Frankel, Kiah, Alexanne 12pm Thurs, Final Assessment, Same-Sex Marriage & Plebiscite Debate

Same-Sex Marriage & Plebiscite Debate: Final Analysis

Political debate earlier this year regarding the issue of same-sex marriage, and a same-sex marriage plebiscite enforced by the Liberal government, was divisive to say the least. The Australian media was separated by the issue, presenting a number of different views that addressed a range of opinions for and against the issue. Articles considered the consequences of legalising same sex marriage, what changing the definition of marriage means for parenting, and both criticisms and commendations of the current government for palming the decision for same-sex marriage off to the Australian public to resolve. Communicative effects found within views journalism articles determine how audiences are positioned in relation to political issues such as same-sex marriage. This analysis will therefore assess aspects of a range of articles; sourced from a number of different news sites, in terms of their communicative effects that make them engaging views journalism pieces.

“Same-sex marriage: Australians assume ‘marriage equality’ has no consequences” is an interesting article written by Lyle Shelton, for TheSpectator.com published in October of this year. Shelton provides a hybrid argument that is causal, in the way that it posits the social and legal consequences that will develop as a result of legalising same-sex marriage, and evaluative in the way that he labels Australians as ‘assuming’ marriage equality has no such consequences. Shelton’s primary claim is advanced within a rhetorical question, where he writes, “I wonder how many other Australians have just assumed same-sex marriage has no consequences”. The article presents a number of justifications to support the primary claim, with a large majority of them as appeals to consequence. Claims such as, “Stripping marriage of the gender requirements sends a powerful legal and cultural message that gender is no longer relevant in the institution which is the building block of society,” and, “…our children are already being taught their gender is fluid at a “Safe School” near you,” use emotive language, such as inclusive personal pronouns, to convince the reader that marriage equality will demand a new definition for gender, and instigate more social and legal consequences than many Australians are aware of. Interestingly, an article written by Josh Manuatu titled “Shorten’s Stereotyping of Homosexuality is Offensive and Demeaning” sourced from the same site, Spectator.com, employs a different approach to an anti-same sex marriage argument, through the use of value laden language and appeals to consequence.

Manuatu’s primary claim is that Labour leader Bill Shorten’s comments that the marriage plebiscite could cause young gay people to commit suicide are founded on gross stereotypes and intolerance, and therefore should be condemned. The article is an evaluative argument, as it frequently uses emotive language such as ‘deeply demeaning’, ‘offensive’ and ‘belittling’ in order to negatively evaluate the politics surrounding anti same-sex marriage campaigning. In comparison to Shelton’s article, Manuatu employs different communicative tools such as justifications in order to argue a similar anti-same sex marriage article. For example, Manuatu makes regular appeals to morality and social norms in order to criticize and negatively evaluate Shorten’s political bigotry. Lines such as, “Mr Shorten’s continued push of the stereotype that all homosexuals are sad and impulsive…is not only offensive and demeaning but, I am sure, would be doing more harm than good”, makes an appeal to morality. The warrant that underlies Manuatu’s argument is essentially that to stereotype individuals is offensive, yet to push it onto the Australian public through political campaigning is immoral and demeaning. Through the use of emotive language and regular appeals to morality, Manuatu argues that Shorten’s campaign is founded upon unfair stereotyping and scare tactics, and recommends the reader condemn him for this. In comparison to Shelton’s article, and many others including some published in the Sydney Morning Herald, authors negatively evaluated the same-sex marriage debate for its divisive and offensive stereotyping for homosexuals and their families.

Similarly, “We don’t need one plebiscite question – we need 10” is an article written by Sydney Morning Herald columnist Alan Stokes that similarly argues the political side of the same-sex marriage debate. Stokes posits a highly evaluative argument that advances a central claim that essentially condemns the Australian government for their incapability in deciding on national issues such as same-sex marriage and for enforcing an extremely expensive plebiscite that in no way binds them to take make any new policies. Stokes presents a hybrid argument that is both evaluative, in the way that he perceives the Australian government to be inefficient and incapable of making national policies, and recommendatory in the way that he recommends we have a plebiscite that allows people to decide on not only legalising same-sex marriage, but for a range of other policies from Indigenous rights, to taxations and refugees. This article employed a significantly different approach to the Shelton and Manuatu articles, as it applies humour and sarcasm to strengthen the relationship with readers. In a way, the article mocks the plebiscite as something so ridiculous we might as well have 10 questions instead of 1.

Stokes’ initial justifications appear in the opening lines where he uses appeals to popular opinion in order to establish a strong relationship with the reader based on a similar view of politics. Through the inclusive pronoun ‘we’ in, “For starters, we don’t trust our politicians very much. They abuse taxpayer-funded expenses, accept money from companies linked to foreign governments…(Ed: for space reasons the next 20 examples have been removed)”, it is clear that Stokes is addressing an audience he perceives to be in general agreement with. This justification supports his claim that our politicians are untrustworthy, and therefore it’s identified as a good thing that we are able to decide on same-sex marriage and determine our own faith. This justification, and appeal to popular opinion, sets up for Stokes’ primary claim stated in the line, “So why not just ask voters clearly and directly what they want? To make this happen we need to turbocharge this plebiscite. I propose that we do not need one plebiscite, we need 10”. Whilst this claim is an appeal to comparison/analogy in nature, I believe that it is more metaphorical because there’s a sense of irony in Stokes’ argument. Whilst he knows a ‘turbocharged plebiscite’ will never happen, he entertains he idea to implicitly mock the government for being unable to decide on the issue.

Whilst it is evident that opinion pieces regarding same-sex marriage and the same-sex marriage plebiscite in Australian media implore different communicative tools, they each use emotive language in order to attract and convince readers. The Shelton and Manuatu articles for example regularly use appeals to consequence and social norms in order to negatively evaluate the issue, yet use different claims regarding different aspects of the issue. Comparatively, the Stokes article was sourced from a primarily left-wing media source, the Sydney Morning Herald, so this would explain his political bias in a kind of ‘mockery’ of the plebiscite. Whilst many articles I found were politically motivated, some articles were similar to the Shelton article in that they utilised appeals to morality and consequence in order to argue the emotional side of the debate.

“Why a plebiscite on same-sex marriage is dangerous and divisive” is an opinion piece sourced from The Sydney Morning Herald. Written by two registered psychologists, Dr Liz Short and Dr Sharon Dane, this article advances the primary claim that media campaigns that argue against same-sex marriage will cause serious psychological damage to LGBTIQU Australians and their families. Whilst this article is still an evaluative argument that condemns the plebiscite, it is also causal in the way it argues the emotional consequences for those involved. This article references more than 6 registered organisations and experts in different fields to support facts and evidence used, demonstrating why the plebiscite is detrimental to the wellbeing of LGBTIQU communities. An appeal to precedent and fact in, “Emerging evidence from Ireland indicates that such campaigns are distressing to LGBTIQU seniors who have already suffered greatly due to historical discrimination…” advances a warrant that suggests we shouldn’t endorse an opportunity to further discriminate against already marginalised groups in society. I believe that due to continuous appeals to facts, such as this, the authors are attempting to convince the audience at least in some respects, of the emotional consequences of the plebiscite. It presents a starkly different article to Shelton and Manuatu and others that I found, and was one of the only easily accessible articles that included the insights of registered health professionals to advance their argument rather than the somewhat bias perspectives of columnists for left-wing media organisations such as the SMH.

Furthermore, Dr Liz Short and Dr Sharon Dane advance claims that act as appeals to consequence in order to further argue that the plebiscite campaign will escalate already growing demands for mental health support in LGBTIQ communities. “Already in Australia there are indicators of a spike in the need for mental health support by LGBTIQ people…” has an underlying warrant that suggests, like mentioned before, that you shouldn’t purposely worsen an issue that is already of concern, such as the marginalisation of LGBTIQ people. However, whilst this article presents an interesting argument compared to most same-sex marriage arguments I found, I think to a degree it is a circular argument due to most of the minor claims basically being the same, that the plebiscite will cause emotional distress for already marginalised communities. Each warrant is essentially that you shouldn’t worsen an issue that is already of concern, and it failed to mention a diverse range of minor claims to strengthen the primary claim.

Evidently, the same-sex marriage and plebiscite debate in Australia has resulted in a number of different views journalism pieces. The majority of articles produced were extremely politically driven, acting as evaluative arguments that criticised the government for their incapability to decide on national policy. However, I noticed a significantly smaller amount of articles actually focused on the emotional consequences of the debate, and those that acted as causal arguments were few and far between. I believe the majority of more evaluative arguments may be due to the fact that readers are more likely to side with an author that shares the same political view, and is able to form a stronger relationship with readers based on political criticisms toward our government. It’s interesting to note however that I found it extremely difficult to locate articles that were in support of the plebiscite, and the only one I found was essentially a mockery of it. This may ultimately demonstrate that Australia stands in general agreement that the same-sex marriage plebiscite is detrimental to society, and the negative aspects far outweigh its benefits.

Whilst it is extremely interesting to analyse the linguistic and argumentative techniques employed by authors, I also found the illustrations and photographs used in articles intriguing. ‘Why a plebiscite on same sex marriage is dangerous and divisive” included a graphic of a red heart with the following caption, “Polls indicate a plebiscite would result in marriage equality. However, it would do great harm to LGBTIQ Australians and their families”. I believe the symbolism of the heart is greater than love, rather I think it is used to imply the duty Australians have to remain compassionate and to act with the interest of all Australians at heart. The colour and tone of the image is complex, with contrasts to create a 3D like image. This has the effect of demonstrating the complexity of the same-sex marriage debate, and represents the need for all Australians to understand the consequences of what it means for those whose rights are being debated.

Contrastingly, the article “Shorten’s stereotyping of homosexuality is offensive and demeaning” by Josh Manuatu employs a photograph of Bill Shorten featured at the beginning of the piece (featured below). I believe the choice of image was measured and deeply considered by the author, as Bill Shorten’s emotions in the photograph assist in the author’s vulgar descriptions and evaluations. The image captures Shorten with an expression that can be associated with ignorance, and assists the readers to picture Shorten in this light.

In conclusion, it’s evident that this political issue has disseminated Australian media. Whilst many articles present different claims, there are some similarities between them, most of which I have discussed. It is clear that the Australian media don’t all share the same view, but the general consensus is that the same-sex marriage plebiscite is detrimental to Australian society. Whilst most believe in this, and argue this point, they each use different communicative devices in order to advance their beliefs.

Words: 2081
Kiah Frankel

heart

shorten

“Burkini-Ban, Good or Bad?”

z5061863

Kiah Frankel 

 

It’s been nearly 15 years since George W Bush declared his “war on terror”. Since then, global political attitudes and approaches to terrorism are continuously revised in response to terrorist attacks and bombings across the globe. In 2015, terrorist attacks occurred in almost 100 countries – up from 59 in 2013 – according to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Within a single year, the world has experienced a 61% increase in terrorist attacks. It’s no wonder governments are scrambling to curb the violence in any way they can.

 

However, this desperation to end global violence has become problematic in a number of cases and has often caused more uproar in terms of the morality of political decision making than anything else. Media coverage across the globe hold more to say about governments than ever before, due to the fact that the safety of society is essentially hanging in the hands of politicians attempting to curb terrorism and boost national security.

 

A range of hard and views journalism has offered a range of insights into the war on terror, and specifically, have provided readers with a diverse variety of views on government policies and interventions. In particular, a recent decision by French authorities to introduce a ‘burkini ban’ along the French coastline has received significant limelight by views and opinion journalists. The decision will see women charged 28 euros for wearing swimsuits that cover their whole body. Officials say the decision comes after a sudden rise in radical terrorism within and surrounding France, and also after 80 people were killed in the terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day earlier in the year.

 

Hence it’s no surprise that the current mediascape is divided by how governments should act in response to growing global security concerns. Views journalist Pina Sadar, an opinion columnist from the ABC, in her article “Banning the burkini reinforces a single story about Muslim women: they need saving”, argues the decision is inherently driven by age old stereotypes, and is stripping women of their agency by assuming the burqa is a sign of Muslim oppression among females.

 

Pina has experience in the field of British Muslim women and veiling, and has been involved in projects with a number of institutions including the United Nations and the European Commission. Her experience in the field awards her primary claim with a degree of credibility, overall shaping article into a well-justified evaluative argument that presents an evaluative argument against the ‘burkini ban’.

 

Sadar’s claim is explicitly stated in the first paragraph of her piece, where she writes, “The interdiction does not protect either of these. Instead, it reinforces tired stereotypes about Muslim women”. In her justifications, Sadar frequently appeals to ethics, morals, legality and precedent that further reinforce her claim.

 

For example, Sadar uses evaluative language in order to enforce her negative view of French authorities in phrases such as, “their comments cling to partial and often dangerously warped fragments of Islam-inspired atrocities”. She evaluates the decision as, “politically convenient” and, “highly patronising”.

 

This value-laden language allows her to justify her views whilst appealing to a set of morals and ethics she believes the French authorities are failing to adhere to. She justifies her claim that the decision is immoral and discriminatory by viewing the ban as, “(alleging) that all wearers are adherents of radical Islamist ideas. They also suppose that burkini-clad women are necessarily the victims of these political systems, which force them into complying with their patriarchal laws”.

 

By negatively evaluating the ‘burkini-ban’, Sadar appeals to the moral obligation Governments possess to avoid stereotyping Islamic groups by the fundamentalist ideals religious extremists attempt to impose, and have effectively imposed in terrorist attacks across the world. Her justification further enforces her primary claim, that the decision is morally unjust due to the fact that it’s marginalising Muslim women based on a large misinterpretation of the Islamic faith.

 

Furthermore, Sadar justifies her claim by stating, “Being praised for blocking sun-rays and the male gaze, the attire is often also embraced by non-Muslim women, most notably also by TV chef Nigella Lawson”. An appeal to precedent allows her to suggest that the ‘burkini’ is frequently worn by famous non-Muslim women and hence shouldn’t be stereotyped into a symbol of Muslim extremism and terror.

 

Sadar appeals to authority by quoting member of the National Assembly of France, Valérie Boyer and the Socialist’s Governments for Women’s Rights, Laurence Rossignol, yet uses this appeal to further evaluate the ‘burkini ban’ and justify why the decision is founded upon immoral stereotypes of Muslim women and their style of dress.

 

Sadar quotes Rossignol, “Rossignol echoed these sentiments by claiming the burkini ‘is the beach version of the burqa and it has the same logic: hide women’s bodies in order to better control them’”. Sadar appeals to ethics in her evaluation, and writes, “both politicians enunciate a highly patronising notion: the concept of Muslim women needing to be saved”. The emotion of the word ‘patronising’ allows Sadar to form a more intimate relationship with her audience, and convince them that the ‘burkini-ban’ is discrimination based on the Westernised view that burkinis are a sign of oppression that Muslim women lack the agency to escape.

 

Sadar presents a convincing argument through a number of appeals to ethics, morals and precedent. Through mentioning a range of points that justify her claim, including her reference to Nigella Lawson and her negative evaluation of the claims by two French politicians, I assume Sadar writes to an audience she believes need convincing. The justifications she puts forward are continuous, and composed with value-laden language that convinces the audience. It also allows her to form an intimate relationship that’s reinforced by appeals to morals and ethics.

 

Alternatively, French journalist Jeanne Smits proposes a views journalism piece titled; “Here’s why the ‘burkini ban’ is important, even though French secularists are bungling it so badly”. Smits labels herself as a Catholic, pro-life journalist and is currently working as the Paris correspondent for LifeSiteNews.com. Smit’s article is an opinion piece on the French ‘burkini-ban’, however her primary claim is centred on why the ‘burkini-ban’ is in fact important. Furthermore, Smit presents a hybrid argument that is both evaluative in the way that she thinks the ‘burkini-ban’ is important in a variety of ways, and recommendatory in the way she recommends readers to adopt this view also.

 

Because Smit presents justifications as to why the ‘burkini-ban’ should be considered important, her article differs to Sadar’s in a range of different ways. For example, Smit justifies her primary claim with both positive and negative evaluations of the decision, and hence the nature of her article addresses an audience in opposition to the ban, yet also in approval with it.

 

In particular, Smit justifies her primary claim by stating, “when French mayors ban the burkini, they do not dare give the real reason, and that is part of the problem”. The use of appeal to ethics suggests that the ‘burkini-ban’ is inherently significant because beyond its surface, it reveals the French government’s intentions to use the ban as a ploy to discourage Muslims from accessing the coastline. It’s obvious Smit evaluates the actions of the government as unethical, and presents this as a justification for why the decision is so inherently important for readers to understand.

 

Furthermore, Smit uses appeal to morals in order to suggest, “the moves have much more to do with protecting the national identity and resisting increasing Islamic immigration that is posing a genuine threat to the French way of life”. Whilst Smit neither agrees nor disagrees with this reason, she employs it as a justification for why the ‘burkini-ban’ is integral to understand. She uses this justification as a vehicle to imply that French authorities feel morally obligated to do whatever they can to take action against anything that threatens national security, and the French way of life.

 

False analogy is evident in Smit’s article where she states, “the burkini ban has also raised the question: Would Catholic nuns in traditional habit be banned from beaches?”. Here, Smit compares banning the burkini with banning traditional Catholic dress. As a result, she is ignoring the vast differences between the perceptions of Catholicism and Islam in the current political climate.

 

I believe Smit’s article lacks effectiveness in the way that it confuses its primary claim. Whilst Smit is trying to credit her primary claim by convincing her audience that it’s important to understand the reason for the ‘burkini-ban’, she loses credibility in the way she fails to express a positive or negative evaluation. This creates a sense of neutrality through the piece that isn’t as convincing as most opinion pieces aim to be.

 

In contrast, Sadar adopts a position that allows her to consistently and negatively evaluate the ‘burkini-ban’ through a number of justifications. Each author employed similar appeals to ethics and morals, however I think Sadar presented a more consistent and effective argument that was easier to understand and follow.

 

In conclusion, the examples of views journalism discussed in this analysis give testament to the fact that Islam in the current political climate is a catalyst for discussion and conversation among journalists. Journalists from a range of political orientations and fields provide different opinions on issues, including the ‘burkini-ban’ in France, which ultimately provides us with a diverse media and communication network.

 

Whilst there are some journalists who present heavily bias and discriminative opinions on the topic of Islam, Sadar and Smit each present arguments that are justified by moral and ethical worldviews that view the marginalisation of Muslim women as inherently unjust. These worldviews aren’t explicit in either article, however they are evident in the nature of their justifications, as neither presented entirely positive evaluations, or endorsements, of the ‘burkini-ban’.

 

In conclusion, each author presents valuable opinions to the discussion surrounding Islam in the contemporary world and for as long as religions exist, society and journalists alike will remain influential participants in the global conversation.

 

 

 

Words 1665

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

News Articles

Sadar, P. 26 August 2016, Banning the burkini reinforces a single story about Muslim women: they need saving The Conversation, ABC, accessed 30 August 2016 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-26/banning-burkini-reinforces-story-muslim-women-needing-saving/7788362

 

Smits, J. 29 August 2016, Here’s why the ‘burkini ban’ is important, even though French secularists are bungling it so badly Opinion: Faith, Politics-World, LifeSite, accessed 30 August 2016

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/burkini-ban-lifted-in-one-french-municipality-but-the-issues-run-deeper

 

 

Websites

Amanda, Macias. 2014. The Sate of Terrorism in the World Today (online). Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-state-of-terrorism-in-the-world-today-2014-11 (accessed 30 August 2016)

 

Uri Friedman. 2016. Is Terrorism Getting Worse? It depends where you look (online). Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/07/terrorism-isis-global-america/490352/. (accessed 30 August 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

Burkini Ban, Good or Bad?

“Burkini-Ban, Good or Bad?”
z5061863
Kiah Frankel

Pina Sadar Article

Jeanne Smit Article

It’s been nearly 15 years since George W Bush declared his “war on terror”. Since then, global political attitudes and approaches to terrorism are continuously revised in response to terrorist attacks and bombings across the globe. In 2015, terrorist attacks occurred in almost 100 countries – up from 59 in 2013 – according to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Within a single year, the world has experienced a 61% increase in terrorist attacks. It’s no wonder governments are scrambling to curb the violence in any way they can.

However, this desperation to end global violence has become problematic in a number of cases and has often caused more uproar in terms of the morality of political decision making than anything else. Media coverage across the globe hold more to say about governments than ever before, due to the fact that the safety of society is essentially hanging in the hands of politicians attempting to curb terrorism and boost national security.

A range of hard and views journalism has offered a range of insights into the war on terror, and specifically, have provided readers with a diverse variety of views on government policies and interventions. In particular, a recent decision by French authorities to introduce a ‘burkini ban’ along the French coastline has received significant limelight by views and opinion journalists. The decision will see women charged 28 euros for wearing swimsuits that cover their whole body. Officials say the decision comes after a sudden rise in radical terrorism within and surrounding France, and also after 80 people were killed in the terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day earlier in the year.

Hence it’s no surprise that the current mediascape is divided by how governments should act in response to growing global security concerns. Views journalist Pina Sadar, an opinion columnist from the ABC, in her article “Banning the burkini reinforces a single story about Muslim women: they need saving”, argues the decision is inherently driven by age old stereotypes, and is stripping women of their agency by assuming the burqa is a sign of Muslim oppression among females.

Pina has experience in the field of British Muslim women and veiling, and has been involved in projects with a number of institutions including the United Nations and the European Commission. Her experience in the field awards her primary claim with a degree of credibility, overall shaping article into a well-justified evaluative argument that presents an evaluative argument against the ‘burkini ban’.

Sadar’s claim is explicitly stated in the first paragraph of her piece, where she writes, “The interdiction does not protect either of these. Instead, it reinforces tired stereotypes about Muslim women”. In her justifications, Sadar frequently appeals to ethics, morals, legality and precedent that further reinforce her claim.

For example, Sadar uses evaluative language in order to enforce her negative view of French authorities in phrases such as, “their comments cling to partial and often dangerously warped fragments of Islam-inspired atrocities”. She evaluates the decision as, “politically convenient” and, “highly patronising”.

This value-laden language allows her to justify her views whilst appealing to a set of morals and ethics she believes the French authorities are failing to adhere to. She justifies her claim that the decision is immoral and discriminatory by viewing the ban as, “(alleging) that all wearers are adherents of radical Islamist ideas. They also suppose that burkini-clad women are necessarily the victims of these political systems, which force them into complying with their patriarchal laws”.

By negatively evaluating the ‘burkini-ban’, Sadar appeals to the moral obligation Governments possess to avoid stereotyping Islamic groups by the fundamentalist ideals religious extremists attempt to impose, and have effectively imposed in terrorist attacks across the world. Her justification further enforces her primary claim, that the decision is morally unjust due to the fact that it’s marginalising Muslim women based on a large misinterpretation of the Islamic faith.

Furthermore, Sadar justifies her claim by stating, “Being praised for blocking sun-rays and the male gaze, the attire is often also embraced by non-Muslim women, most notably also by TV chef Nigella Lawson”. An appeal to precedent allows her to suggest that the ‘burkini’ is frequently worn by famous non-Muslim women and hence shouldn’t be stereotyped into a symbol of Muslim extremism and terror.

Sadar appeals to authority by quoting member of the National Assembly of France, Valérie Boyer and the Socialist’s Governments for Women’s Rights, Laurence Rossignol, yet uses this appeal to further evaluate the ‘burkini ban’ and justify why the decision is founded upon immoral stereotypes of Muslim women and their style of dress.

Sadar quotes Rossignol, “Rossignol echoed these sentiments by claiming the burkini ‘is the beach version of the burqa and it has the same logic: hide women’s bodies in order to better control them’”. Sadar appeals to ethics in her evaluation, and writes, “both politicians enunciate a highly patronising notion: the concept of Muslim women needing to be saved”. The emotion of the word ‘patronising’ allows Sadar to form a more intimate relationship with her audience, and convince them that the ‘burkini-ban’ is discrimination based on the Westernised view that burkinis are a sign of oppression that Muslim women lack the agency to escape.

Sadar presents a convincing argument through a number of appeals to ethics, morals and precedent. Through mentioning a range of points that justify her claim, including her reference to Nigella Lawson and her negative evaluation of the claims by two French politicians, I assume Sadar writes to an audience she believes need convincing. The justifications she puts forward are continuous, and composed with value-laden language that convinces the audience. It also allows her to form an intimate relationship that’s reinforced by appeals to morals and ethics.

Alternatively, French journalist Jeanne Smits proposes a views journalism piece titled; “Here’s why the ‘burkini ban’ is important, even though French secularists are bungling it so badly”. Smits labels herself as a Catholic, pro-life journalist and is currently working as the Paris correspondent for LifeSiteNews.com. Smit’s article is an opinion piece on the French ‘burkini-ban’, however her primary claim is centred on why the ‘burkini-ban’ is in fact important. Furthermore, Smit presents a hybrid argument that is both evaluative in the way that she thinks the ‘burkini-ban’ is important in a variety of ways, and recommendatory in the way she recommends readers to adopt this view also.

Because Smit presents justifications as to why the ‘burkini-ban’ should be considered important, her article differs to Sadar’s in a range of different ways. For example, Smit justifies her primary claim with both positive and negative evaluations of the decision, and hence the nature of her article addresses an audience in opposition to the ban, yet also in approval with it.

In particular, Smit justifies her primary claim by stating, “when French mayors ban the burkini, they do not dare give the real reason, and that is part of the problem”. The use of appeal to ethics suggests that the ‘burkini-ban’ is inherently significant because beyond its surface, it reveals the French government’s intentions to use the ban as a ploy to discourage Muslims from accessing the coastline. It’s obvious Smit evaluates the actions of the government as unethical, and presents this as a justification for why the decision is so inherently important for readers to understand.

Furthermore, Smit uses appeal to morals in order to suggest, “the moves have much more to do with protecting the national identity and resisting increasing Islamic immigration that is posing a genuine threat to the French way of life”. Whilst Smit neither agrees nor disagrees with this reason, she employs it as a justification for why the ‘burkini-ban’ is integral to understand. She uses this justification as a vehicle to imply that French authorities feel morally obligated to do whatever they can to take action against anything that threatens national security, and the French way of life.

False analogy is evident in Smit’s article where she states, “the burkini ban has also raised the question: Would Catholic nuns in traditional habit be banned from beaches?”. Here, Smit compares banning the burkini with banning traditional Catholic dress. As a result, she is ignoring the vast differences between the perceptions of Catholicism and Islam in the current political climate.

I believe Smit’s article lacks effectiveness in the way that it confuses its primary claim. Whilst Smit is trying to credit her primary claim by convincing her audience that it’s important to understand the reason for the ‘burkini-ban’, she loses credibility in the way she fails to express a positive or negative evaluation. This creates a sense of neutrality through the piece that isn’t as convincing as most opinion pieces aim to be.

In contrast, Sadar adopts a position that allows her to consistently and negatively evaluate the ‘burkini-ban’ through a number of justifications. Each author employed similar appeals to ethics and morals, however I think Sadar presented a more consistent and effective argument that was easier to understand and follow.

In conclusion, the examples of views journalism discussed in this analysis give testament to the fact that Islam in the current political climate is a catalyst for discussion and conversation among journalists. Journalists from a range of political orientations and fields provide different opinions on issues, including the ‘burkini-ban’ in France, which ultimately provides us with a diverse media and communication network.

Whilst there are some journalists who present heavily bias and discriminative opinions on the topic of Islam, Sadar and Smit each present arguments that are justified by moral and ethical worldviews that view the marginalisation of Muslim women as inherently unjust. These worldviews aren’t explicit in either article, however they are evident in the nature of their justifications, as neither presented entirely positive evaluations, or endorsements, of the ‘burkini-ban’.

In conclusion, each author presents valuable opinions to the discussion surrounding Islam in the contemporary world and for as long as religions exist, society and journalists alike will remain influential participants in the global conversation.

Words 1665

References:
News Articles
Sadar, P. 26 August 2016, Banning the burkini reinforces a single story about Muslim women: they need saving The Conversation, ABC, accessed 30 August 2016 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-26/banning-burkini-reinforces-story-muslim-women-needing-saving/7788362

Smits, J. 29 August 2016, Here’s why the ‘burkini ban’ is important, even though French secularists are bungling it so badly Opinion: Faith, Politics-World, LifeSite, accessed 30 August 2016
https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/burkini-ban-lifted-in-one-french-municipality-but-the-issues-run-deeper

Websites
Amanda, Macias. 2014. The Sate of Terrorism in the World Today (online). Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-state-of-terrorism-in-the-world-today-2014-11 (accessed 30 August 2016)

Uri Friedman. 2016. Is Terrorism Getting Worse? It depends where you look (online). Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/07/terrorism-isis-global-america/490352/. (accessed 30 August 2016)