In his recent speech David Cameron emphasised the importance of building ‘a more cohesive society, so more people feel a part of it and are therefore less vulnerable to extremism.’ He also urged the media to play its part in rejecting both bigotry and extremism. Some sections don’t seem to have taken much notice of this suggestion. While the Guardian publishes this appalling piece by Peter Oborne – a fawning interview with Abdul Wahid, the head of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, nicely satirised here – the Daily Mail errs, as usual, in the other direction.
There is plenty of legitimate debate to be had about the relationship between violent and non-violent extremism and about the relationship between Islam and both. But there is no real evidence that the gang was Muslim or that this ‘fact’ is relevant to the story. The problem is compounded by the final bullet point:
– Comes after the PM called for Muslim community to do more to fight extremism.
Pelting immigration officers with eggs is reprehensible but it has nothing to do with ‘extremism’. Although a few people have taken issue with the Mail’s headline
many more have reproduced it, adding further hateful comments.
The far right aren’t the only people who welcome this kind of tendentious reporting – the real extremists shun cohesion, and seek further polarisation. They are always delighted to be provided with evidence that the UK is Islamophobic, and the tabloids seem only too happy to oblige.