This guidebook is designed to give journalists and other media professionals the tools they need to gain a better understanding of Islam and write more informed, accurate and balanced stories about Muslims.

  • Like people of other faiths, Muslims cannot be described in simplistic terms or in a monolithic fashion.
  • In order to better understand this community, media professionals must take the time to understand Islam and its adherents in a cultural, social, historical, and political context.
  • Journalists should refrain from oversimplifying complex situations and go beyond the typical sources to collect balanced information about Islam.
  • And most importantly, journalists should learn how to discern what constitutes legitimate religious beliefs from what are often practices borne out of cultural customs.

In this guidebook, readers will find necessary background information about Islam and Muslims, best practices for reporting on the Islamic faith and a list of appropriate terminology to employ when covering issues pertinent to its adherents.

Guidelines on how to make contact and interact with the Muslim community are also offered, along with some common misconceptions.

We hope this handbook will serve as a valuable resource for media professionals and help ensure greater accuracy in reporting on and understanding of Muslims and Islam.