A man is taking a walk in Central park in New York. Suddenly he sees a little girl being attacked by a pit bull dog. He runs over and starts fighting with the dog. He succeeds in killing the dog and saving the girl’s life.
A policeman who was watching the scene walks over and says: “You are a hero, tomorrow you can read it in all the newspapers: “Brave New Yorker saves the life of little girl”
The man says: – “But I am not a New Yorker!”
“Oh, then it will say in newspapers in the morning: ‘Brave American saves life of little girl'” – the policeman answers.
“But I am not an American!” – says the man. “Oh, what are you then?” The man says: – “I am an Arab !”
The next day the newspapers say: “Islamic extremist kills innocent American dog.”
Though it’s just a joke but also a typical example of what is going on in western media now a days. Islamophobia is one of the most pernicious issue of today’s British media. The term came into common usage after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The British Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as the “dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, to the fear and dislike of all Muslims,” stating that it also refers to the practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation.
Just between September 2001 to December 2001, nearly two thousand Muslims related stories were published in British media with extensive use of negative nouns and adjectives such as terrorist, fanatic, extremist, radical, suicide bomber or militant etc.
How this media bias is affecting Muslim communities in UK and Europe is definitely a serious issue but not a point of concern here. At least apart from few tabloids, media is also scared of being labelled as racist, but the more worrying thing is that exactly the same thing going on in Pakistan and without any fear of being called Islamophobic as this is the best way to be classified as liberal and moderate.
In late nineties I was a sub editor in a regional newspaper. News broke out about a madrasa in Orangi town. One of the teachers was caught red handed while sexually abusing a ten year old pupil. The crime was terrible but the hue and cry was not about what was done but about where and who done it. The next day’s headlines were reflecting the typical mind set followed by an unrelated debate on “does Islam allow this”.
In fact our correspondents had been sending the similar stories about child molestation in government schools used to end up in single column news next day. No one ever bothered to raise question, “does secular education system allow this”.
The left wing journalists are on the forefront along with foreign aided NGOs and human right activists who leave no stone unturned to defame and malign anything related to Islam and in some cases they have gone as low as paying to prepare fake videos and evidences.
Now refer to the recent incident where Karachi police rescued 53 students found chained in the basement during a raid on a madrasa created an electric shockwave within the same circle of media and human right activists who have taken no time to jump into same well worn conclusion fully backed by Indian and western media. The immediate headline of Time of India was,” 53 kids chained in Pak madrasa for becoming fighters for Taliban freed”. NDTV has gone even further and alleged that these kids are being sexually abused.
How this matter of illegal rehabilitation centre is presented in media clearly shows the Chemistry between Indian and Western media and the so called liberal elements within Pakistan.
For the sake of freedom of expression, nothing is possible to stop these elements to defame and malign the religion of 180 million Pakistanis.