Here is more of the same: more media handwringing, portraying Muslims as victims and downplaying the reality of jihad terror. Much commentary from me below.
“Canada’s news media are contributing to mistrust of Muslims,” by Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star, April 18, 2016:
The following is an excerpt from a lecture delivered at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto by Haroon Siddiqui, the Star’s former columnist and editorial page editor emeritus.
He argued that the media have contributed to widespread Islamophobia by conflating Muslim terrorists with all Muslims.
When has the mainstream media, in Canada or anywhere else, ever done that? Even those of us who are frequently smeared as “Islamophobes” and accused of doing this don’t actually do it. The mainstream media doesn’t even come close to doing it.
In doing so, he said, the media are violating their own declared principles of fair and ethical journalism:
The biggest culprits have been the National Post and the Postmedia group of newspapers across the country, which now include the Sun chain.
Hardly a week goes by without these publications finding something or other wrong with Muslims and Islam. These publications are forever looking for terrorists under every Canadian minaret. They are hunting for any imam or any Muslim who might make some outrageous statement that can be splashed as proof of rampant Muslim militancy or malevolence.
Are there any Muslim terrorists? Is simply reporting about them now evidence of “Islamophobia”? Do the National Post, Postmedia and the Sun chain fabricate stories? If not, should they really be faulted for reporting about jihad activity? Do they report accurately about the outrageous statements that imams and other Muslims make? If so, what is the problem? Would it be better for Canadians not to know about jihad terror activity and outrageous statements made by imams and other Muslims?
In the 1950s there was the Red Scare. Today, Postmedia are giving you the Green Scare.
Last week, I spoke to John Honderich, chair of the board of Torstar Corp. I asked him if he thinks there has been an anti-Muslim bias in the media. “Yes, there is,” especially in the Postmedia newspapers, he said. Some of their columnists conflate Muslim terrorists and Muslims – “this has been lethal.”
Lethal? Really? Who has gotten killed? And why are no examples provided, none of these noxious and lethal columnists actually quoted conflating Muslim terrorists with ordinary Muslims? Or do Siddiqui and Honderich mean that Postmedia columnists behave as if Islamic terrorists, who avowedly kill in the name of Islam and in accord with Islamic teachings, are actually Muslims, instead of pretending that they aren’t as everyone else does, and that this is “Islamophobic”?
John Cruickshank, publisher of the Toronto Star, told me that a big segment of the Canadian media has been peddling “flat-out racism and bigotry” against Canadian Muslims. He added:
What race is Islam again? What race is jihad mass murder of innocent civilians? I keep forgetting.
“The popular press, perhaps, are doing what they’re doing not out of some deep conviction or ideological basis, but because they are playing to the notion of building the loyalty of a certain segment of their customer base by creating a tribal solidarity against Muslims. They’re doing it to strengthen their own brand. It is despicable. We have to call them out on it for not abiding by the rules of their craft.”
Would Cruikshank kindly explain the difference between reporting about jihad terror activity and “creating a tribal solidarity against Muslims”? No. For him, they’re the same.
The other media are not blameless.The media demand that Canadian Muslims condemn the latest act of terrorism, anywhere. Muslim groups and individuals always do so, but the media rarely report on them. So the impression persists among large numbers of Canadians that Muslims have not condemned terrorism and may, in fact, be endorsing it by their silence. The media leave Muslims in a no-win situation.
Some of the more outrageous allegations against Muslims have been carried on editorial and opinion pages, especially in Postmedia papers.
Pundits are, of course, entitled to their views in a free society. But even opinion pieces must adhere to basic facts. Is it really true that Canadian imams are inciting terrorism? Are our mosques really crawling with potential terrorists? Is a preference for halal products really a sign of fundamentalism or militancy – more than it may be for your preference for kosher food?
Siddiqui throws out these questions as if they’re self-evidently absurd. On what basis did he arrive at that conclusion?
The credibility of media with Muslims is very low. Muslims generally don’t trust us. In fact, they’re outright afraid of us. They don’t think they would get a fair shake from us. They are petrified that their words would be twisted and distorted….
Muslims are afraid of the media? What an inversion of reality. The media is the jihadists’ best friend.