Recently, The Daily Mail, the echelon of journalism, published yet another article of hate and fear mongering, intended to demonize and tar the Muslims of Britain. The article I refer to is entitled “Jolly Jihadi Boy’s Outing to Legoland” published on Febuary 18th on their website.
The article picks up on a community event of a family fun day in Lego Land organised by the Muslim community in East London and turns it into a plot of extremism and terror training.
This narrative of sensationalising everything to do with the Muslim community has become far too common. Almost every article they publish regarding Muslims is negative, full of deceit, and, sometimes, outright lies, all with the intention to scaremonger their readership into thinking the Muslim community is evil and has sinister plots to take over the country.
Their regular crusade to demonize the entire Muslim community is in fact, so common, that often we, as British Muslims don’t bat an eyelid to it anymore.
The following are extracts from the article:
9.50am Rear coach packed with explosives stops in Parliament Square. As Big Ben strikes ten, driver will blow himself up, en route to Paradise, where 72 virgins await. In the event of heavy traffic, he will detonate in the Blackfriars underpass.
10.30am Arrive Legoland, Windsor. Coaches containing women and girls to use segregated car park and entrance at rear. Guests are reminded that music and dancing are punishable by death. Mobile phones are also prohibited, because they may inadvertently set off the hi-viz suicide vests being worn by our own security personnel.”
3pm Guests assemble at the Pirate Shores attraction, where they will be treated to a re-enaction of a typical pirate raid off the coast of Somalia. Thrill to the true story of Captain Phillips as brave Somali freedom fighters defeat the might of the Great Satan’s Navy Seals.
These are just some of the apparently satirical events in the alleged timeline of the day. Reading through the rest of the timeline only reveals further hatred, packaged in the guise of satire and free speech.
Would this perpetual and persistent demonization of any other community be tolerated?
Consider this; if the Jewish community, or the Afrocaribbean community, or indeed any other community had hired out Lego land for a community family event?
Would any disgusting stereotyping, based on the actions of a few to tar the majority, been printed? Such stereotypes are disgusting, and rightly so would never be published. Why is it then that equally disgusting stereotypes of Muslims can be, and are continually, published?
Promotion of a violent, extremist Muslim stereotype can lead to horrific acts of violence, such as the case Pavlo Lapshyn and his campaign last year in which he murdered an elderly pensioner and bombed three mosques in the Midlands, as well as the numerous acts of arson that the English Defence League (EDL) have been responsible for.
Thankfully these cases of such extreme viciousness are rare but the fact they happen at all shows an underlying unrest amongst some people. An unrest which an individual may be encouraged to act upon if such stereotypes are constantly pushed as the norm.
The only purpose of these stories is to serve as some sort of justification to those who wish to persecute this minority. In an era of increasing community tensions and aggression against the Muslim community, these sorts of sensationalist stories only fan the flames.
How long can the Daily Mail be allowed to publish such sensationalist stories under the façade of news?
Danial Faraz Alauddin