Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mail Gets Article Wrong

There is a report in the Mail Online which is on the subject of Muslims protesting about the sale of alcohol by other Muslims in east London. Unfortunately this report in the Mail looks like it is pandering to racism. Let's give the Mail the benefit of the doubt and take the view that the protesters are wrong. It is wrong to tell shopkeepers what they can and can't sell and it is wrong that they are inciting violence. In this case the law should be used against these protesters. I suppose the Mail will say that there has been no legal action so far which means that they are allowed to give their opinion without giving prejudice to the legal proceedings.

Now take the view that  the protesters are right (which means the Mail is wrong). Doesn't everyone have the right to peaceful protest? This is not a balanced report as the protesters may just be using their legal rights to protest peacefully. If this is not the case and it happens that a court case ensues then the Mail is hardly setting the scene for justice to prevail. David Cameron learned about this earlier in the week.I don't know if protests were peaceful or whether they are breaking the law but what I do know it that this report has incited xenophobia.

It may not be the Mail's own Facebook page but their article is given a link by another Facebook page which doesn't make pleasant reading. "This is our country not theirs...". I don't want to quote any further from this site or give you the link as it is full of hatred. I wonder if the Mail realised that their report would cause such an outbreak of public anger? The Mail was wrong in that they didn't stress that the protesters are in the minority who will be opposed by the majority of Muslims - you can read the comments from Muslims on the Mail website. In the main article the Mail does quote a couple of Muslim anti-extremist spokespersons, however this does not make it clear that theirs is the mainstream view.

I don't know the details of this protest but it is really important that we remain a tolerant country that allows peaceful protest whatever we may believe ourselves. Balanced reporting would be nice too.

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