Sunday, July 31, 2005

Anti-Islamic Bias Shows Through Veneer At Beeb

I don't know what's happened to BBC News lately. It's been possessed by some horrible spirit of government-apologist, scaremongering, race-baiting badness. I've squawked quite a bit lately about its disgraceful conduct over the Jean Charles de Menezes execution. It appears the rot is spreading.

The photograph above is taken from a story entitled 'France expels "radical preacher"', in which we are told that 'a radical Islamist preacher from Algeria said to have given pro-jihad speeches in a mosque in north-east Paris', and whose brother is suspected of training jihadists in Fontainebleau, has been deported under Nicholas Sarkozy's recently announced extremist-deportation program.

Note please the choice of photograph to illustrate this story. It is not a photograph of the deported man, nor of the author of the policy, though this might make sense given that the caption reads 'Nicolas Sarkozy has warned that hate speech will not be tolerated'. There is no indication that it is a photograph of the actual mosque in which Reda Ameuroud preached.

The filename of the photograph is '_41360845_afp_muslims_france_203.jpg'. As far as I can work out, it's simply a stock image of Muslims in France. That's all. But look how the photo depicts them: headless, anonymous, hunched over in prayer in a teeming mass that spills out of the building meant to contain their worship. Look how much black and grey there is in the photo; they look like a swarm of rats.

I don't believe for a second that the choice of such a photograph, depicting
in such a viscerally prejudicial way a congregation of random, presumably unoffending Muslim citizens going about their everyday prayer, to illustrate a story about the expulsion of a pro-jihadist preacher, is an accident. Even if it's not a deliberate connection being made, it is at the very least a glaring indication of how far the desired equation of Islam with extremism and terror is penetrating society, aided by the good offices of the media.

The government(s) and the media may continue to put themselves to some effort to pay lip-service to the distinction between 'Islam, A Religion of Peace' and the
terrorist proponents of 'Radical Islamism, Who Betray The True Islam', but their actions speak much louder.

Don't let them get away with this. Write to the BBC and complain. Let them know we won't tolerate racism and anti-islamic propaganda under the pretext of the GWOT.

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