Thursday 15 October 2009

All Muslims are the same, to the Express

So today's Express front page ramps up the Islamophobia with a headline about Sharia Law.

Notice the use of the word 'Muslims' however.

The 'Muslims' in question are in fact a group called Islam4UK, who are led by favourite tabloid hate-figure Anjem Choudry.

But the phrasing of 'Now Muslims demand' makes it sound as if all Muslims are saying the same thing. And that's clearly no accident - it's exactly the impression the Express wants to give.

The story, by Martyn Brown, claims:

The fanatical group Islam4UK has ­announced plans to hold a potentially incendiary rally in London later this month...

Plans for the demonstration have been delivered to the Metropolitan Police and could see up to 5,000 extremists marching to demand the controversial system.

Going by figures from last week's Pew report, which said there were 1.6million Muslims in Britain, the 5,000 equates to 0.3% of the Muslim population.

And that is even assuming the shameless self-publicist Choudry can get 5,000 people along, which seems highly unlikely. In using the words 'could see up to 5,000' the Express admits as much.

So the Express is claiming this is what 'Muslims demand' eventhough it is what less than 0.3% of British Muslims are calling for?

As if to prove that point, buried deep in the Express story is the following:

A spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain said: “99.999 per cent of Muslims despise these people. This only serves to fuel racial ­tensions.”

And the Muslim Council of Britain have issued a statement saying:

The overwhelming majority of British Muslims want nothing to do with such extremists...The Muslim Council of Britain deplores the proposed march by Islam4UK, a front organisation of extremist fringe group al-Muhajiroun, as a deliberate action to provoke hatred and division in the society.

They add:

The MCB is also appalled at the amount of coverage given to the fringe group’s call by the Daily Express which has wrongly characterised their demands as those of Muslims generally.

Quite. Why is the Express - and indeed other papers - obsessed with covering every obnoxious utterance of Choudry? Because they know they can push their anti-Muslim agenda. It's easy, and no doubt Choudry relishes it.

But more importantly, it's nothing short of disgraceful that the Express uses the headline to give the impression this is all Muslims, when it is in fact such a miniscule minority.

What is noticeable is that since the front page appeared last night, Islam4UK's website had been completely inaccessible with a 'database error'. They can't even get that right.

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