Source: The Guardian
BY Miqdaad Versi
This week the home affairs select committee’s inquiry into hate crime turned to Islamophobia and the press. Many greeted with surprise the idea expressed by one witness: that anti-Muslim sentiment wasn’t much of an issue in the mainstream media.
That was the day before the Times issued a correction for the third in a series of front-page stories focused on a fostering case in Tower Hamlets, east London, last year. The first was headlined “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care”. The coverage had been called “disgracefully dishonest” by Sir Martin Narey, head of the government inquiry into foster care provision; attacked by the biggest non-government providers of foster care; and widely derided as bigoted against Muslims.
At least the new editor-in-chief of the Daily Express recognised that many of the stories published in the paper prior to his arrival had contributed to an “Islamophobic sentiment” in the media, and that the Express’s front pages had sometimes been “downright offensive”. This attitude is to be welcomed. And the evidence to support his argument that a broader anti-Muslim attitude does exist is overwhelming.