“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Con.tro.ver.sy: ‘a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion’.
I want to talk about the fundamental aspects of semiotics. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols used as a communication device. They consist of the signifier- the image itself and the signified- what is evoked by the image.
The picture above has no words yet I’m sure that at least half of my readers associated it with a negative connotation. This is the beauty of semiotics, it is the power to influence the audience or provoke a specific thought with just a simple image.
The stereotypes of the Islamic faith are well renowned, however in case you haven’t turned on a TV in the last twelve years, the Islamic faith has a common stigma of being a congregation of terrorists. In a ‘multicultural’ nation it is undignified that we do not take it upon ourselves to look further- specifically when it determines another human beings reputation at a national level. Today I will attempt to change your perception and explore the controversy surrounding the Islamic faith.
"In television, films, books, newspapers and magazines Islam is presented as being a backward and barbaric religion. It is seen as oppressive and unjust; and more than this it is seen as being most oppressive to women. These various forms of media misrepresent Islam in different ways."
(Simms, undated: np)
Beginning in 622 CE, Islam can be identified as a religion of ‘submission to god’ (Allah) and can be considered one of the world’s most controversial belief systems. This belief system was inspired by Muhammad (known as a ‘great prophet’), originating in the city of Mecca but gaining the appropriate structure as a belief system in Medina. Islam takes the form of prayer along with benevolence, charity and tolerance. Islamic beliefs dictate that the Koran (like the bible) provides ethical, moral and fundamental principles, values and norms that set the boundaries of human behaviour. Islam has many parallels to Christianity and Judaism, an essential concept of Islam is the belief that everything is premeditated- nothing happens without the ‘will or knowledge’ of Allah.
Although there has been a rapid expansion of Islam throughout the world, negative connotations are continuously linked to the word ‘Muslim’; in spite of the facts. The Islamic faith is a peaceful belief system dictating that followers respect equality, morality and their faith and the majority of Islam adhere to this.
There are many degrees of the Islamic faith however for the purpose of this argument I will focus on just two. I will start with conventional Islam- these people are known as the Sunni’s, they carry out their faith directly according to the Koran, they are peaceful and considerate humans that bear many of the some values as you or I. The Sunni’s make up over 80% of the belief system and although the majority they are unfailingly the held responsible for the extremists. The extremists are dubbed the Shi’a, however more commonly known as the Al Qaeda or Taliban – they make up the minority of Islam however captivate the greatest audience. The Shi’a fight through and for Islam, they admire and worship martyrs and through their own dissent are violent towards both Muslim’s and non-Muslims.
It is clear that while the ‘terrorists’ do exist in the name of the Islamic faith, it is not fair to generalise this callous behaviour to all Muslims. It is unrealistic to accept everything the media tells you at face value.
The image displays an Islamic woman, this is the signifier. What is signified is up to you.
One other thing guys, please watch this video!
for more information about the islamic culture visit: http://religioustolerence.org/