Friday, November 11, 2016

Blog 5- Authenticity

This week, the question is raised on exactly how the offline culture that presents certain memes about Trump or Obama set the basis for their authenticity or accuracy. In all honesty, the vast majority of the memes I have found are not specifically designed to be "politically" accurate, as much as they are designed to take jabs at each of these individuals and make fun of their policies and attitudes towards the Muslim faith. This is evident in the majority of Trump memes; however, there is some form of back up as far as how he is viewed in society as a "racist, bigoted, fascist." On the other hand, some of the memes presented about President Obama are more aimed at portraying a picture of him either being Muslim or loving and valuing the Muslim faith/ideology over the wellbeing of his own country, which he has time and time again been questioned over.

In the context of this weeks memes, these memes are very broken-away from any form of authority on the subject. However, to say there is no authority behind these memes is also incorrect, due to the fact that these individuals who post these memes are speaking as what they feel is the "voice of the people" or the vox populi of sorts. This breaking away from what is viewed as "accurate" information, and leaning more towards biased opinions and jabs at the individual presented shows, at least in my opinion, that what might be authentic and legitimate to some may or may not be true and real for another. Each of these cases and the points they try to make are subjective specifically to the individual who creates them.

These two points are not to say that there is not a certain agreeable basis behind the context of the memes at hand; however, if one was looking for accurate and up to date information about how a political candidate or president feels on a certain issue, I feel that memes are not a good location to find this.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Blog 4- Authority

Clearly presented in this week’s memes are two staunchly different views of the authority of Islam as portrayed by Donald Trump and President Obama. In the first meme, the authority of the ideology of the Muslim faith comes into question; this is proven in the Qur’an when it states, “one such thing that needs to be avoided is swine flesh or pork…” (Qur’an 2:173). Although the President of the United States does not explicitly follow Islam or its ideologies, it is clear that the implication is being made that he does, and is breaking its rules and commandments. On the other hand, we have a direct quote from Trump about the “religion of peace” and putting into question just how “peaceful” Islam actually is. From this tweet, which was actually sent out on Trump’s personal Twitter, it can be clearly noted that Trump does not follow suit with what the Muslim faith says they believe versus how a select few of them act.

The logic portrayed in these memes is a mixture of the logic of continuity and complementarity with the logic of dialectics and paradox. By this, I mean that while in the first meme, the offline user is projecting their own views of President Obama onto him by labeling a Muslim who is breaking the faith-based laws, this is not necessarily true, and this mindset has actually led to many online and offline conflicts. In the case of the Trump meme/tweet, Trump is using his own authority in order to convince others that maybe the Muslim faith isn’t as peaceful as they make themselves sound. This fear-mongering tool has been used countless times by politicians in order to push their own agendas or in order to get public action rolling. These two cases are just a couple of thousands of accounts of the words and actions taken by political candidates being twisted or taken out of context, or even straight from the context they are used, to give a voice to the thoughts and mindsets of the people.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog 3- Community

In the memes I found for this particular case study, it can be noticed that while these memes speak about the current situation involving the Muslim faith and how they are treated in America, they speak in a more negative connotation about how society views these individuals policies. In these attempts to poke fun at the President/presidential hopeful, the authors of these memes have inadvertently given their own views and opinions on the current situation in regards to the Muslims/Muslim policy as well. In each of these cases, there is a blending of sorts of the online and offline context due to the fact that, while these individuals may have spoken some or part of the text that is read in the meme, the author puts their own twist on the subject. This is an example of what is known as "participatory culture" (Yadlin-Segal, 2014), because the authors are engaging in their own critical analysis of current events.

In these memes the idea of hatred towards Muslims in the context of how Hitler hated the Jews is expressed, as well as how some people view Pres. Obama's policy towards the Muslims in the US. These messages are communicated through clear satire, however, there is an underlying tone of disdain and possibly hatred towards the individual pictured.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blog 2- Identity

      My memes are almost entirely centered on the Muslim faith. Whether the memes directly or indirectly say the words “Muslim” or “Islam” it is clear that that is the focus of conversation in each of these images. Specifically, I hope to bring to light the vast differences in policy and acceptance of the Muslim faith in the United States between our current President and our presidential hopeful. While these memes do not specifically highlight any of the specifics about the actual theological beliefs of the Muslim faith, they do denote a certain reaction towards the decisions made by the actual members of the religion, of which are supposed to be more peaceful and understanding, along with those who are more radical and violent. 

One thing that can be noticed in each of these sets of memes is the fact that the Muslim faith is usually portrayed as a violent, war-mongering ideology. Although the approach taken by each of these men in regards to how to handle this subject is completely night and day, it is obvious, at least in my opinion, that the facts are clear. While Islam is supposed to be the “religion of peace,” it is clear from these memes that the author seems to think differently. On the other hand, the identity of this religion is kind of lost in these memes and, as stated by Lovheim, the actual religious aspects of the Islamic faith are “coherent, yet continuously revised” (Lovheim, 2008, pg. 50)  in an attempt to poke fun at the political candidate rather than highlight the actual religion itself. Because of the fact that the creator of these memes is so clear in their own stance about each of these characters and the religion they are depicting, what is known as the “second wave” (Ibid., pg 46) or the allowance of critical empirical study of the actual identity of both the subject of the meme and the character being represented is able to happen. When doing this study, it could be gained from these memes that the Islamic faith is one of strict adherence to their own policy with no tolerance for those who oppose their ideology, while those who are in authority either are complacent in regards to the handling of Muslim relations, or are in and of themselves radical in their policies as well.

Blog 1- Case Study: Views on Islam- Obama v Trump

For my case study, I will be comparing and contrasting memes on current President Barack Obama's policy in regards to the Muslim faith/Radical Islam versus presidential hopeful Donald Trump and the way that he handles policy about Muslims and his views on Radical Islam. From analyzing these memes, I hope to be able to denote the stark differences between the two on not only how they currently handle or would handle Muslim refugees, but how they would or will face the radical Islamic terrorist units that continuously attack our country and other countries around the world.

I will be highlighting each of these individuals policies, the religious and philosophical views of the Muslim faith versus the views of the more radical sects, and the way that this religion is portrayed in the various memes as well as how these individuals are portrayed in association with their policies about Islam.