The role of mainstream media and Christian organisations in shaping South Korean views on Islam and Muslims: A historical study

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The media in the West has portrayed Islam and Muslims negatively after tragic events like 9/11, accusing them of being barbaric and terrorists. Not only has this portrayal affected the views of Western people but also those in Far Eastern countries like Japan and South
Korea. In South Korea, the anti-Muslim stance of media and Christian organizations has deteriorated further the reputation of Islam and Muslims in the eyes of the general population. Utilizing qualitative and library research methods, this paper seeks to explore
the longstanding relationship between Islam and South Korea, starting with a historical overview then followed by the attitude of South Korean media and Christian organisations like Christian Television System and Korean Christian Council towards Islam and Muslims in the country which aim to tarnish their image and prevent their acceptance in the country. Moving to the 21st century, the paper will then give insight on the South Korean young
generation’s views on Islam and Muslims, and the role played by social platforms such as YouTube that spread Islamic related content as an attempt to counter Islamophobia. The findings will show that South Korean media, influenced by Western media, and Christian
organizations, contributed significantly to the negative perception of Islam and Muslims in the country. Notwithstanding this, there arise a new generation of South Koreans, who, out of their curiosity, seeks out and disseminate accurate information about Islam and Muslims via social media hence, made a positive impact from their sharing. This paper ends with a few recommendations for combating the misleading information about Islam and Muslims
spread by the media and Christian organisations in South Korea.

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