FROM RADICALISM TO TOLERANCE: MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE
Following its establishment in 1962, the Muslim World League (MWL) was meant to be an organization that expands the outreach of Saudi Arabia and its then Wahabi version of Islam in the world in the time when other competing ideologies, especially Arab nationalism, were on the rise. This allowed it to carry out religious, cultural, aid and educational programs. At the time, The Saudi adopted version of Islam known as Wahabism was rejected in the western world. This study analyses news reports about the MWL published by mostly western media outlets, by using Critical Discourse Analysis as a theory. This study concludes that the coverage of MWL has changed recently from being negative to being positive with Mohammad Al-Issa assuming the leadership of MWL and with radical changes taking place in Saudi Arabia itself, politically, socially, religiously and culturally. Western media coverage of MWL now connects the organization to coexistence, religious tolerance, openness and moderate thinking and positive view of other faiths. It suggests that MWL has rejected all forms of radicalism and strict interpretation of Islam and calls for unity and building bridges with other religions.
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