Date of Award


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Anjali Dayal, Ph.D.


Despite the refinement of media and political bias, the presence of islamophobic narrative has re-emerged in the wake of ISIS associated terrorist attacks. This thesis examines the interaction between the implications of the media reporting surrounding the San Bernardino and Orlando terrorist attacks and the emergence of anti-muslim Trump rhetoric that results in a breeding environment for Islamophobia. To accomplish this, I examine the particular methodology and characterization of these attacks among major cable networks— CNN and Fox News— to understand the overall narrative understood by the average American. I then analyze the political speeches delivered by Donald Trump after each attack and analyze the effects of the anti-muslim rhetoric upon his supporters. In order to properly examine the effects of the media and political islamophobic narrative, I observe the american public opinions after each attack about issues of terrorism, islam, and muslims as well as the level and nature of anti-muslim hate

crimes throughout 2015-2016. To distinguish between media and political influence, I analyze the behavior and commentary of Trump supporters that support anti-muslim policies and the increase of hate crimes connecting back to Trump rhetoric. Conclusions from this research show that both CNN and Fox News stick to a consistent narrow narrative of the islamic extremist killing innocent victims that represent Americans as a whole. Emotional appeal is a lot more apparent than detailed rationale. Meanwhile, Donald Trump uses very explicit diction that stereotypes Muslims as terrorists and pushes towards extreme measures to isolate them from the rest of the American population.