Read the front page of your local newspapers lately? Surf through the TV channels and watch the news?
Well, I don’t watch TV for my news but I do read newspaper articles online and recently I started listening to NPR on my drive to work. I noticed the following things the American media does either intentionally or unintentionally when reporting on Muslims or stories related to Islam. These are things I would like them to stop doing if they are to say they report all groups without bias.
1. Stop using the word Islamism, Islamists or anything with the word Islam that has a negative connotation and is not an actual word. First of all there is no such word as “Islamism, or Islamists” these words were invented after 9/11 and they make no sense. If you are trying to say a person who has extremist thinking …SAY THAT!!! Why the need to bring Islam in it? We don’t classify Christian terrorists as Christianists, then why the double standard for Islam?
2. Stop reporting on the Tea Party like it’s an actual legitimate political party rather than a “radical” or dare I say “extremist” group that wants to eradicate Muslims amongst other things. Don’t believe me? Watch this. So stop being afraid that you are being “biased” when you report the truth regarding parties like this. And moreover stop being afraid that they have lots of money and can use it for the wrong purposes.
3. Stop firing people for saying the truth when they are with their personal friends and off the clock from their work. Example: NPR Ceo and Senior VP were ousted because of remarks that he made regarding the Tea Party and that he thinks NPR should not take federal funding. Here is one of the comments he made: ” ‘Tea Party people’ aren’t just Islamophobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.” Okay, so what if he said that? It is his opinion and personally to me, it has some truth. And so what if he said that he doesn’t think that NPR should rely on federal funding? Are journalists not supposed to have their own mind and their opinions? Are they not able to have private lives where they can say these opinions without fear that someone will tape it and they will get fired for what they think. Props to Ron Schiller for saying the truth…if only the media would also follow in his footsteps and start reporting the truth.
After reading and listening to the news now for some time I really believe that if we changed how we reported the news we would change people’s perception on so many things and we would promote peace instead of hate.
Allahu Alim (Allah knows best)