Islamists in the headlines: critical discourse analysis of the representation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian newspapers

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Languages and Literature
Author Pasha, Talaat
Title Islamists in the headlines: critical discourse analysis of the representation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian newspapers
Date 2011-12
Description This study examines how Islamists are socially, discursively and linguistically represented in the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram. The main question of this study is what would the Egyptian government do to halt the Brothers' political growth and potential threat? To answer this question, the study uses Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine how Islamists are represented in frontpage news reports in the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram, in 2000 and 2005. The analysis first examines both discursive and social practices related to the Muslim Brotherhood. This analysis examines the process of news making, role of ideology, history of Islamism, and type[s] of relationships between Islamists and the regimes. Second, the news reports are analyzed linguistically in terms of Idealized Reader (IR) framework, transitivity, sourcing, lexical choices and presupposition. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the Egyptian regimes have been practicing a constant and systematic strategy of exclusionary nature towards the Muslim Brotherhood. This exclusion has been implemented through the use of sheer power (detention, prison, and military tribunals) and through soft power (media negative representation) as well. Van Dijk's ideological square (1998) is found well-suited to describe the relationship between the Egyptian regime and Islamists: we are good and they are bad. The analysis of al-Ahram data, supplemented by analyzing other news sources, shows that: A. Almost all the accusations of the Egyptian government against the Muslim Brothers are unfounded, B. al-Ahram uses the technique of silence to conceal the good aspect of the Muslim Brotherhood, C. Islamists, in contrast with what is said about them, are willing to participate in democratic and civil society, and D. There is a relation between the discourse on Islamism and Orientalism. The negative representation, the study also concludes, is explained by the government's fear of Islamists as a political threat, its desire to maintain the West's support, and the continuation of Orientalist discourse.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Critical discourse analysis; Egyptian media; Front-page reports; Islamism; Media; Muslim brotherhood
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Talaat Pasha 2011
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 5,972,250 bytes
Identifier us-etd3,73115
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections; DS3.5 2011 .P37
ARK ark:/87278/s64x5pgh
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2017-12-11
ID 194386
Reference URL