C4 Cathy Newman's "ushered out" the mosque door not what it seems
Categories: Latest News
Friday February 06 2015
Newman had alleged in a tweet that she was “ushered out of the door” by members of the mosque after turning up to visit the place. But footage from CCTV cameras at the mosque obtained by the HuffPost, showed that Newman left alone after being directed to another mosque nearby where the C4 film crew were waiting for her. It appears she went to the wrong location and was pointed in the right direction by a member of the Streatham mosque.
Newman has apologised for her error telling the HuffPost, “As the primary purpose of Visit My Mosque day was to increase understanding of Islam, I was horrified to hear the Mosque I visited in error has had death threats.
“I’m sorry for any misunderstanding there has been. I would be happy to pay a private visit to South London Islamic Centre once again.”
Needless to say there has been some mischief made out of the tweet posted by Newman, some of it eclipsing the Visit My Mosque initiative’s valuable effort in building bridges in local communities.
The chair of trustees of Streatham mosque, Imam Aslam Ijaz, told the HuffPost that the mosque had received “two threatening voicemails…and a litany of online abuse” after Newman’s tweets appeared.
Ijaz also pointed out that the suggestion the mosque was gender biased was entirely inaccurate saying “”We were the first mosque in the area to have a prayer section for women, both ladies and gentleman are welcome here and it wouldn’t be unusual at all to see a woman here.”
It is the second case of evident anti-Muslim bias in the media this week. A letter in The Independent today sheds light on the wider context on the story, widely covered in the media, about animal abuse being uncovered at a halal abattoir in Yorkshire.
In his report following the Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press, Lord Justice Leveson noted on the media’s portrayal of Islam, “The evidence demonstrates that sections of the press betray a tendency, which is far from being universal or even preponderant, to portray Muslims in a negative light.”
His observation is as instructive now as it was when the Leveson report was published in 2012.