Stories concerning “preachers of hate” abound in the media, and it would be hard not to notice how a disproportionate number of these articles feature Muslims.
I am, of course, referring to those journalists who continue to preach hatred against Muslims, paying scant regard to the truth.
Rupert Murdoch’s so-called newspaper, The Sun, is currently vying for the top position as a purveyor of lies and interreligious hatred. Nothing new here.
On Monday The Sun led with a headline dedicated to inctiting racial unrest: “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ Sympathy for Jihadis”. This blatant untruth led local teacher Riaz Khan to post an excellent video rebutall to Murdoch’s head-li(n)e, which soon went viral reaching nearly 1 million downloads (November 25, Leicester Mercury).
Mr Khan correctly explained how “attacks against Muslims will increase” because of Murdoch’s latest attack-piece, which will serve to further isolate Muslims, and in the long-run actually encourage support for extreme points of view.
A recent letter published in the Mercury (November 20) succinctly summed up the problem: “only the wealthy and powerful are free to live as they wish, and almost always at the expense of… the masses.” This couldn’t describe Murdoch and his divisive and deceitful global media empire any better.
Murdoch’s commitment to supporting illegal wars in the Middle East, scapegoating minorities at home, and promoting the privatisation and destruction of British public services, is sadly well-known.
In 2010, in honour of Margaret Thatcher, he gave a speech urging the coalition government to press ahead with deep cuts in public spending.
But these cuts are not necessary at all, as has been pointed out by the new leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Hence the ongoing character assassination of Corbyn being waged by Murdoch and co in the elitist world of the corporate media.
Murdoch and his press baron friends’ disinformation campaign is simple and immensely repetitive: studiously ignore the insane transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1%; support attacks on all workers’ pay and conditions; promote the slashing of vital public services; massively underfund schools and housebuilding programs; do everything possible to enable the rich to profit from privatisation; and then, finally, blame all of the aforementioned problems on immigrants, and/or Muslim terrorists.
As a Muslim in one of the poorest cities in Britain, Mr Khan is well-placed to understand the tragic social consequences of this relentless propaganda offensive against the public. All the more so, because, as an English and foreign language teacher at Leicester College, Mr Khan has first-hand experience of the Tories’ decimation of post-16 education.
As Kate Drew, chair of the University and College Union at Leicester College, recently said following a well-attended protest against education cuts: “Cuts to education have been dramatic. We’ve already lost large amounts of staff and there have now been huge cuts to ESOL funding too. It’s time to say enough is enough” (October 15, Mercury).
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on November 24.
On November 17, the Mercury published an important first person article titled: “Islamophobia is a serious problem on a par with racism.” The author of this article has now organised a public meeting, “Protecting our communities: British Muslims in the Press, Politics and Reality”, to be held on Thursday at Voluntary Action Leicester from 6pm to 8pm.