The release of trailer of ‘Innocence of Muslims’ generated a huge debate on free speech, hate speech and the representation of the Muslims and Islam in the Western media. This paper investigates these issues in detail by taking instances from the mainstream US print media. Some other interesting debates in the mass media like the identification of the filmmaker and denigration of the Muslims and Islam in historical context have also been undertaken in the paper.
Discourse theory and social construction of reality by Schutz (1976) and Berger and Luckmann (1991) have been applied as theoretical framework to evaluate the relationship between mass media and social construction of reality, and to see as how the US mass media constructed the reality about the movie (trailer). Three major aspects were selected for analysis; viz., filmmaker(s) and their associates, issues concerning freedom of speech and expression, and the representation of the Muslims’ protesting against the YouTube clip and the ensuing violence in some Muslim countries.
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