Jihad and cross-cultural media: Osama bin Laden as reported in the Asian press
In southeast and east Asia, terrorism is not new. A number of the region's nations have had to deal with full scale insurgencies of their own. The region contains a heady mix of core US allies, fledgling democracies and an emerging superpower. Many of these countries were themselves being challenged by militant Islamists. To what extent have regional journalists been influenced by American ideas and definitions in its 'war on terror'? This article considers how Osama bin Laden's media event was reported in the English language press of five Asian states: China (an authoritarian non-sectarian state with a flickering Muslim insurgency); Malaysia (a democractic multicultural society with an Islamic majority); the Philipines (a democractic former US protectorate with a Muslim insurgency); Singapore (a one-party city state, which has been targeted by al Qaeda offshoots); and Thailand (a never colonised democracy with a restive Muslim majority).
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