A Case Study Analyzing Online Sentiments On Muslim Women Post 9/11

Author:  Laila Alkahlout
Date:  September 2012


Due to the fear of Islam post 9/11, Muslim women, in particular, have been dehumanized and portrayed in the media as haunting and as a result have experienced symptoms of PTSD. This article seeks to explain the cause of such public disdain for Muslim women. This case study examines an MSNBC, CNN, and FOX news story in which Muslim women travelled to the amusement park “Rye Playland” in Rye, New York to celebrate a religious holiday but were banned from the rides when administrators cited the Islamic headgear to be a choking hazard. Subjectivity and polarity tests were used to determine categories of comments, and an ethnographic media content analysis of the comments was completed.  The results demonstrate that commenters on all three articles expressed their sentiments towards Muslim women similarly. Furthermore, a commonality assessment was completed to identify categorical overlap. The results demonstrated that the cause of disdain towards Muslim women is born out of the association with all Muslims. Recommendations are made to reduce the incidence of this disdain and it’s negative outcomes in the future that include re-humanizing Muslim women.