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Daily Mail ‘confusion’ of religion and culture

Daily Mail ‘confusion’ of religion and culture

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday July 31 2012

The Daily Mail has once again confused religion and culture in a report on the sentencing of a man who threatened to kill his daughter after she had a romance with a student online and refused to marry her cousin.

The case involves what the DM describes as a ‘Muslim preacher’, and on several occasions the report alludes to the “Islamic tradition” of ‘betrothing’ one’s child to their cousin.

There is, as we are sure the DM is aware, absolutely nothing Islamic about ‘betrothing’ a woman to a cousin, or forcing marriage upon anyone, as several people commenting on the article note. The practice where it exists is entirely cultural and coincidental.

The references to ‘Islamic tradition’ are either intentional or deliberate oversight. ‘Islamic’ is often deliberately and repeatedly used by tabloid papers to link such horrific acts to Islam, as Leo McKinstry did in a column for the Daily Express earlier this year. The DM specifically, doesn’t seem to care much for factual accuracy, as it would appear from looking at previous reports on ‘forced marriage’, or any number of articles which concern Muslims, including a recent piece in which Olympic traffic issues were blamed on Muslims.

Some of the comments which the article attracts give an indication of the way that such misreporting is taken as fact by readers and perpetuates negative, false stereotypes and antipathy towards Muslims and Islam:

Ban ‘arranged’ marriages. If the couple meet and like each other it’s an introduction but these marriages are nothing but hell on earth.

– Yorkshire Pudding, Bradford, UK,

If he wants to follow Islamic Tradition then go live in a country that has one. I am fed up with these people who think their ‘traditions’ take precedence over British Law.

– duke, Yorkshire

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