Islamophobia is fueled by the media

Caroline Sanchez/ Staff Writer

Amidst the recent anti-Muslim attacks at Finsbury Park in London, England and the double standards perpetuated in our own country, there seems to be a heightening fear that’s spreading around every corner of our daily lives.

I’ve noticed a growing trend in making demeaning statements against Muslims, either denouncing their religious practices or referring to them by degrading names. It’s understandable, seeing as certain media personnel enjoy pointing fingers and making outrageous comments against Muslims as a form of entertainment. Except it’s not funny, nor is it entertaining.

Once a group of people are dehumanized by the majority, dire consequences are inevitable.

The attack at Finsbury Park in Central London is one example that shows how hatred can cause a hate crime. The assailant allegedly said, “I want to kill more Muslims” before being stopped, according to The Washington Post.

Last month, shortly after news broke of the terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the controversial English columnist Katie Hopkins took to twitter to unleash her prejudice against Muslims.

In her tweet, she wrote: “22 dead – number rising. Schofield. Don’t you even dare. Do not be part of the problem. We need a final solution #Machester (sic).”

The words “final solution” incited public anger and with good reason. The term was once used by Nazis to refer to the Holocaust. Although she eventually deleted the tweet and replaced it with one that used “true solution,” it didn’t erase the impact her original words may have had on her 786K followers on Twitter.  It also not the first time she’d ever publicly made anti-Muslim statements.  

A blog on Huffington Post provided a list of some of her most derogatory tweets, most of them insisting there is a strong correlation between Muslims and terror attacks.

America is not far behind when it comes to Islamophobia. U.S. media is known for overemphasizing negative news coverage of Muslims, which, in turn, strikes fear and hate into the minds of Americans.

An article on the Council of American-Islamic Relations stated that “an academic study covered by The Washington Post found that in a four-year period, 12 percent of domestic attacks conducted by Muslims received, on average, 449 percent more media coverage than 88 percent of attacks committed by others.”

It is not surprising that part of this prejudice stems directly from The White House, starting with President Trump. Like Hopkins, Trump also “took to twitter to bemoan “political correctness” immediately after the attacks at London Bridge on June 3, according to an article on The Washington Post. He also chose to use the tragedy as a justification for his controversial travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries, referring to it as “an extra level of safety.”

I don’t claim to have the best memory in the world, but I think I’m correct when I state that Trump has never had anything positive to say about Muslims or any minority in the entire span of his career. And while I choose to ignore what either of these commentators have to say about current issues, the fact of the matter is that there are thousands of people who hang off every single word that these people write.

That’s how tragedies occur. The media needs to put some effort into changing its focus.

Also, allow me to reinforce the following: ISIS and the other radical groups committing the attacks do not represent all Muslims. In reality, most Muslims just want to live their lives with loved ones in peace like you and me.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo taken from Flickr.

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