‘Anti-Muslim reporting’ leads to hate crimes: report says

‘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.