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Friday 6 July 2012

Terror Arrests – Muslims Again!

[Update at end of post]

Nothing better illustrates the Fourth Estate’s tendency to Islamophobia better than its attitude to the news of arrests under the various Terrorism Acts yesterday. That there were raids and arrests across London was universally reported, but not that there was also news of charges against a man from Burnley. The disconnect in reporting is not an accident.

Every paper out there on the right majored on the London arrests, which also included firing of a Taser gun. And there was much focus on a convert to Islam formerly called Richard Dart, who had also committed the heinous sin of being a security guard at the BBC. The Sun called him a “Brit hater, while the Maily Telegraph used the slightly disturbing characterisationWhite Muslim”.

The Tel then warmed to its “White” theme by running a piece titled “History of white converts caught up in terrorism”. Clearly choosing Islam of one’s own free will is, unlike Christianity, A Very Bad Thing. And of course there was a “terror plot”, that is, a suggestion by the papers that they can’t stand up and so enclose in quotes, so they can pretend they didn’t really tell the readers that.

And the rubbish journalism extends to a non-existent Olympics angle, with the Express headline reading “Terror Arrests Near Olympic Site” followed in the eighth paragraph by “The arrests are apparently not linked to the Olympics”. Des’ finest also get the “white convert to Islam” line into their copy, as do the obedient hacks of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Mail.

The latter also have a Royal Wedding angle, which is sure to generate suitable amounts of outrage among the Mail’s Kind Of People, and they outdo the Tel by putting “major terrorist attack” in quotes, for which they, too, have nothing remotely resembling evidence. Completing the Mail dossier of damnation is the news that one of those arrested was once a PCSO. These Muslims clearly get everywhere.

So what of the charges against someone from Burnley? Well, for some reason, you won’t see that in most of the papers, not unless you read the deeply subversive Guardian. Why might that be? But you know already: the man charged with five offences under Section 58 of the 2000 Act and one under Section 2 of the 2006 legislation is called Niall Florence. He is not a Muslim.

And, in other news, Unitas has submitted a report on Islam and the media to the Leveson inquiry (read it HERE [.pdf]). Here is one line from the “Conclusions and Recommendations”: “there is a serious and systemic problem of racist, anti-Muslim reporting within sections of the British media”. It also talks of the “overall predominance of Islamophobic discourses”.

That more or less sums up what went before. And it’s not good enough.

[UPDATE 1830 hours: there has been another series of arrests today following the impounding of a car on the M1 after it was suspected of being uninsured. A number of weapons were later found to be inside. All that is known is that six people have been arrested in the West Midlands and one in the Kirklees district of West Yorkshire (that's Huddersfield and Dewsbury, folks).

These arrests are not connected to any other arrests, and are not related to the Olympics. For once, the Sun played its report straight, and did not attempt to make any connection with other arrests, nor imply any racial or religious connection. Fair play to Rupe's downmarket troops this time. Sadly, that was not the case at the Mail.

"Seven more terror arrests as police find 'weapons hidden in a car' just a day after Olympic round-up that saw white Muslim convert captured" screams the headline, managing to miss that there was no Olympic connection in either series of arrests. There follows a deliberate tacking-on of the earlier arrests to the latest ones, even though there is no connection.

So the seven being held somewhere in the West Midlands are connected by the Mail to an address in Stratford, a Taser deployment, a front door lying in a garden, and lots of views of the Olympic stadia. It's as if nobody is taking the first notice of the Unitas report, and in the case of the Dacre press, that is probably right. These, after all, are not the Mail's Kind Of People.

Yes, all the do-gooders in the world can publish their reports, but the Mail will say what it likes, unless anyone concerned has the resources to take them to the cleaners. No change there, then]


Cirret said...

Could we have Homeric epithets for all well-known characters besides "legendarily foul-mouthed" Dacre?

Press Not Sorry said...

With reference to your update, The Mail also failed to mention that the previous "canoeing" arrests resulted in all the suspects being released without charge or further action.