TEN USEFUL ARTICLES
Another awful week has just ended in the shocking history of British Islamophobia. The week began with lies on the front page of The Times. It continued with the same lies, plus a few others, being recycled in most other papers. The true facts were reported by the Guardian, Independent and BBC, but not in high-profile ways. The week ended with a senior journalist on The Times claiming the paper had acted responsibly when in fact it quite clearly had not.
If you want to know what really happened you need not only to attend to the Guardian and BBC but also to various well-informed pieces in the blogosphere. This article lists 10 articles which between them show the flagrant falsehoods and simplifications which most of the press circulated, and discuss the damage that has been done.
Briefly, the coverage was a mixture of factual inaccuracy on the one hand and Islamophobic hatred, fear and fantasy on the other. As is customary with racist reporting, it was combined for good measure with attacks on local government, on social workers and on political correctness. One of its many disgusting and sinister features was its explicit and unashamed use of a new ethno-religious category – ‘white Christian’ – to refer to people who are decent, principled, rational.
THEY (Muslims and social workers) are bad. WE (White Christians, readers of British newspapers) are good. This was the unspoken but underlying assumption, the grand narrative that the episode was deemed to illustrate.
The front-page headline in The Times on 28 August was ‘Christian child forced into Muslim foster care’. The opening standfirst summary was ‘A white Christian child was taken from her family and forced to live with a niqab-wearing foster carer’. The ten articles listed below provide the truth, and begin to discuss what should be done in consequence.
How the press lied about the little girl staying with Muslim foster parents: here are the facts
by Tom Pride, Pride’s Purge, 31 August 2017
Muslim foster row – the facts
by Tim Fenton, Zelo Street, 31 August 2017
The UK’s Islamophobic press grows more damaging by the day
by Shenaz Bunglawala, The New Arab, 1 September 2017
The fostering case shows British case has problems reporting fairly on Muslims
by Miqdaad Versi, New Statesman, 31 August
So, it was all a lie
by Matthew Smith, Indigo Jo Blogs, 31 August
Times excuses itself – DISHONESTLY
by Tim Fenton, Zelo Street, 2 September 2017
Religious and cultural identity in foster care
By Sarah P, Transparency Project, 28 August 2017
The Other Side: my Muslim chidren were fostered by a Christian family
by Louise Butt, Amaliah, 30 August 2017
That Muslim foster carers story
by ‘Suddenly Mummy’
Why did Andrew Norfolk lie?
by Abdul-Azim Ahmed, Medium, 2 September 2017
View at Medium.com