Media and the false depiction of Islam

Sophmore and editor Fatima Moallin reveals the truth about the slander of Islam in media.

Western media portrays musilm women as extremely suppressed, and always in need of a male savior. These portrayals influence society into thinking hijabis are forced into religion and lack expression, production companies such as Netflix are known for interpreting hijabis in the worst way possible. The Spanish Netflix original series Elite is facing backlash after depicting a teenage hijabi as a rebellious, shy, boy crazy teen with controlling enraged palestinian muslim parents. As the story progresses Nadia and her older brother Omar take part in almost every extremely sinful activity in the book behind their parents back. Classmates try to influence the two into thinking that these are normal teenage activities, their parents are once again portrayed as crazy controlling parents when they enforce regular household rules.

Over quarantine this show became popular among teens influencing “backwards” thoughts of muslims, and the complete opposite version of Islam, as the show enforces western ideals through an extremely different lens. Although this is not the first time media has twisted Islam’s Ideas, as young muslim girls are coming of age media is feeding them false realties of highschool and teenage life in general, normalizing disrespecting parents, taking off the hijab, and being influenced by others. In reality Muslim women are strong indivuals and need no man.! We are capable of anything although we may have to work 3x as hard.

Lets get the facts straight

Representation of Islam in movies / TV shows like this is not something new in fact history has repeated itself multiple times. Hala a apple tv original movie produced by Jada Pinkett Smith is the perfect example of a the complete opposite reality of a hijabi teenage girl. The story line follows a young hijabi who loves writing and skateboarding but also completely changes herself for a boy (of course is white and christian) and ends up taking her hijab off by the end of the movie to be “at peace with herself”. How funny, Islam is a relgion dedicated to peace and love, and the movie somehow relates peace to the slander of Islam. Movies like this are a horrible representation of first generation children of immigrants, portrayal of rebellious acts towards parents due to “old fashioned cultural thinking” .

Accurate Representation

As a Somali American teenage hijabi girl, my daily life is not close to what the average American may think. I have friends who are talented and inspiring, I am the youngest daughter of four, I have always loved art and creative writing, I have goals of going to college in New York and becoming a journalist. In fact I am the creator of this online magazine, our school needed a place to portray our diverse voices, that can positively influence our peers, so I decided this was the most influential way to amplify our voices.

In order to accomplish your goals, you will need someone who can inspire you to keep pushing forward, someone who can relate to your struggles and say you know what keep moving forward! Instead of listening to islamaphobic media follow people who look like you, accomplish their goals and kept moving forward. Noor Tagouri is an amazing example an influential muslim women, she is a journalist and in the midst of making a podcast, her craft is amazing advocating for those who dont get a voice, and making important conversation with influential people who have a platform. There are many more activists like Noor but she has definitely stood out to me, personally because she is someone muslim girls can relate to and look up to.

Want to see your work in the Magazine?

© 2021 Lincoln Magazine