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«Race  and  Reform   Islam  and  Muslims  in  the  Bri-sh  Media A  Submission  to  the  Leveson  Inquiry:   The ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Race

 and

 Reform

 

Islam

 and

 Muslims

 in

 the

 Bri-sh

 Media

A

 Submission

 to

 the

 Leveson

 Inquiry:

 

The

 Culture,

 Prac-ce

 and

 Ethics

 of

 the

 Press

Researched

 and

 wriZen

 by

Dr.

 Nafeez

 Mosaddeq

 Ahmed

 MA

 D.Phil

 (Sussex)

London,

 England

July

 2012

Produced

 by:

Unitas

 Communica-ons

 Ltd.

23

 Aus-n

 Friars

London,

 England  EC2N  2QP +44  (0)  207  060  3955 www.unitascommunica-ons.com info@unitascommunica-ons.com Race  and  Reform:  Islam  and  Muslims  in  the  Bri6sh  Media   A  submission  to  the  Leveson  Inquiry Consultants The  Rt.  Hon.  Lord  Nazir  Ahmed  of  Rotherham Jason  Bea]e,  Poli-cal  Editor  of  The  Daily  Mirror Charlie  BeckeZ,  Director  of  POLIS,  Department  of  Media  &  Communica-ons,   London  School  of  Economics  &  Poli-cal  Science;   Programme  Editor,  Channel  4  News,  ITN  (1999 ­2006) The  Rt.  Hon.  Lord  Guy  Black  of  Brentwood,  Execu-ve  Director  of  the   Telegraph  Media  Group;  Chairman  of  Press  Standards  Board  of  Finance Julian  Bond,  Director  of  The  Chris-an  Muslim  Forum Brian  Cathcart,  Professor  of  Journalism,  Kingston  University;  Foreign  Editor,   Deputy  Editor,  The  Independent  on  Sunday  (1990 ­1997);  founder,  Hacked  Off Tehmina  Kazi,  Director  of  Bri-sh  Muslims  for  Secular  Democracy;   Regular  contributor  to  the  Guardian Daanish  Masood,  Media  &  Partnerships  Officer,   United  Na-ons  Alliance  of  Civiliza-ons Yasir  Mirza,  Head  of  Diversity  &  Inclusion,  Guardian  News  and  Media Rita  Payne,  President  of  The  Commonwealth  Journalists  Associa-on;   Asia  Editor,  BBC  World  News  TV  (1995 ­2008) Richard  PeppiaZ,  media  commentator;   Reporter  for  The  Mail  on  Sunday  and  The  Daily  Star  (2009 ­2011) Julian  Petley,  Professor  and  Head  of  Journalism  Research,  School  of  Arts,   Brunel  University;  Chair  of  Campaign  for  Press  and  Broadcas-ng  Freedom Rachel  Saunders,  Labour  Party  Councillor,  Tower  Hamlets  Council Stephen  Shashoua,  Director  of  The  Three  Faiths  Forum;   Fellow  of  the  Ariane  de  Rothschild  Founda-on The  Rt.  Hon.  Stephen  Timms  MP,  Vice ­Chair  of  The  Labour  Party;  Shadow  Financial  Secretary   to  the  Treasury;  former  Financial  Secretary  to  the  Treasury  (1999 ­2001;  2004 ­2005;   2008 ­2010)  and  Chief  Secretary  to  the  Treasury  (2006 ­2007) Burhan  Wazir,  Editorial  Manager  at  The  Doha  Film  Ins-tute;   Editor  of  The  Na-onal  on  Saturday  (2008 ­2010);  Deputy  Features  Editor  of  The  Times   (2003 ­2007);  Reporter  at  The  Observer  (1999 ­2003)

–  –  –

About  Unitas  Communica0ons  Ltd.

Unitas  Communica-ons  is  a  specialist  interna-onal  affairs  and  strategic  communica-ons   agency  opera-ng  in  the  interface  between  businesses,  NGOs,  media  and  poli-cal  ins-tu-ons   in  the  Islamic  and  Western  worlds.  Opera-ng  from  London,  Doha,  Jeddah,  Islamabad  and   Washington  DC,  Unitas’  mission  is  to  strengthen  Islamic  world  rela-ons  with  Western   socie-es,  governments,  and  civil  society  groups,  through  poli-cal  advocacy,  media   engagement  and  strategic  networking.   Unitas  has  a  proven  track  record  of  delivering  integrated  strategies  that  bridge  the   communica-ons  gap  between  cultures  and  communi-es  on  a  local  and  interna-onal  scale.   Unitas  clients  have  included  the  United  Na-ons  Alliance  of  Civiliza-ons,  the  League  of  Arab   States,  the  Organisa-on  for  Islamic  Coopera-on  (OIC),  the  Transi-onal  Federal  Government   of  Somalia,  the  Na-onal  Health  Service  (NHS),  HRH  Prince  of  Wales  Mosaic  Mentorship   Programme,  the  World  Halal  Forum  Europe,  Barclays  Wealth,  Fortune  Group  UAE,  and   Edmond  de  Rothschild  Founda-ons,  among  others.  Unitas  is  currently  the  official  secretariat   to  the  John  Adams  Society  (the  alumni  associa-on  for  US  State  Department  Exchange   Programs  for  England  &  Wales)  and  the  All  Par-es  Parliamentary  Group  on  the  Arab  League.





Unitas  also  leads  several  non ­profit  ini-a-ves  including  the  Hikmah  Club,  an  exclusive  bi ­ monthly  dining  club  bringing  together  thought  leaders  and  professionals  from  the  fields  of   poli-cs,  media,  business,  academia  and  civil  society  to  discuss  UK  and  interna-onal  current   affairs,  and  The  Concordia  Forum,  an  annual  retreat  dedicated  to  promo-ng  greater  social   integra-on  across  the  Western  world  by  developing  and  strengthening  a  cross ­Atlan-c  and   pan ­European  network  of  leaders.

–  –  –

About  the  author Dr.  Nafeez  Mosaddeq  Ahmed  is  Chief  Research  Officer  at  Unitas  Communica-ons  and   Execu-ve  Director  at  the  Ins-tute  for  Policy  Research  &  Development  (IPRD)  in  London.

Ahmed  has  wriZen  features,  commentary  and  analysis  for  various  publica-ons  including  the   Independent  on  Sunday,  The  Scotsman,  Sydney  Morning  Herald,  The  Age,  Le  Monde   diploma-que,  Foreign  Policy,  the  New  Statesman,  Prospect  Magazine,  The  Gulf  Times,  Daily   News  Egypt,  Daily  Star  (Beirut),  Pakistan  Observer,  Tehran  Times,  Bangkok  Post,  Prague  Post,   The  Georgian  Times,  Open  Democracy,  Raw  Story  and  New  Interna-onalist.  His  work  has  also   appeared  in  policy  periodicals  such  as  Interna-onal  Affairs  (Chatham  House),  Survival   (Interna-onal  Ins-tute  of  Strategic  Studies),  Foreign  Policy  In  Focus  (Ins-tute  for  Policy   Studies),  Europe’s  World  (Friends  of  Europe),  and  OurWorld  2.0  (United  Na-ons  University).

Ahmed  is  co ­producer,  writer  and  presenter  of  the  cri-cally  acclaimed  documentary  feature   film,  The  Crisis  of  Civiliza-on  (2011),  adapted  by  director  and  producer  Dean  PuckeZ  from   Ahmed’s  book,  A  User’s  Guide  to  the  Crisis  of  Civiliza-on:  And  How  to  Save  It  (Pluto,   Macmillan,  2010).  The  film  was  endorsed  by  BAFTA  Life-me  award ­winning  film ­maker  Nick   Broomfield,  and  was  selected  as  a  Fes-val  Favourite  at  the  Leeds  Interna-onal  Film  Fes-val.   His  other  books  include  The  London  Bombings:  An  Independent  Inquiry  (Duckworth,  2006);   The  War  on  Truth:  9/11,  Disinforma-on  and  the  Anatomy  of  Terrorism  (Interlink,  2005);   Behind  the  War  on  Terror:  Western  Secret  Strategy  and  the  Struggle  for  Iraq  (New  Society,   2003)  and  The  War  on  Freedom:  How  &  Why  America  was  AZacked,  September  11,  2001   (Progressive,  2002).  The  laZer  is  archived  in  the  ‘9/11  Commission  Materials’  Special   Collec-on  at  the  US  Na-onal  Archives  in  Washington  DC  –  it  was  among  99  books  made   available  to  each  9/11  Commissioner  of  the  Na-onal  Commission  on  Terrorist  AZacks  Upon   the  United  States  to  use  during  their  inves-ga-ons.   Ahmed  has  taught  at  the  University  of  Sussex’s  School  of  Global  Studies  and  Brunel   University’s  Poli-cs  &  History  Unit.  He  is  also  a  regular  media  commentator  and  has   appeared  on  BBC  News  24,  BBC  World  Today,  BBC  World  News  with  George  Alagiah,  BBC   Radio  Five  Live,  BBC  Asian  Network,  Channel  4,  Sky  News,  C ­SPAN  Book  TV,  CNN,  FOX  News   with  Sean  Hannity,  Bloomberg,  PBS  Foreign  Exchange  with  Fareed  Zakaria,  Al ­Jazeera  English,   Press  TV,  Islam  Channel,  US  Na-onal  Public  Radio,  the  US  Progressive  Radio  Network,  and  so   on.  He  is  also  cited  and  reviewed  in  the  New  York  Times  (Thomas  Friedman),  Sunday  Times   (Bryan  Appleyard),  Times  Higher  Educa-onal  Supplement,  The  Guardian  (Steven  Poole),  The   Independent  (Yasmin  Alibhai  Brown),  The  Observer  (Gore  Vidal),  Big  Issue  Magazine,  and   Vanity  Fair  (Christopher  Hitchens),  among  other  publica-ons.

Ahmed  has  advised  the  Bri-sh  Foreign  Office,  the  Royal  Military  Academy  Sandhurst,  the  UK   Defence  Academy,  the  Metropolitan  Police  Service  on  the  Home  Office’s  Channel  Project,   and  the  UK  Parliamentary  Select  CommiZee  for  Communi-es  &  Local  Government  in  its   Inquiry  into  the  government’s  ‘Preven-ng  Violent  Extremism’  (PVE)  programme.  He  has  also   consulted  for  projects  funded  by  the  US  State  Department  and  the  UK  Department  for   Communi-es  &  Local  Government.  In  2005,  he  tes-fied  in  US  Congress  on  Western  security   policy  toward  al ­Qaeda.

–  –  –

Table  of  contents Acknowledgements

  Introduc-on

  Execu-ve  Summary

 

1. Racism  in  The  Fourth  Estate?

 

–  –  –

3.1. Social  Polarisa-on

 

3.2. Racist  Violence

  Conclusions  &  Recommenda-ons

  Notes  &  References

 

–  –  –

Acknowledgements I  would  like  to  thank  my  colleagues  at  Unitas  Communica-ons  (UC),  Muddassar  Ahmed,   Shiraz  Ahmad  and  Zahed  Amanullah  for  their  enthusiasm  and  dedica-on  in  commissioning   and  suppor-ng  this  project.  In  par-cular,  I  would  like  to  thank  UC’s  Aliya  Abidi  for  her   outstanding  commitment  and  extensive  research  assistance  throughout  this  project,  without   whom  it  could  not  have  been  completed.   Special  thanks  are  due,  in  no  par-cular  order,  to  Naeem  Daar,  Anita  Nayyar,  Nabila  Pathan,   Malik  Abdeh,  Tahir  Wahid,  Nash  Jaffer,  Arif  Zaman,  and  Aa-f  Khan.  Addi-onally,  I  must   express  my  thanks  to  my  wife,  Akeela,  for  suppor-ng  me  while  I  burned  the  midnight  (and   midday  weekend!)  oil.

Finally,  I  would  like  to  extend  utmost  gra-tude  to  our  consultants  for  this  project,  for  taking   the  -me  to  lend  us  their  unique  knowledge  and  exper-se:  Lord  Nazir  Ahmed,  Jason  Bea]e,   Charlie  BeckeZ,  Lord  Guy  Black,  Julian  Bond,  Brian  Cathcart,  Tehmina  Kazi,  Rita  Payne,   Richard  PeppiaZ,  Julian  Petley,  Daanish  Masood,  Yasir  Mirza,  Rachel  Saunders,  Stephen   Sashoua,  Rt.  Hon.  Stephen  Timms,  and  Burhan  Wazir.  Although  their  feedback  has  been  cited   throughout,  needless  to  say,  none  of  our  consultants  are  responsible  for  the  arguments  and   findings  of  this  report,  which  are  mine  alone.

–  –  –

Introduc0on This  report  offers  a  comprehensive  analysis  of  the  phenomenon  of  inaccurate  and  racist  an- ­ Muslim  narra-ves  within  the  Bri-sh  media.  The  report  draws  principally  on  two  kinds  of   sources:  firstly,  it  examines  a  large  range  of  exis-ng  academic  studies,  policy  reports,   empirical  analysis,  opinion  polls,  and  surveys  to  determine  the  state  of  the  research  on  the   ques-on  of  ‘Islamophobia’  in  the  UK  mainstream  media  and  its  societal  impact;  secondly,  it   u-lises  input  obtained  from  16  key  experts  –  journalists  and  editors  (from  both  broadcas-ng   and  print),  media  scholars,  community  leaders,  and  poli-cians  –  who  were  consulted  to  seek   their  informed  perspec-ves  on  the  scale  of  the  problem,  and  what  conceivably  must  be  done   to  solve  it.



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