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Star Comment: Unity against Islamophobia

SUSPICIONS, if confirmed, that a journalist located at the Daily Mail headquarters sought to stir up extremist sentiment for the sake of an inflammatory headline drag that paper to a new low.

The reaction of forum members on — to search for and expose the source of the comments — was by contrast precisely what one would expect from any decent citizen, and puts our media to shame.

And that media has visibly ramped up its rhetoric in recent days.

This apparent return to a new press open-season that smears all Muslim people in the hunt to boost paper sales is not just despicable, it’s downright dangerous.

The lead-up to the July 7 2005 bombings was marked by ever-growing hysteria on the front and inside pages of the right-wing press.

While it has never gone away there was a marked toning down of coverage following the atrocities that day, when some semblance of togetherness in the wake of terrible, indiscriminate terrorism in London — which targeted Muslims and non-Muslims alike — found its way temporarily into the media.

Today any slight sense of responsibility the mainstream press may have fleetingly felt for inflaming hatred within our communities is a long-forgotten memory.

We have seen hysteria around so-called Trojan schools — both academy and local authority run — supposedly being targeted for Islamist takeover, based on an alleged plot that is widely seen now as a deliberate hoax designed to whip up a storm of hate.

This paper has no truck, whatever the religion, with the formal academy faith schools model so heartily promoted by extremist Christian Tony Blair.

But the fact that schools whose intake is in a predominantly Muslim area have Muslims on their board is hardly surprising.

Of course, our media does not stop at Muslim people in its mission to divide our communities and pit us against one another.

We have seen in recent years relentless attacks on people from eastern Europe supposedly in Britain to “get rich” on the shrivelled welfare payments allowed by the government.

We hear less about the rampant workplace abuse faced by such mainly low-paid migrants at the hands of unscrupulous British bosses interested only in getting richer.

This partial coverage provides a fig leaf in time-honoured fashion for the divide-and-rule tactics of a right-wing media that refuses to acknowledge and report on the real source of problems faced by people on the ground.

Housing, jobs, better services and a higher standard of living for all will not be secured by persecuting those equally or worse off economically.

They will only be won by uniting together against the inaction and exploitation that is rampant among the powerful in this country. Where council housing is demolished for high-price dwellings for the wealthy. Where obscene profits are encouraged but our social security net is slashed to pieces. Where mass joblessness is promoted as a normal phenomenon, not an unacceptable one.

The unity necessary to reverse all this is the very thing that the billionaire paymasters and owners of most of our media are determined to avoid.

Extremism of all hues is incubated in the destruction dealt by the domestic anti-working class agenda of those in power, and often given sustenance by an aggressive, self-defeating agenda abroad where corrupt, compliant client regimes are propped up by the West to the detriment of their own working class.

The media colludes in this project.

They will do everything they can to obscure the truth of the matter. We must do everything we can to expose it.


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