Source: David McEachan

Through time, whole groups of people, either due to their political, sociological or religious beliefs have been the subject of media bias. What is media bias? Media bias is effectively bias created by journalists and news producers within the mass media on how certain events and stories are reported and covered. Members of British society who are not affected by the media bias either turn a blind eye to this or genuinely believe that it does not exist and that it’s a conspiracy theory concocted by Muslims in general. The evidence is to the contrary, reports suggest that in the wake of the recent so called ‘Islamic’ terrorist attacks hate crimes against Muslims have increased fivefold. Surely this can’t be a figment of the imagination?

 

When Dylan Storm, a white male goes on a shooting rampage in a church full of black worshippers, he was deemed mentally unstable and a lone wolf. When a white male kills, the headline reads ‘man kills…’ in contrast to when a Muslim man kills (regardless of race), the headline reads ‘a Muslim man kills…’. What is the significance of religion being the focus in the latter case? None, none whatsoever.

 

This blatant bias by the world’s mainstream media has had a devastating and debilitating effect on Muslims. How can the actions of a few so called ‘Muslims’ paint a picture that 1.8 billion peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are terrorist or related to terrorism in some way or another? If this trend is to be followed, then one can assume that all Catholics priests are pedophiles.

 

This bias by the media has painted an illusion that all Muslims are terrorists, in turn spreading Islamophobia within British society. The consequences of this bias have rocked the very foundation of what British values stand for, particularly the “…mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith”.

 

Gone are the days where Muslim women wearing hijab (headscarf) can feel safe when going about their daily lives. Women feel they are constantly under threat and unsafe, they feel they will be persecuted due to their religious beliefs. Muslims are made to feel that they need to apologise for the actions of the handful of individuals whose interpretation of Islam are so warped that it’s beyond recognition. Has Britain apologised to all the countries they invaded and then bled them dry? I think not! So why are Muslims accused of encouraging terrorism if they don’t apologise?

 

Media bias has done nothing but isolate Muslims from the very society that accuses them of segregating themselves from the wider British society. Muslims have made a positive contribution to society, they add over £31 billion to the UK’s economy, they provide expertise in fields such as medicine, engineering, science, textiles and so much more. These and many more contributions are gone unnoticed due to those so called ‘Islamic terrorists’ and the media bias on how it’s reported.

 

Young Muslims are in touch with their religious beliefs and the British values which we all strive to promote; however, media bias has brought them to a juncture where they feel they must choose between the British values we promote and their religious beliefs. All young people, not only Muslims, when faced with a dilemma in their lives become somewhat vulnerable, and it is this vulnerability that these few so called ‘Muslim’ extremist prey on and use to brain wash and radicalise young Muslim men and women.

 

The media plays a big part in our lives in present days, it influences people’s thoughts and perceptions of society and the people within it. Some do their own research and make an informed decision of what the information in the reports are true and substantiated, however, the majority of us take the media’s reporting to be nothing but the truth.

 

The media is owned by corporate bodies who gain immensely by negatively portraying Muslims across the globe. This negative ideology of Muslims helps gain public support when America and its allies invade or start military actions against Muslim countries. When countries are invaded, their resources are hijacked and then are left to deal with the consequences of the aftermath causing more resentment by Muslims as well as feed the ideology of the so called ‘Muslim’ terrorists, further driving their cause.

 

There is no clear-cut answer to this problem, as historically media bias has existed from the 19th century where newspapers and other media outlets were linked to at one political party or another. As grim as this may look all is not lost, the public can educate themselves and get a sense of the real news themselves. More community alliances are required between Muslims and non-Muslims if these negative perceptions are to be eradicated, if more integration is to be achieved and if frustration between the two groups is to be reduced.

By Lina Noor

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