East Anglia University launches UK’s first course in women, Islam and media
Summary of story from the Guardian, January 19, 2012
The University of East Anglia (UEA) has developed a 12-week module called women, Islam and the media in an attempt to bring together these highly debated topics and change the perceptions of Islam.
The course, which was launched this week, will cover controversial subjects like veil wearing, arranged marriage and “honour” crimes – looking at how they are portrayed in contemporary film, TV and other media, and how this reflects cultural biases in both the east and west.
The course was developed by Dr Eylem Atakav, a graduate of Ankara University and lecturer at UEA.
“Lots of people have written about women and Islam, lots of people have written about Islam and media or women and media, but they haven’t been brought together before,” she said.
The course, which has so far attracted 18 third year students, has been designed to challenge stereotypes often presented in the mainstream media.
“We will look at how the media talk about ‘honour’-based violence, for example.
“If it’s a Middle Eastern woman who happens also to be a Muslim woman it’s called an ‘honour crime’. But if it’s a British woman who was killed because her husband was jealous because she was having an affair with another man, it’s called murder,” said Dr Atakav.