The Centre for Media Monitoring has responded to the IPSO Editors Code Review
Our response focuses on the importance of responsible reporting, and the consequences of irresponsible reporting on Muslim communities.
This issue is increasingly important in light of Home Office figures which show that almost half of religiously-motivated hate attacks in 2017-18 were directed at Muslims.
The MCB’s polling of British Muslims found 74% of respondents identified the media portrayal of Muslims as the most important issue in terms of Islamophobia. In the week after the current Prime Minister’s controversial Telegraph column in August 2018 which compared veiled Muslim women to
“letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, hate crime incidents rose by 375 per cent”. In subsequent weeks, 42% of street attacks referenced Boris Johnson or his words.
Claiming that the media has played no role in the growth in Islamophobia and increased hatred towards Muslims is no longer a tenable position given the wealth of academic evidence on the issue, and the lack of any evidence to the contrary:
- Research by the University of Cambridge concluded that mainstream media reporting about Muslims is contributing to an atmosphere of rising hostility toward Muslims in Britain.
- Research by the University of Leicester suggested that “Politicians and media fuel hate crime in Britain.”
- Findings of an Islamophobia Round-table in Stockholm showed that the regular association of Islam and Muslims with crime and terror in the media and on the internet is vital to the spread of Islamophobic rhetoric.
Our response has, in light of the above, made several recommendations for changes to the IPSO Editors Code that we believe, based on the evidence, would make great changes to the way Muslims and Islam are represented.
To read the full submission, please use the button below.