Charlie Hebdo Attack and Discourses of Muslims in British and Danish Newspapers: A cross-cultural critical discourse analysis of four newspapers
A perceived shift to the right when representing Muslims in the press in Europe has been
evident in recent years. Events such as 9/11, the July 2005 London bombings, broader
European discussions and mainstreaming of populist discourses have marked a significant shift
in the media focusing on Muslims living in Europe.
This paper outlines the discourses used to represent Muslims, via conducting multimodal
critical discourse analysis. The paper focuses on the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack and
cross-culturally compares four newspapers in two countries – the UK and Denmark. Results
indicate a recontextualisation of the terrorist attack situating the threat within each country,
with newspapers positioned as ‘left’ utilising the same framing and discourses of right leaning
newspapers. This situated threat is demonstrated through discourses framing both countries in
contrast to Muslim ‘values’. Furthermore, both countries focus on utilising Muslim ‘voices’
who are part of a Star System that are critical of Muslim communities.