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Arab Representation in the Media Project


Nowadays, there is a wide range of stereotypes concerning every ethnic group forming a community in developed countries. Therefore, people tend to ascribe specific behavioral patterns to people belonging to these groups. Unfortunately, some offensive traits of character and unpleasant habits may be expected from a person who never demonstrates the corresponding line of behavior. Concerning Arab Americans, the image of an evil Muslim in films may serve as an instrument of ethnic discrimination. Such informational war against Arabs is performed to conceal difficulties of cultural integration of ethnic minorities to the United States.

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Aladdin representing Arabs as thieves

Unfortunately, most people tend to believe everything they see on the screen without bothering to check information using verified sources. That is why they may see no difference between movie characters and genuine representatives of a particular culture in real life. Among famous films about Arabs there is definitely “Aladdin”, made by Walt Disney Pictures in 2019 (n.d., para. 125 (1)). After watching this film, one may think that people in Arabic countries are prone to stealing. Since the target audience is children, there are likely to be cases of bullying in multinational classes where Arabs maybe even ostracized. However, there is another stereotype under consideration – terrorism in the name of religion. According to Shaheen, not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. Still, due to the general conviction, they are all believed to be adepts of radical streams of Islam, seeking revenge on white civilization and plotting terroristic acts all the time (2003). “True Lies” may serve as a proper illustration of this very problem because it depicts a group of Arabian terrorists trying to collect missiles to bomb the US (n.d., para. 142 (2)). The members of the gang are shown as rude, imbecile, and highly resentful creatures. Admittedly, depicting representatives of Arabic countries this way is very popular in Western countries.

The image of Arabs in the news

In fact, there can be dozens of media sources showing the image of evil migrants from Arabic countries disturbing white citizens of the US. Nevertheless, there is one media scandal that can shed light on the problem and serves as the best illustration of the destructive capacity of rumors and stereotypes. “Arab and Middle Eastern Americans are racialized as anti-American whose allegiance to the United States is impossible because of religion. This is evidenced by the justifications used in President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries” (Zopf, 2018).Such prejudice against refugees cannot is hard to advocate, because certain groups of people according to their nationality and religion were banned. The real reason may be difficulties of adaptation of migrants by the government, which cannot provide enough help for vulnerable groups. Still, it would be a sign of weakness to show problems of domestic policy to the outside world, that is why members of such groups are likely to be blackened for the sake of appearances.


To sum it up, there are many stereotypes that make common people in Western countries mistreat members of different ethnic groups. As far as Arabs are concerned, they are considered to be aggressive and prone to break laws. However, the demonization of Arabian on TV serves only for political purposes, to whitewash those who would care responsibility of disintegration among people.


Aladdin (2019) – Full Transcript. (n.d.).

Shaheen, J. G. (2003). Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 588(1), 171–193.

True Lies (1994) – Full Transcript. (n.d.).

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Zopf, B. J. (2018). A Different Kind of Brown: Arabs and Middle Easterners as Anti-American Muslims. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 4(2), 178–191.

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