Written by Jasmine York
When I watch the news and I am told that Muslims are a threat to our country, that they drain our resources and stealing all our jobs, or that they are unfairly claiming benefits, I get a little confused. There is a massive disillusion surrounding the impact Muslim citizens have on our society. Let’s confront it.
Firstly, Muslims make up under 5% of the UK’s population. That’s 1 in 20 people being Muslim. It is very easy to blame the minority for a problem in the system because they are a weak and vulnerable target. But what is very clever is that the Muslim population are being portrayed as a much bigger group and that way, the media don’t look like they are targeting the minority.
Secondly, for some strange reason some people believe that Muslims dominate specific cities such as London and Birmingham. Yes, Steven Emerson. I am talking to you. Evidence shows that Muslims are widely dispersed over the UK and this counters the misconception that they are dominating the population of bigger cities.
Thirdly, Muslims aren’t stealing your jobs. I find it hilarious that I mostly hear this from university students who aren’t even looking for employment anyway. In fact, Muslims have a high rate of unemployment and this is because they face brutal discrimination. Unfortunately it is not just Muslims that are the subject to these accusations, but most immigrants as well. It is the media that play the significant role in this promotion of sheer prejudice and bigotry. A study where a week of newspaper coverage was selected at random shows that 90% portrayed Muslims negatively. The media seem obsessed with demonising Muslims and that only causes an ongoing ignorant attitude among the public. (45% of Britain think there are too many Muslims). Owen Jones, left-wing columnist for The Guardian, says that the media’s insistence on misrepresenting Muslims in the media causes them to feel ‘in battle and threatened and under attack’. Almost half of Muslims (47.2%) are born in the UK and 56% of Muslims state their only national identity is British. This contests the misconception that firstly, Muslims raid our country, and secondly, that they cannot speak a word of English. Only 6% of Muslims are struggling with the English language. (The Huffington Post).
It is clear there is a conflict between Muslims and wider society. The institutions that promote this battle need to be broken down. We all need to channel our own views and acknowledge that not everything we read is true. It doesn’t take a lot of reading to identify the media’s agenda when it comes to publishing about the Muslims. Compare an article written about Charlie Hebdo to an article written about the attacks on Muslim owned shops in Birmingham.
‘It is possible to fight injustice and it is possible to win’ Owen Jones.