Media, Translation and the Construction of the Muslim Image: A Narrative Perspective

Dr Ahmed Saleh Elimam


The role played by translators for the media is particularly crucial in the construction, promotion and survival of media narratives, since a narrative cannot travel across linguistic and cultural boundaries without the help of translators. This article aims to identify how the Qur’an, and, in turn, Islam and Muslims, are “narrated” in and by the British press. I use LexisNexis newspaper archives to identify the Qur’anic verses repeatedly used by UK national newspapers between 11/9/2001 and 1/9/2016. I then closely examine the newspaper articles featuring the most repeated verse to establish how narrative strategies (selective appropriation, temporality, causal emplotment and relationality) are used to frame the readers’ understanding. By shedding more light on the active role of translation for the media, I hope to raise awareness of the dangers posed by misrepresenting the world’s second largest religion and by accepting what is presented to us as news unquestioningly.


Media Translation, Narrative Theory, Qur’an Translation, Representation of Muslims

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