue un tournant dans le traitement médiatique des

musulmans de Suisse. Ceux-ci sont, suite à divers événements se déroulant à l’étranger,

progressivement réduits à leur religion plutôt qu’à leur(s) nationalité(s). Ladite religion, quant

à elle, se voit représentée comme un système culturel et politique incompatible avec la

démocratie à l’occidentale, en opposition avec elle.

La campagne en vue de la votation « contre la construction de minarets » (29 novembre 2009)

constitue, à notre sens, le point d’orgue de cette focalisation progressive sur les musulmans

de Suisse, essentialisés et pratiquement privés de parole publique. C’est à la surprise générale

qu’une majorité du peuple et des cantons accepte cette initiative populaire portée par le

premier parti du pays, l’Union démocratique du centre (UDC), qui voit dans les musulmans,

voire même l’islam, une cible idéale. En effet, attaquer celle-ci permet au « parti agrarien »,

notamment en prétendant défendre les femmes et les homosexuels, d’élargir son public. De

plus, « critiquer une religion et les pratiques supposées lui être liées est moins délicat que

s’attaquer à des personnes en raison de leur identité »1.

Le but de notre communication est d’apporter un éclairage sur le traitement des musulmans

par les médias suisses. Nous avons retenu 2001 comme point de départ de notre travail, car

nombre de chercheurs estiment que les attentats du 11 septembre constituent une rupture à

cet égard. Dans les temps qui suivent, d’autres événements font que les musulmans de Suisse

se retrouvent, bien malgré eux, sur le devant de la scène. Enfin, comme nous l’avons dit,

l’année 2009 est fort particulière, puisqu’elle se termine avec le résultat étonnant que

constitue le succès de la votation « contre la construction de minarets ». C’est donc une

période constituant pratiquement une décennie que nous allons examiner.

En étudiant le traitement des musulmans par les médias suisses, nous nous intéresserons à la

façon dont ceux-ci « sélectionnent, mettent en forme, commentent, relatent et transmettent

finalement dans l’espace public »2 les discours tenus sur la question qui nous intéresse. Nous

tenterons de démontrer l’importance jouée par journaux, stations de radio, chaînes de

télévision et sites internet à cet égard.

 

 

Julian Petley

Brunel University

 

“Christian Girl Forced into Muslim Foster Care”

 

On 28 August 2017, The Times ran a front page article by its chief investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk headed ‘Christian Child Forced into Muslim Foster Care’. This alleged that a white, English-speaking,  Christian child had been taken from her family by ‘the scandal-ridden borough of  Tower Hamlets’ and forced to live with two Muslim households.  In one of these, the foster mother wore a niqab, removed the child’s cross from her neck, suggested she learn Arabic and refused to let her eat her favourite meal, spaghetti carbonara, because it contained bacon. After being placed with the foster carer, the girl is said to have told her mother that ‘Christmas and Easter are stupid’ and that ‘European women are stupid and alcoholic’. According to ‘confidential local authority’ reports apparently seen by Norfolk, a ‘social services supervisor’ described the child as sobbing and begging not to be returned to the foster carer’s home because ‘they don’t speak English’.

An utterly predictable media and political storm ensued, given further impetus by the Mail putting the story on its front page under the headline ‘MPs’ Anger as Christian Girl Forced into Muslim Foster Care’. This used a stock picture of a Muslim family to illustrate the story in print and online, and photoshopped a veil onto the image of the woman. Meanwhile the Sun ran an article by Trevor Phillips headed ‘The Decision to put a Five-year-old Christian Girl into Muslim Foster Care is Like Child Abuse and the Council Must  Pay’. The far-right groups the English Defence League and Britain First immediately exploited the story for their own ends.

However Norfolk’s article is highly inaccurate in numerous significant respects. Not only are some of the assertions made in it simply plain wrong, but he omitted a considerable range of information, some of which he certainly knew and the rest of which as a responsible journalist he certainly ought to have known, that would have given readers a very different impression of the actual events involved. His sources were so flimsy (‘confidential local authority reports’ apparently compiled by an unnamed ‘social services supervisor’) and partisan (possibly the mother but, more likely, her proxies) that publication can only be described as reckless, given the nature of the story.. In short, The Times chief investigative reporter  broke many of the basic rules of good journalism and consequently presented his readers with a travesty of the truth.

Given what we know of the state of knowledge of the reporter and the newspaper at the time of publication it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that they were happy to sacrifice the truth and to set aside ethical journalistic standards so that they could publish an alarmist front page article that presented British Muslims as menacing and intolerant.

This paper will demonstrate the numerous inaccuracies and omissions in Norfolk’s article, and show how it was subsequently exploited by other newspapers, as well as politicians and far-right groups.  What emerges from all of this is an extremely disturbing picture of anti-Muslim racism in the British press, as well as in parts of British society in general.

 

 

Dana Popescu-Jourdy

Université Lumière Lyon 2

 

Vers un « journalisme interculturel » – discours et pratiques

 

Plusieurs initiatives récentes (journalisme alternatif, méta-média), aussi bien dans le domaine de la production journalistique que dans celui de la formation, mettent l’accent sur la nécessité d’encourager le dialogue interculturel et de raconter des expériences individuelles ou collectives sortant des cadres stéréotypés habituelles.

Notre communication propose une écologie des pratiques et des discours journalistiques, en partant du rapport entre le contenu et le dispositif média utilisé, mais traitant également une dimension spécifique de ce que nous appelons « journalisme interculturel », à savoir l’éthique « conséquentielle » (Ruggiero, Wille : 2014), pour lequel le principe de la responsabilité sociale imposerait aux journalistes une analyse à priori des possibles conséquences sur la société de leur pratiques ou productions.

Malgré la mise en place en France d’un cadrage politique et professionnel national (l’existence depuis 2008, d’un Observatoire de la diversité dans les médias audiovisuels, par exemple), les résultats ne sont pas visibles. Notre hypothèse sous-tend l’idée que le cadrage politique et/ou institutionnel n’a pas la capacité de stimuler la sensibilisation à la diversité culturelle des journalistes. Dans un même temps, certaines études (Ethical Journalism Network : 2017) montrent le poids des pressions économiques et des lacunes en termes de formation dans la construction de représentations stéréotypés des médias traditionnels et de l’appauvrissement du métier de journaliste.

Ainsi, nous nous intéresserons plus particulièrement à des structures médiatiques alternatifs, comme « Médias citoyens », fédération qui regroupe différents médias associatifs, comme « laboratoire » d’un véritable journalisme interculturel.

Appliquées à la thématique de la diversité culturelle et de la représentations des musulmans en France, nous analyserons dans un premier temps des pratiques journalistiques qui participent à la déconstruction des stéréotypes tout en offrant un positionnement « vertueux ». Aujourd’hui en France, la figure du musulman souffre d’une réduction identitaire binaire (ami/ennemi) spécifique au paradigme de la guerre. Comment les journalistes arrivent-ils à dépasser ce type de représentation collective indistincte ? Comment peuvent-ils éviter de susciter l’imaginaire de la peur dans leurs interventions médiatées ?

Dans un deuxième temps, nous nous intéressons aux médias alternatifs comme lieux possibles d’élaboration de la citoyenneté pour des populations musulmanes, notamment pour des personnes qui se trouvent exclus des cadres normatifs de la citoyenneté (Gonzales, Sidona : 2017).  Au-delà des formes « officielles » de citoyenneté, associées à l’exercice des droits et obligations, des formes participatives de citoyenneté sont ainsi à observer, signifiant une présence effective de ces personnes dans l’espace public, la construction des appartenances et l’effacement des exclusions.

 

 

 

KEYNOTE 7

 

Marion Dalibert

GERiiCO – Université de Lille

 

Le récit médiatique de la francité : entre altérisation des musulmans et construction de l’hégémonie de la blanchité

 

En m’appuyant sur mes travaux menés sur la configuration du problème public du sexisme dans les médias d’information généraliste français, je compte interroger, d’une part, la construction du récit national qui y est donné à voir et, d’autre part, la manière dont celui-ci participe à altériser les personnes racisées – et notamment les musulmans – du « Nous » national français. Ce récit médiatique conduit dès lors à renforcer l’hégémonie des groupes majoritaires, car il met en scène ceux qui possèdent le moins de pouvoir économique, social, politique et symbolique comme instaurant les plus grandes inégalités, tandis que ceux qui profitent des avantages liés aux discriminations systémiques y sont donnés à voir, paradoxalement, comme étant les plus égalitaires.

 

 

KEYNOTE 8

 

Eric Fassin

Université Paris-8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis

LEGS (Laboratoire d’études de genre et de sexualité, CNRS / Paris-8 / Paris-Nanterre)

 

“The Racialisation of Religion: About the Circulation of Representations of Muslims between Media, Politics, and Academia”

 

The French polemic against the word Islamophobia is based on the apparently simple distinction between race and religion. However, this line can easily be blurred, as is the case with anti-Semitism. Today’s virulent critiques of Islam often resonate with attacks against Muslims as a social group. In order to understand this racialisation of religion (and “laïcité”), this paper focuses on public representations of Muslims not as reflections of a preexisting public opinion, but rather as constitutive of Islam as a problem – in parallel to the (so-called) “immigration problem.” This approach implies focusing not just on the media, but on the circulation between politics, academia, and media with examples from the French context (including some in the first person). The presentation will conclude with a discussion of counterpublics, that is, alternative discourses by those who claim the right to be subjects, and not mere objects of discourse and thus challenge the definition of the public sphere and its politics of representation.

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