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British Muslims are under siege Channel 4 documentary reports

Channel 4 political commentator and journalist Peter Oborne has concluded that following the tragic 7/7 bombings British society has effectively allowed the demonization and exclusion of British Muslims.

On the 7th of July 2008 at 8pm, the third anniversary of the bombings, Channel 4 aired a Dispatches special focus “War on Terror, It shouldn't’t happen to a Muslim”. The documentary looked at the rise of Islamaphobia since the tragedy.

Dispatches met British Muslims who live in daily fear for their safety, some because their homes have been vandalised, others who have faced violent attacks. The documentary also conducted two ICM opinion polls the first portraying the hostility received by British Muslims and the second revealing public attitudes to British Muslims.

A further study commissioned to Cardiff University's School of Journalism revealed the true extent of how Muslims have been depicted in the national press over the last eight years. The results were disturbing. Oborne concluded that in today's climate the media say things about Islam and Muslims they would never say about other groups

Writing for the Independent on Sunday, Peter Oborne wrote a compelling piece about how suspicion of the Muslim community has found its way into mainstream society. Peter Oborne said:-

“The systematic demonisation of Muslims has become an important part of the central narrative of the British political and media class; it is so entrenched, so much part of normal discussion, that almost nobody notices. Protests go unheard and unnoticed.”

Source article The Independent  “The enemy within? Fear of Islam: Britain's new disease” July 4th 2008

The point was re-enforced when Oborne reported on police finding nail bombs, bullets, swords, axes and knives in a Nazi sympathisers flat. Not a single national newspaper covered the story initially. It begs the question had a Muslim been found with a similar stash would it have been a far bigger story?

Peter Oborne and James Jones have written a pamphlet entitled 'Muslims Under Siege: Alienating Vulnerable Communities' to accompany 'It Shouldn't Happen to a Muslim'. Download now

Peter Oborne's Dispatches film, "It Shouldn't Happen to a Muslim", was screened on Channel 4 at 8pm 7th July 2008

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Asif Yusuf
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