‘News channels are biased against Islam’ say British Muslims
An independent poll carried out by Consumer PI has found that the vast majority of British Muslims perceive the three mainstream TV news channels (BBC, ITV and Sky) to be biased against their religion when reporting current affairs.
The TV channels’ reporting of terror cases, news pieces on Iraq and Afghanistan and coverage of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings have been cited as examples of anti-Muslim bias. Furthermore, British Muslims believe that other topical issues such as the Israeli raid on the flotilla, it’s continued occupation of, and raids into, Palestinian territories, the dropping of terror cases by the police as well as positive stories about Islam generally are either not given enough prominence or simply not covered.
The poll also found that British Muslims were offended by some of the terminology used in news reports. Terms such as ‘jihadist’ or ‘moderate Muslims’ are often used in the wrong context or in a generalised manner, indicating there was a severe lack of understanding of Muslim communities on the part of news reporters. Many believe this type of reporting does play some part in fanning the flames of extremism.
Shakir Ahmed, Director of Passion Islam Media said: “The reporting by the mainstream TV news channels of stories concerning Muslims is at times unbalanced, ill-informed and sensationalist. I would expect this type of coverage in the tabloid press, not from respected news organisations at the BBC, ITV or Sky.
However, this is not entirely surprising since these three news channels employ very few reporters who follow the Islamic faith and who would truly understand the Muslim communities and their culture and practices.
Worryingly, the perception by some British Muslims of an unjust Islamophobic mainstream media may well fuel radicalism.”