Linguistic Evaluation of News Reports on Islamophobic Incidents

  • Noor Alaa Abdul- Razzk Department of English, College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad, Iraq
  • Huda H Khalil Department of English, College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad, Iraq
Keywords: appraisal theory, Islamophobia, media discourse, systemic functional linguistics


This research paper aims at figuring out the way in which the world perceives the Islamophobic incidents. Such a global perception can be obtained from employing a kind of pervasive discourse that is emitted from global institutions and directed to the world in general. Thus, the conducted linguistic evaluation has targeted the news reports as a kind of global media discourse. The linguistic theory employed for language evaluation is Martin and White’s (2005) theory of appraisal. Three categories are classified in the appraisal theory: attitude, engagement, and graduation. Attitude is subdivided into effect, judgment, and appreciation; engagement into monogloss and hetergloss, and graduation into force and focus. The methodology works on three variables in the Islamophobic incident: the aggressor, the victim and motive. The orientation of investigation works to identify the attitude of affect directed from the report towards the victim, judgement towards the behavior of the aggressor, and appreciation towards the motive of the incident. The research also identifies the features of these attitudes as being negative or positive, the types (sub- classifications), engagement (monogloss or heterogloss), and graduation (force and focus) of the spotted attitudes. The data consists of twelve news reports selected, according to their topic, from three News agencies: BBC, Independent, and Fox News. The analysis has revealed that, contrary to many claims, news reports tend to adopt a neutral stance towards Muslims and Non- Muslims. They tend to portray the Islamophobic incidents as close to reality as possible.


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