Current Affairs

Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Linked to Negative Media Reporting

Well this is hardly a surprise, a recent report and study has shown that anti-Muslim coverage and reporting, has been a direct cause of anti-Muslim sentiment. This has something that many, including Muslims, have long been warning about, that the negative biased media coverage against the Muslim community is a direct contributing factor to the stigma many Muslims are attached with in society.

Several media agencies these days purposely create negative sensationalist stories, as well as headlines, surrounding Muslims, and obviously when this becomes a consistent pattern, many in society will become swayed by such reporting. Several media outlets barely ever cover positive stories concerning Muslims, after all, that would be boring, and go against the coverage they’re trying to feed their audiences.

From the Asian Image Reporter:

‘Anti-Muslim reporting’ has led to an increase in hate crimes against Muslims a report says.

Journalists and media experts have submitted recommendations to Leveson Inquiry to address racist media portrayal of Muslims and it’s wider social impact.

The report ‘Race and Reform: Islam and Muslims in the British Media’ draws on first-hand interviews with 16 journalists, media experts, community representatives and politicians and aims to address inaccurate anti-Muslim narratives in British media and their social impact, from the 1990s to 2011.

It also examined a large range of significant academic studies, policy reports, opinion polls, and surveys.

Submitted by Unitas Communications, the report found a disturbing correlation between the rise of anti-Muslim narratives in the media over the last decade, a rise in Islamophobic sentiment in wider British society and a rise in hate crimes against members of Muslim communities over this period.

Findings in specific studies found the Muslim world was associated with the words ‘extremism and terrorism’, ‘despotism’ and ‘sexism’.

It also found that in a study of 351 articles over a random selected one week period in 2007 – 91% of articles proved to be negative. And 12 of 19 publications had no positive associations at all.

Ninety-six percent of tabloid articles were negative compared with 89% of broadsheet articles.

References to ‘radical Muslims’ outnumbered references to ‘moderate Muslims’ by 17 to one. Imagery associated with articles depicting Muslims generally depicted Muslims as a homogenous mass.

Report author Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Chief Research Officer at Unitas Communications, said: “Although there are mixed views about the term ‘Islamophobia’, our analysis of existing research to date on how the British media has reported on Islam and Muslims over the last two decades shows that this reporting has been overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical and inaccurate.

“This is due largely to poor journalistic standards in the tabloid press, which sets the wider news agenda in print and broadcasting.

“Within the last decade in particular, spikes in anti-Muslim reporting have correlated with an increase in negative perceptions of British Muslims in wider society.

“This in turn has correlated with a dramatic rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes, which now appear to be at record levels.”

The report states: ‘Contrary to conventional wisdom anti-Muslim discourses did not originate after the 9/11 attacks, but predated those attacks by some decades.’ ‘After 9/11 the scrutiny on Islam and Muslims led to an escalation of inaccurate anti-Muslim reporting in the British Media. The primary driver of this kind of reporting was the populist tabloid press.’ Among the report’s eight key recommendations to the Leveson Inquiry for media reform were.

• More robust enforcement powers for the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) to deal with third-party complaints, with a more equal right of reply and harsher penalties for violations of the press code of conduct including fines.

• A better press code of conduct revised with assistance from the Equality & Human Rights Commission to ensure media compliance with existing equalities legislation.

• Establish a PCC advisory panel on issues relating to Islam and Muslims.

• Greater engagement between media agencies and minority groups, including measures to improve diversity in employment.

• Protection for journalists from editorial pressure to generate inaccurate stories.

• There was also an under-representation of minorities and Muslims in the media. And there was a call for more to be done to increase representation.

Contributors included Political Editor of the Daily Mirror Jason Beattie, Director of POLIS and former Channel 4/ITN Programme Editor Charlie Beckett, Executive Director of the Daily Telegraph Group The Rt. Hon. Lord Guy Black, former Mail on Sunday and Daily Star reporter Richard Peppiat, former Independent on Sunday Deputy Editor and Journalism Professor Brian Cathcart, Chair of Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom Professor Julian Petley, former Asia Editor at BBC World TV Rita Payne, Head of Diversity at The Guardian Yasir Mirza, and former Deputy Features Editor at The Times Burhan Wazir.

Hey, but according to Robert Spencer, Islamophobia is just a myth

Categories: Current Affairs

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