Right-wing media biased against Muslims, finds report

They are more likely to use unreliable sources, misleading headlines and biased articles.

A report has found that right-wing and religious media outlets are more likely to spread negative misinformation about Muslims.

The Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) report analysed over 10,000 articles which mentioned Muslims and rated them on five metrics for accuracy.

They found that right-wing and religious outlets are more likely to use unreliable source, misleading headlines and publish articles CfMM regards as “very biased”.

One of the worst offenders, according to CfMM, is the Spectator magazine. The researchers found that 29% of its articles which mentioned muslims were “very biased”.

One example is Qanta Ahmed’s Spectator article which claimed there is no basis for the niqab in Islam. CfMM say this is a misrepresentation which ignores and negates the belief of some women whose decision to wear the niqab is rooted in particular interpretation of the religion.

Another example is Dominic Green’s claim in the Spectator that Muslims target him for his Jewish blood. CfMM say this is just one example of a common generalisation used in the media – that Muslims are anti-semitic.

Another way in which the media is often biased against Muslims is when it associates Muslims or Islam with negative behaviour.

For example, they say, about an article by Trevor Phillips in the Daily Mail: “While arguing for more power for prison governors against gang members, Phillips singles out the nationality and religion of “Pakistani Muslims”, while using broader terms for “Black” and “White” people.”

The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Christian Today are most often guilty of this while the New Statesman, Guardian and Observer do it less often, the study found.

Another metric of anti-Muslim bias the study uses is when the media highlights the Muslim identity of a negative person but not a sympathetic person.

For example, a comment piece in the Jewish Chronicle mentions both Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini’s and the poet Rumi. Only Khomeini’s muslim identity is highlighted.

The report’s author Faisal Hanif concludes: “The critical mass of this output, particularly among the right leaning media, (although by no means exclusively), has the effect of dehumanising Muslims.”

The report recommends better fact-checking and more responsible editorial decisions.

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14 Responses to “Right-wing media biased against Muslims, finds report”

  1. Patrick Newman

    Oh dear, what have we got! It is worse than I thought. The Tommy Robinson adulation society has taken over the comments section of LFF. What bothers them is not so much the religion of Islam but the colour of the skin of most Muslims. It good old Enoch Powell style colour prejudice – racism.

  2. wg

    Not really, Patrick Newman – I am white, English working class: that is my identity and culture – and I do so have a dislike of authoritarian religions; no matter the colour of the practitioners.

    It is your blind inability to believe that my identity and culture are relevant: would you apply the same arguments to others identities and cultures?

    I grew up in a free thinking and free speaking country – people change, and their perceptions of what is funny or unfair change; and what I thought of as funny when I was a youth now seem boorish and ill-mannered.

    But…I will not support a return to religious domination and blasphemy laws in the UK: nor do I wish to see children unable to feel the sun on their faces and the wind in their hair – or their right to befriend and love who they choose, and be able to sit with them as an equal (how many of our virtuous Labour colleagues are quite prepared to address segregated audiences?)

    If that means ridiculing and questioning religious sects, then I am all for it.

  3. Tom Sacold

    Islamic protests are back at Parkfield School Birmingham after school re-institutes LGBT lessons

    There is online video of a protestor saying “In Islam it is not OK to be gay”

    Integration into Britian’s mostly secular liberal culture is proving difficult for some.

  4. Dave Roberts

    Patrick Neuman. Still thick as two short planks.

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