contribution by Ben White
I recently wrote of the Sunday Times story that claimed the Met had ‘allowed Islamic protesters to throw shoes’. Watch how the story travelled around.
The article was taken up and publicised by Douglas Murray, who wrote a blog post about the story on the Telegraph’s website entitled, ‘The police encourage Muslims to throw shoes at them? Just what community relations needed’.
There will, some day, be a terrible reckoning for all of this. Perhaps it will start when thugs from another religion decide to carry out acts of violence in public and cite the Muslim precedent as their prompt. Perhaps it will happen when the police are confronted with gangs of people of no faith at all wondering why it is illegal for someone who is not a Muslim to injure police but perfectly legal if you are a Muslim who pretends to feel really strongly about something.
The Telegraph featured the story as a news item, with the headline, ‘Muslim protesters ‘will be allowed to throw their shoes”.
For Murray, this was “the most jaw-dropping story of the weekend”, and when he wasn’t offering his ruminations on whether “show-throwing” was an Arab or Muslim “tradition”, the man from the ‘Centre for Social Cohesion’ was feeling the urge to announce just how “passionately angered” he felt “by all this”.
The comments left by visitors to Murray’s post include remarks like the following:
Note: I’m not making an equivalence between Murray and the others. I’m just illustrating the reaction to the original article.
The British National Party (BNP) also seized on the story, with the title, ‘One Law for British People, Another Law for the Islamic Colonisers’.
The BNP used report as an example of what they claimed was the “Islamic colonization of Britain” which “must be halted before British people are utterly overwhelmed and reduced to servant status in their own lands”.
The story quickly spread across the Islamophobic blogosphere, including ‘Jihad Watch’, a website that has previously praised the English Defence League (EDL) as deserving of “the support of all free people”.
Watching all this, I was reminded of the paper by Peter Oborne and James Jones in 2008, ‘Muslims Under Siege’.
Oborne and Jones take sections of the UK media to task for the way in which some feel “at liberty to exaggerate and distort stories about Muslims”.
The report’s authors regretted “how easy it is to create misleading and exaggerated stories about Islam and Muslims and get them published”, and “how it is permissible to invidiously single out Muslims in newspaper headlines” in a way that would be “unthinkable” about “any other minority”.
Now that really is something that ‘community relations’ does not need.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Islamists,Media