The Media

The media are often blamed for Islamophobia. The usual Muslim objections to media reporting are: (a) The mainstream media is biased, putting the worst light on Islam and Muslims and even making up stories; (b) The media concentrates on the bad news and ignores the good news; and (c) Not all Muslims are the same.

The mainstream media is biased, putting the worst light on things and even making up stories

Surveys show that an overwhelming proportion of the news about Islam and Muslims is negative. There is little missing good news. [Even the Guardian had near the same proportion of negative news as the rest of the British press. The Daily Express! had the highest proportion of neutral articles]

Even if some is unfair, even a significant amount, what remains is a staggering indictment of Islam. In reality the proportion is small, the vast majority of news concerning Islam or Muslims is truthful.

Usually the media give a fair account of what happens or what is said, but given the pressures of reporting and human nature itself, it would be a surprise if news wasn’t sometimes misreported or misconstrued, and indeed, surprise, surprise, there is the occasionally deliberate or uncaring distortion, even falsification. (Interesting insights provided by Muslim journalists can be found here.)

These sections present and critique research and publications covering the media’s part  in Islamophobia. 

The simple truth is that Muslims inspired by their faith do and say a great number of things from the trivial to the very important that annoy, puzzle or repulse non-Muslims.

Islamophobia has little to do with the media and a lot to do with Muslims. The media simply reflects the way the world is.

You can also judge for yourself

See here for a year’s selection of typical Islam and Muslim news and reports. Look at the range of reputable national and international sources. Do they misreport, make things up, deliberately mislead?

Not all Muslims are the same

Every man, woman and child on the planet must know this – Muslims repeat it often enough.

You have to understand that Islam is followed in different ways not only between countries but within countries, as if this excused the particular practice that had been pointed out, however unpleasant, unnecessary, or unfriendly, it might be.

You also have to be very sensitive to shades of meaning that might apply to any Islamic belief. “Nuance” is the favourite word of Islamic apologists.

But what is the point?!

Non-Muslims say X is wrong, or we don’t like X. But not all Muslims practice X or believe X. So that’s alright then! No need to talk about X!

For X read “amputation for theft”, “death for apostasy”, “easy divorce for men”, “stoning for adultery”, “segregation of the sexes”, “polygamy”, “veiling of women”, “a Muslim can marry only another Muslim”, “suppression of other religions” etc.

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