Author Biography

Steven R. Corman is Professor and Director of the Center for Strategic Communication (CSC) in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. He teaches and studies public sector strategic communication and is a principal- or co-investigator on several large research projects focusing on Islamist extremism and counter-extremism. Steven Hitchcock is a doctoral student at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. His research interests include critical studies, media studies, and organizational communication.



Subject Area Keywords

Fundamentalism, Global trends and risks, Ideology, Islamic culture and politics, Radicalization, Sociocultural dynamics in security


Despite the perceived importance of media in the spread of and resistance against Islamist extremism, little is known about how Muslims use different kinds of media to get information about religious issues, and what sources they trust when doing so. This paper reports the results of a large, random sample survey among Muslims in seven countries Southeast Asia, West Africa and Western Europe, which helps fill this gap. Results show a diverse set of profiles of media use and source trust that differ by country, with overall low trust in mediated sources of information. Based on these findings, we conclude that mass media is still the most common source of religious information for Muslims, but that trust in mediated information is low overall. This suggests that media are probably best used to persuade opinion leaders, who will then carry anti-extremist messages through more personal means.