Here’s the repulsive tweet an ex-Guardian editor posted about Islamophobia

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James Aitchison

People are blasting former political editor of the Guardian, Michael White for issuing a deeply offensive defence of the mainstream media’s lack of reporting on Islamophobia.

It’s terrorism, dummy

A Twitter user asked why the antisemitism row in Labour is receiving widespread media coverage while outlets are largely ignoring Islamophobia within the Conservative party. White had the following response:

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So according to White, British journalists ignore rising Islamophobia in the country because a few Muslims have committed terrorist attacks. Or, as one Twitter user put it:

Not content to effectively victim-blame the Muslim community for Islamophobia, White doubled down on his indefensible stance by implying that Israeli violence against Palestinians happens for a similar reason:

Swift condemnation

The condemnation of White’s tweet from certain pundits and politicians was swift. Former conservative co-chair, Sayeedi Warsi, who has been a vocal critic of Islamophobia in the Conservative party, said:

Meanwhile, journalist Mehdi Hasan said the offending tweet was indicative of the presence of Islamophobia among the liberal establishment:

Senior editor of Novara Media Ash Sakar didn’t mince words in calling out White:

This is not the first time White has made deeply offensive statements either. In the past, he branded Iraqi citizens as inherently violent to brush aside criticisms of the brutal invasion of the country:

Double standards

There has been a surge in violent anti-Muslim attacks in the UK. This rise in overt Islamophobia has been connected to the rise of far-right populist political movements and figures. Yet, Tommy Robinson’s anti-migrant and Islamophobic rhetoric has been given largely uncritical coverage and normalised by the mainstream media.

Antisemitism is inexcusable and has no place in the Labour Party or elsewhere. That’s why Jeremy Corbyn has said he is determined to root it out. But, racism in all its forms should and must be called out.

So, if the mainstream press is serious about confronting racism in British society, they would do well to take a protracted look in the mirror.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Report instances of Islamophobia to TellMAMA, a pressure group that seeks to address those responsible head on.

– Support the work of Stop Funding Hate which lobbies advertisers to remove sponsorship from media outlets which promote prejudice.

– Read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe Ferret.

Feature image via Michael Brunton-Spall/Flickr

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