Media’s mosque mess-up
Irresponsible press headlines on London mosque attack link it with the wrong mosque
Suspect Darren Osbourne, 47, has been charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder after he mowed down a crowd of worshipers at a north London mosque screaming, “I want to kill all Muslims.”
Cardiff-man Osbourne left one dead and 11 injured in the early hours of Monday 19th June after he sped a white rental van into a crowd outside the Muslim Welfare House. Makram Ali, 51, who died from multiple injuries in the incident.
Despite PM Theresa May announcing within minutes of the incident taking place, that it would be treated as ‘an act of terror’, there’s harsh criticism over how the mainstream media in particular were deliberately downplaying the incident by not referring to it as a “terror attack”.
Claims garnered momentum in the ensuing hours, with many saying that the response to the attack was different because it was an example of “white terrorism” acting against Muslims.
Now a survey finds that four in ten people would not describe the attack against Muslims at Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road as terrorism.
To add insult to injury (quite literally), mainstream press have made a public mess by churning out headlines such as ‘Finsbury Park mosque attack’, when actually the incident actually occurred at the Muslim Welfare House - located in the Finsbury Park area.
An innocent error some may say. But the significance of referral is that inadvertently the attack is linked to one of the more notoriously know mosques ‘Finsbury Park Mosque’ – one which has been, in the past, linked with the ousted skewed hate-preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri.
This particular narration of events plays on the already building tension in communities to enhance the story for a larger reaction.
Asian Express spoke to numerous readers about how they feel about the role of the press. No matter on what opinion many people had, they were all wary of the response they gave with the looming fear of being vilified for expressing their views.
“When a Muslim or an Asian kills people they are immediately labelled a terrorist. But a white man is called a ‘lone wolf’ and said to have mental issues,” says a reader of Asian Express.
Another commented: “Because of how Muslim’s are portrayed we are looked at differently by everyone. I feel like I’m being watched constantly, even if I’m doing nothing, I have to watch myself.”
“There have always been double standards with mainstream press. This is why we look to news outlets like Asian Express to speak the truth and clarify misconceptions. To give the minorities hope. You’re on-going commitment to Asians is so very important. Keep doing what you’re doing. We need you.”
“I don’t watch TV anymore. It is too negative. I just look what people are saying on social media and in my community. I couldn’t take the indirect hate being preached.
Acknowledging the media’s role but spoke of an immediate need for an increase in security, another reader said: “These attacks are happening far too regularly now. There needs to be more police everywhere. No matter what religion or race we should all feel safe in the country we live in.”
Another added: “Baring the extreme right-wing institutes, I believe the coverage has been a little more balanced to the past when terrorists received less severe treatment because of their ethnicity.”