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Analysing ‘Jihad’ Rhetoric in the Australian Context

Australian Journal of Islamic Studies - Volume 9, Issue 1 Special Issue


This paper focuses on how jihad – a term synonymous with ‘struggle’ in Islam – has been associated with and used in entirely different meanings in Australian newspapers. Orientalism permeates Australian newspapers even today and different media outlets tend to follow an agenda when presenting news. The media is a powerful tool and has the capacity to influence people’s perceptions and outlook towards any phenomenon. Australian newspapers’ representation of jihad in a particular context solidifies its meaning as a ‘holy war’ whereas the Qur’ān has an entirely different meaning for this concept. Jihad is used in articles that focus on terrorist activities carried out by Muslims, issues related to Muslim immigration and even when presenting news regarding counterterrorism measures adopted by the Australian government. However, as demonstrated in this article, the representation of these issues varies extensively across newspapers, with The Australian being a much more biased newspaper than the Sydney Morning Herald.


Jihad, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, terrorism, refugees, Australian Muslims, counterterrorism



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