Final Project – Boston Bombing reinforces negative stereotype of Muslims

Posted on May 17, 2013 by


ImageThe image that I created for my final project is about how the Boston Bombing was another event used by the American media and culture to criticize the Muslim community, which reinforces the negative stereotype of Muslims. I chose this topic because I feel that the stereotype forced upon the Muslim population by American culture is wrong, and I think more people should be aware of the detrimental effects the stereotype has. I chose to do a collage because I felt it was the best way to portray the message in a way that most people could understand and it allows for different people to get different things out of the image.

            The phrase “Please Don’t Be A Muslim” came from a series of Twitter posts from Muslim-Americans hoping that the perpetrators of the incident were not Muslims (Gabbay). Muslims did not want another terrorist attack to be related to the Islamic religion; they did not want another negative event against them, causing more pain and discrimination in their lives. Nervana Mahmoud, a citizen of the United Kingdom, tweeted “[t]errorism has no religion, race, or nationality” (Fisher). This quote is used to enhance the fact that terrorists do not have to be Muslims and not all Muslims are terrorists. The Boston Marathon logo represents the Boston Bombings, and relates the image to the Boston bombing. The word “Jihad” represents the struggle Muslims have because of the negative stereotype they have to deal with. It is in the image twice because there is multiple ways that Jihad can be interpreted. The black represents the negative aspect of jihad. It represents the negative actions that stem from Jihad, and the white outline represents the good that is believed to come out of the negative action. The white represents the positive aspect of Jihad and the good that can come from Jihad. The eagle and Uncle Sam symbolize America. The eagle portrays the attack of Muslims, particularly the Muslims in America. Uncle Sam portrays the American culture’s reprimanding behavior displayed toward Muslims for being terrorists. He also represents Americans reprimanding other Americans for allowing the negative stereotype of Muslims to continue. The three Muslim women show that Muslims are saddened by the terrorist events that occur, and that they are upset by the negative portrayal of the “Muslim Community” because of the terrorist attacks. The Muslim man represents the “traditional” looking terrorist that most Americans see when they think of a terrorist. The man seems peaceful, which shows that most Muslims are peaceful, even if they appear to be a terrorist. The fire represents the bombings, the reputation of Muslims, and the rage Americans have against Muslims. The reputation of Muslims is in flames because most Americans act negatively towards them. The rage of Americans catches like wildfire, and it is harmful to others.  The “American” images are on top because in American culture, Americans are portrayed as superior to non-Americans or people who do not look American. The Muslim images are toward the bottom because they are seen as inferior in American culture. The use of American symbols rather than American people is used to show that it is a nation as a whole that is contributing to the issue. This contrasts with the Muslim people because it creates this relationship of a nation versus a relatively small group of people.

            Fisher’s article was about the reaction of Muslims and Muslim Americans after the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Most Muslims were sympathetic and hoped the bomber(s) were not Muslim. Fisher’s article seems considerably reliable and objective. His argument was well supported and did not seem biased in any way. Fisher wrote in third person, and he did not add his own personal thoughts to the article

            Beydoun’s article was about his personal reaction to the event. He discusses the reaction most Muslims had after the bombing. He states that Muslims do not have the ability to grief for the loss, but instead feel guilty.  Beydoun is a Muslim American blogger, which seems to influence his article. His argument is one sided, and he seems to take the event personally. The source, Aljazeera, is not as well known as The Washington Post or New York times, making it seem less reliable to the reader.

            Gabbay’s article discusses the reaction of Muslims after the bombings. Gabbay includes viewpoints from the majority of Muslims who hoped the culprits were not Muslims and felt bad about the bombings and from the minority of Muslims who are “happy to see the horror in America.” This article shows both major viewpoints Muslims have toward the bombing, which makes the article balanced and seeming to be more reliable.

            Wajahat’s article examines different articles that falsely report details of the bombings and the effects of terrorist-like events on the perception of Muslims around the world. The author seems to be biased because Wajahat does not show the other side, and the tone of the article seems to be accusing and angry. Wajahat supports his viewpoint well with many sources, which makes the article fairly reliable.Re





Ali, Wajahat. “Please don’t let it be a Muslim” Salon, April 17, 2013 (

Beydoun, Khaled A. “Boston Explosions: ‘Please Don’t Be Arabs or Muslims’” Aljazeera, April 16, 2013 (

Fisher, Max. “’Please don’t be a Muslim’: Boston marathon blasts draw condemnation and dread in Muslim world” Washington Post, April 15, 2013 (


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