Sanctioning Against Media Criticizing Muslims Called For by HuffPo Columnist

Sanctioning Against Media Criticizing Muslims Called For by HuffPo Columnist

So now a Huffington Post (UK) columnist is saying that Muslims are ‘misrepresented’ in the media, and if those same misrepresentations were made of other minority groups, there would be a real ‘backlash’ – such as advertisers “boycotting” the newspapers. Give me a break:


From the article:

The columnist and political director of the Huffington Post UK said the press has proven “singularly unable or unwilling to change the discourse, the tone or the approach” towards Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers.

Hasan, who was speaking in a personal capacity at a media industry event hosted by Mindshare UK, said: “We’re not going to get change unless there is some sanction, there is some penalty. This is not just about Muslims; it is about all minorities.”

“Therefore you have to ask questions about: does it need to be externally imposed, either by better regulation or via some form of commercial imperative? Though, that requires a separate campaign to get companies to give a damn about this stuff,” Hasan added.

He suggested advertisers would have boycotted newspapers over the publication of certain headlines about Muslims, had they been about other minorities.

In a session titled “The Muslims are coming!”, Hasan presented to a group of media industry figures a slideshow of British newspaper headlines and front pages, which he said ostracised the Muslim community, presenting Muslims as “the other”. Hasan also highlighted the factual inaccuracy of some of the stories and accused newspapers of peddling misinformation.

He said the practice was not just morally wrong, but also “dangerous and counter-productive […] because it increases alienation, […] and it also confirms the extremist narrative, the Islamist narrative that there is some kind of inevitable clash between the West and all of the Muslims living in the West, that there can never be any kind of reconciliation, that there is always going to be some kind of war between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

He added: “To pretend that all this negative, mad, crazy, over the top, dishonest, demonising press coverage is justified is wrong. To pretend that it has no impact on a minority community living in the UK or on our multicultural society, on relations between communities is naive, if not disingenuous.”

In addition to commercial pressure from advertisers and stricter press regulation, Hasan said a drive for greater diversity in the industry was essential to changing culture: “If you’re a Daily Express journalist writing some sort of anti-Muslim headline and the guy sitting opposite you is a Muslim it makes it much more difficult I would imagine.”

Finally, Hasan called for “similar sized apologies for similar sized nonsense headlines”. He told the Guardian he is a proponent of front page apologies for incorrect front page stories.

Hasan is a prominent critic of Islamophobia. In 2008, while working at Channel 4, he commissioned and produced an episode of Dispatches on the danger of Islamophobia titled, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Muslim. He has also written regularly about the issue of Muslims’ portrayal in the media.

Mehdi Hasan was speaking at Mindshare UK’s Huddle in London yesterday.

Ok, so hold the phone a sec. Is this guy REALLY trying to suggest that writers would be less likely to write a piece regarding ISIS terror groups, or a Muslim act of terrorism, or war in the middle east, because the guy across from me is Muslim? I hardly think it would hold me back. This is NOT about equal opportunity employment. This is NOT about minorities. This is about acts of terror and the RIGHT of anyone who wants to write about it, can. Yes, he is in the UK, but here in the United States, we have the First Amendment. That guarantees us the right of free speech and press. Let’s be honest – if there weren’t Muslims acting in outrageous ways, and taking civilians as prisoners, there would not be any issues with Muslim people in general. Don’t we have a right to be outraged? Again, enough of the PC crap. Sometimes, people are generalized. Sometimes rightly or wrongly so. This is not a case where this is ‘wrong’. Once again, a group is asking for special treatment. He claims in the article that advertisers would “boycott” if it was about another minority groups and “requires a separate campaign to get companies to give a damn about this stuff,” – dude, if the companies CARED, we would know. They stop purchasing ad space. They write emails. Etc. This is no one’s job to pay for or educate regarding Muslims. They have created the mess they have to live in, and in the modern world, news is so much faster. Deal with it.


Writer, Blogger. Political aficionado. Addicted to all levels of government campaigns.

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