Survey finds ‘News channels biased against Islam’
9:34am Monday 4th July 2011
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.”