Muslim lives worth less than others’

27th Feb 2015

A death is a death. A killing is a killing. A massacre is a massacre. It all seems straightforward until it relates to Muslims. Islamophobia is rife in Europe and America though most may not know it. Terrorist incidents are rightfully condemned worldwide as is anti-Semitism when not used as a cover to prevent criticism of Israel. Yet, when it comes to hate crimes and the brutal murder of Muslims they are played down if not totally ignored.

According to the Washington Post quoting FBI statistics, anti-Muslim hate crimes are still five times more common today than before 9/11. The finding came as three Muslim students were brutally murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. However, it took US President, Barack Obama, over a week and significant pressure from the social media in particular to condemn the killings.

Elsewhere in America, a Christian convert driving an SUV ran over and killed a 15-year-old Muslim boy getting into the family car outside a mosque in Kansas City. The killer had been making online and in-person threats against the Muslim community. Over in Houston, Madrasah Islamiah was deliberately set on fire after gasoline sprayed all over the carpet was sprayed.

Deaths and destruction are constant reminders of the extent of Islamophobic attacks suffered by Muslims yet in many cases there is a distinct reluctance to treat them as hate crimes. And it is not just in the US, but throughout Europe and in the UK. The latest includes the conviction of a Scottish council road worker for ringing the emergency services and threatening to kill “all the Muslims in the country”. Vincent Hannah, who claimed to be a member of the far-right National Front, was only fined £400.

In one of the most bizarre cases, Channel 4 News presenter, Cathy Newman, was caught making up news. She had falsely claimed to have been the victim of a sexist attack by Muslims when stating she had been “ushered out the door” while entering South London Islamic Centre (SLIC) in Streatham. After her version of events was disproved by CCTV footage, she half apologised for “inappropriate” tweets about the visit that should have taken place up the road at the Hyderi Centre. “My language was poorly chosen and has caused a great deal of offence. I deeply regret that this happened,” she said.

The film Newman set out to make was supposed to be a “positive news story” about Muslims but only highlights the institutionalised Islamophobia so rampant in the press. Last year, even the Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson, reported that there was a “damaging tendency in parts of the media to be less than even-handed (and where suspicion falls upon Muslims, frankly alarmist) in their approach.”

According to a Parliamentary report in 2012, 91% of coverage of Muslims in the media was found to be negative and likely “to provoke and increase feelings of insecurity, suspicion and anxiety amongst non-Muslims.”

The extent of the prejudice was also shown in a FBI report last year that showed non-Muslims have carried out more than 90% of all terrorist attacks in America. There were even more Jewish acts of terrorism within the US than those carried out by Muslims (7% vs 6%).

And, according to Europol statistics published last year, so called Islamists were responsible for only 0.7% of terror attacks in Europe between 2006 and 2013.

The pages of this publication have repeatedly warned over the years of the grave dangers of the unaddressed rise in Islamophobia which the media as well as politicians have unfortunately played a major part in. What hope can there be when at the root there is no level playing field and the value of human life depends on whether or not an individual is a Muslim?

One Response to “Muslim lives worth less than others’”

Ian Barnettt.March 9, 2015

Are you suggesting that Islamophobia is not justified? Incidentally there are no true statistics on the subject but yes, islam is the cause of Islamophobia not the media. If fact muslims enjoy islamaphobia as it feeds their agenda and even assists in fundraising and recruiting.

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