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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11 19 (“In our culture, we give our baby son an unloaded pistol to play with in the cradle so that it becomes acquainted with guns,” Time, Oct. 1, On the Edge). Even the depictions of Pakistani streets reinforced the Western stereotypes about Muslims. Following is an example found in U.S. News and World Report: ‘ “Here in Peshawar’ spice bazaars and winding dirt alleys, where barefoot children race with wheelbarrows and traders offer brown wads of hashish, three young Pashtuns high on opium were itching for a fight hours before the bombing started. When word came that Jalalabad and Kabul had been hit, they grabbed their Kalashnikov rifles and headed towards Afghanistan” (Oct. 12, On the mean streets). The “Islamic fundamentalists” were described as a group of people whose actions are irrational, incontrollable, and, therefore, not understandable from the Western point of view. In terms of catchphrases, they were labeled as “hard-line religious forces,” “enraged crowds,” “angry Muslim mob,” “Muslim fundamentalists,” and “Islamic extremists.” (“Enraged crowds, armed with cricket bats and Zippo lighters and looking for American targets, smashed and burned a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Karachi,” U.S. News and World Report, Oct. 22, In Islamabad; “to further consolidate power ahead of expected demonstrations from angry Muslim fundamentalists,” Newsweek, Oct.7, Behind America’s Attack on Afghanistan). On several occasions, “Islamic fundamentalists” were equated with the whole Pakistani population (“Musharaf was struggling to dampen passions on the streets and reassure his countrymen,” U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 12, On the Mean Streets; “In a country awash in illegal weapons, violence is inevitably part of the picture. And it isn’t restricted to the illiterate and destitute,” Time, Oct.1, One Family Divided). In the period observed, the newsmagazines equated Islam with violence and terrorism in a way that religiosity itself became deviant and potentially dangerous (“a million children are enrolled in medressas and emerge qualified only for religious work.

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
19
(“In our culture, we give our baby son an unloaded pistol to play with in the cradle so
that it becomes acquainted with guns,” Time, Oct. 1, On the Edge). Even the depictions
of Pakistani streets reinforced the Western stereotypes about Muslims. Following is an
example found in U.S. News and World Report:
“Here in Peshawar’ spice bazaars and winding dirt alleys, where barefoot children race
with wheelbarrows and traders offer brown wads of hashish, three young Pashtuns high
on opium were itching for a fight hours before the bombing started. When word came
that Jalalabad and Kabul had been hit, they grabbed their Kalashnikov rifles and headed
towards Afghanistan” (Oct. 12, On the mean streets).
The “Islamic fundamentalists” were described as a group of people whose
actions are irrational, incontrollable, and, therefore, not understandable from the Western
point of view. In terms of catchphrases, they were labeled as “hard-line religious forces,”
“enraged crowds,” “angry Muslim mob,” “Muslim fundamentalists,” and “Islamic
extremists.” (“Enraged crowds, armed with cricket bats and Zippo lighters and looking
for American targets, smashed and burned a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Karachi,”
U.S. News and World Report, Oct. 22, In Islamabad; “to further consolidate power ahead
of expected demonstrations from angry Muslim fundamentalists,” Newsweek, Oct.7,
Behind America’s Attack on Afghanistan). On several occasions, “Islamic
fundamentalists” were equated with the whole Pakistani population (“Musharaf was
struggling to dampen passions on the streets and reassure his countrymen,” U.S. News &
World Report, Oct. 12, On the Mean Streets; “In a country awash in illegal weapons,
violence is inevitably part of the picture. And it isn’t restricted to the illiterate and
destitute,” Time, Oct.1, One Family Divided).
In the period observed, the newsmagazines equated Islam with violence and
terrorism in a way that religiosity itself became deviant and potentially dangerous (“a
million children are enrolled in medressas and emerge qualified only for religious work.


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