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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 5 1999. After the military coup in October 1999, he proclaimed himself the Chief Executive of Pakistan and he was sworn in as the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in June 2001. In an attempt to assess Musharraf’s rule, Constable (2001) states that military’s attempt to reform major societal institutions in Pakistan without a legitimate mandate is deeply contradictory. The author states that, although Musharraf has announced an ambitious agenda for reforms, he has avoided making any meaningful change in his country. Since Musharraf’s government took power, argues Constable (2001), foreign investments have plummeted and unemployment and poverty have risen. Malik (2001) adds that Musharraf’s government reinforced the dominance of state over society and failed to address the nation’s economic problems. The author argues that, in spite of Pakistani leader’s denunciation of human rights abuses against women and minorities, separate electorates for minorities and combative blasphemy clauses in the penal code have not been eradicated, while police use of force to obtain confessions has continued. Islam in a post-Cold war frame As a country whose population is 97 % Muslim, Pakistan is covered in the media in terms of an overall frame of West versus Islam, as explained in the works of Said (1997), Siddiqi (1997) and Karim (1999; 2001). Those authors argue that a new binary opposition of West versus Islam replaced the Cold War frame in the international coverage of news. Said (1997) dissects the misunderstanding of Islam in the media, starting from the misrepresentation of facts to blatant examples of cultural prejudice. According to Said, Islam is subject to the stereotypical portrayals and malicious generalizations that only

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
5
1999. After the military coup in October 1999, he proclaimed himself the Chief
Executive of Pakistan and he was sworn in as the President of the Islamic Republic of
Pakistan in June 2001.
In an attempt to assess Musharraf’s rule, Constable (2001) states that military’s
attempt to reform major societal institutions in Pakistan without a legitimate mandate is
deeply contradictory. The author states that, although Musharraf has announced an
ambitious agenda for reforms, he has avoided making any meaningful change in his
country. Since Musharraf’s government took power, argues Constable (2001), foreign
investments have plummeted and unemployment and poverty have risen. Malik (2001)
adds that Musharraf’s government reinforced the dominance of state over society and
failed to address the nation’s economic problems. The author argues that, in spite of
Pakistani leader’s denunciation of human rights abuses against women and minorities,
separate electorates for minorities and combative blasphemy clauses in the penal code
have not been eradicated, while police use of force to obtain confessions has continued.
Islam in a post-Cold war frame
As a country whose population is 97 % Muslim, Pakistan is covered in the media
in terms of an overall frame of West versus Islam, as explained in the works of Said
(1997), Siddiqi (1997) and Karim (1999; 2001). Those authors argue that a new binary
opposition of West versus Islam replaced the Cold War frame in the international
coverage of news.
Said (1997) dissects the misunderstanding of Islam in the media, starting from the
misrepresentation of facts to blatant examples of cultural prejudice. According to Said,
Islam is subject to the stereotypical portrayals and malicious generalizations that only


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