Creating new perspectives since 2009

MCB: BBC fail to report on Islamophobia in the Tory Party

December 10, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Protesters hold a banner reading ‘No To Islamophobia’ in London, UK on 5 July 2017 [Ray Tan/Anadolu Agency]

One of Britain’s largest Muslim representative bodies has accused the BBC of “failing to sufficiently report” on Islamophobia within the ranks of the Conservative Party.

The BBC, which has been one of the most vocal critics of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over his alleged failure to address anti-Semitism amongst party members, was accused of failing to give equal importance to the racism experienced by Muslims.

The complaint was addressed to the BBC Director General Tony Hall in a letter by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), this morning. The MCB reminded Hall of the BBC’s responsibility as a public broadcaster to be impartial and not to create a hierarchy of racism through its biased coverage.

“Racism against Muslims should be given equal importance to racism against others” said the MCB.

The MCB, which has been documenting the rise of Islamophobia in the UK, asserted that anti-Muslim racism had become “institutional and widespread” within the Conservative Party.

It also charged the party under Boris Johnson’s leadership of having “consistently failed to address its problem with Islamophobia, with individuals at every level within the party.”

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves to the media on the steps of No 10 Downing Street in London, UK on 24 July 2019 [Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks to the media on the steps of No 10 Downing Street in London, UK on 24 July 2019 [Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency]Agency )

It was alleged that anti-Muslim hate had taken root at the top, with the Prime Minister himself showing no regret over comments widely regarded to be Islamophobic.

READ: British Muslims call for investigation into Islamophobia in the Tory Party

A list of information was highlighted in the letter concerning the alarming rise of Islamophobia. “Religious hate crime in England and Wales rose by 40 per cent to its highest level in 2017-18, with more than half of all religiously-motivated attacks being directed at Muslims,” said the MCB.

“Islamophobia in our country’s governing party, therefore, is of huge concern to British Muslims, and the failure of the BBC to report on this extensively during this election is deeply disappointing and neglects to represent an issue of great importance to society at large.”

While insisting that the BBC had failed to provide balanced coverage and to highlight the full extent of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, the MCB suggested that the broadcaster was guilty of peddling anti-Muslim bigotry itself by giving a platform to far-right Islamophobic hate figures like Melanie Phillips. The pro-Israel commentator wrote a highly controversial article last week in which she claimed that deception is a mainstream Muslim belief.

Worrying details emerged recently over the extent to which anti-Muslim racism is being spread across the world. In the latest of such cases, a Guardian investigation traced a network of Facebook accounts fuelling far-right Islamophobic pages around the world to Israel.

Journalists at the UK daily uncovered a plot to take over some of Facebook’s largest far-right pages in an attempt to foment hatred towards Islam and Muslims while fostering support for Israel, in a report titled Inside the hate factory.

As many as 21 of the of the biggest far-right Facebook pages churning out hatred of Muslims at an industrial scale were tracked to “a mysterious Israeli-based group.” Thousands of coordinated fake news posts per week were being produced and circulated to millions of followers around the world.

READ: No need to look to the Middle East, we have a dictator in the making here in the UK