Policy Area 6: Media negativity and community integration
Studies by Lancaster University and Cardiff University demonstrate the extraordinary level of prejudice Muslims suffer from parts of the mainstream media. Such academic studies show that for every one positive or neutral reference to Muslims in print press, there are 21 negative references.
Meanwhile, Muslims are often stereotyped as ‘the other’, backwards, violent, extremist and opposed to British values. This is despite the fact that British Muslims declare the highest ‘loyalty to the UK’, alongside British Sikhs. Debates on issues of integration and social cohesion are permeated by the growing problem of far-right extremism, coupled by no clear governmental definition of ‘extremism’- let alone ‘non-violent extremism’. Political events such as Brexit and the rise of the political far-right across Europe have given fresh impetus to hostility against Islam and Muslims.
In April 2017, the cross-party think-tank, Demos, presented their analysis of anti-Islamic content on Twitter between March 2016 and March 2017. During this period, analysts discovered that 143,920 Tweets had been sent from the UK that are considered to be derogatory and anti-Islamic – this amounts to 393 a day.
- Commit to media reform and the full implementation of the Royal Charter on a Leveson compliant regulator.
- Commit to support industry initiatives to promote positive, diverse representations of Muslims and minorities in the mainstream media.