This week, the Office of National Statistics published a list of the most popular boys’ names in Britain and Muhammed is the third most popular name on the list, and is the most popular name in the world.
So why does the Daily Mail’s Max Hastings have a problem with this?
He alludes to not wishing to rouse ‘sentiment against Muslims’ but proceeds to do so in his rant.
Playing into people’s paranoia of an american neoconservative approved conspiracy theory of the ‘Islamification of Europe’ is downright ludicrous, nevermind it being backed up with statistics of his own choosing, furthermore it plays right into the hands of the ever rising numbers of the far right/fascist/nazi brigades who are targeting Islam and Muslims as never before.
The belief that Europe, and Britain in particular, is threatened by a Muslim tide which will not merely transform its traditional culture but, frankly, bury it, is a theme that is becoming more common place.
Its rabid opinion that allows itself to be passed off as the gospel truth that is fuelling the flames of Islamophobia, and sowing the seeds of distrust within our communities.
The underlying narrative to all Islamophobic reporting can be summarised as thus:
The EDL fascists are marching tomorrow on yet another Muslim area, this time in Harrow.
The UK as a whole is being made to bend over backwards to accommodate the far right. The apathy which was demonstrated in the political process allowed the BNP to win seats in the London Mayoral Election on the London Assembly, as well as in the recent Local & European Elections. Now the BNP get invited on the BBC’s Question Time to promote their abhorrent message.
The mainstream press lie through their teeth to tell people that Masajids are terrorist training camps in disguise.
The hate being promoted translates into a 67 year old grandfather being beaten to death as he left a Masajid on a busy London high street.
There has to be a more responsible form of reporting, without asking for self censorship, or wishing to get into the whole freedom of speech issue. Some of these media commentators are earning their crust with the promotion of their Islamophobic beliefs.
With a bit of balance, and thats all I’m asking for, they could provide their readers with a much realer narrative:
In Islam, silence is consent.
Speak up now.
Before its too late.