New Statesman blog: Islamophobia, the Press and the Leveson Inquiry

I have written a blog for the New Statesman website which can be read here about the evidence I presented to the Leveson Inquiry on Tuesday  on behalf of ENGAGE regarding anti-Muslim bigotry in the UK press.

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8 Responses to New Statesman blog: Islamophobia, the Press and the Leveson Inquiry

  1. LibertyPhile says:

    What do you make of this? Is it reasonable that the taxi driver is identified as a Muslim? Do you believe the story?

    “Muslim cab driver refuses guide dog in Letchworth”

    “A BLIND man says he was refused use of a taxi in Letchworth because the Muslim driver would not allow his guide dog in the car.

    Stevenage resident Sean Dilley had been at Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club in Muddy Lane with his guide dog Chipp on Sunday evening for a blind tennis demonstration.” …..

    http://www.theadvertisergroup.co.uk/Daily-News/Muslim-cab-driver-refuses-guide-dog-in-Letchworth-02022012.htm

  2. Yes, the incident sounds plausible – there have been some similar previous incidents also involving some Muslim cab drivers. The PCC Code of Practice says that a person’s faith should not be referred to if it is not relevant to the story. In this case, it appears relevant. I wrote a blog about the way dogs are viewed in Islam a while back.

    http://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/muslim-bus-drivers-vs-blind-guide-dog-owners/

    • LibertyPhile says:

      Thank you for that reminder of your previous post. I reread it, and it makes me wonder what else there is, like an ancient fear of rabies, that Muslims might rethink!

      On that historical note, and hoping you will excuse a change of topic, it would be very interesting to know what you think of Sadakat Kadri’s “Heaven on Earth – A Journey Through Sharia Law” (recently published by Bodley Head).

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/20/sharia-heaven-earth-sadakat-kadri-review

      Your website refers to “a love of books” and if you have the time and inclination I think Kadri’s book is well worth a read (if you haven’t already) and an Inayat’s Corner review or comment

      • Amin says:

        You are one sinister individual…. so are your motives and your websites. A right wing loony…. is this part of your monitoring process? Do you get off on it?

        Then tee off with likes of Pamela Geller? A once monthly orgy of the great divines….

  3. Martin says:

    Inayat, I’ve just read your testimony and submission to the inquiry. I think you have some genuine cause for concern. There does seem to be an agenda in some press quarters to profit from prejudice, though my impression is that it’s become less common in the past year or two. I’ve just commented in more detail on your testimony in reply to Maryam Namazie’s blog post about it. Hopefully she’ll bother to read that at least.

  4. Martin: Thanks for that. For those readers who may not know what you are referring to, Maryam Namazie has written a very lazy and laughably pompous blog about my testimony to the Leveson Inquiry:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2012/02/08/i-wont-voluntarily-agree-to-selfcensorship/

    It seems to me that Maryam Namazie did not take the time to actually read my testimony but instead has relied on a nasty misrepresentation of it by Soeren Kern that has been widely distributed to the usual anti-Muslim hate sites:

    http://kern.pundicity.com/11128/british-muslims-negative-reporting-islam

  5. Sarah AB says:

    I hadn’t read the article Maryam Namazie had picked up on until now, ie the Kern one. It does rather misrepresent what you said. Following a quick read, I thought (like Martin) that the testimony raised fair points which, as I said on MN’s blog, seemed broadly in line with concerns raised by Hope not Hate. It could be argued that other sections of the media take a different, even opposite, line – but all these sections have different constitutencies, so that’s no reason not to pick up on these examples from the tabloids as a problem.

  6. LibertyPhile says:

    Yes, any inaccuracies and deliberate fabrications in the Press are bad for everyone and the way we deal with it now is not good enough.

    However, regarding the causes of “islamophobia” I would be much more inclined to note the vast majority of news stories about Muslims and Islam that are true.

    It is also notable that most of the stories in your Leveson evidence are old ones going back to 2008, 2010. So perhaps the problem of inaccurate reporting and the fabrication of Muslims/Islam stories is not that big!

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