On 19th September 2018, Belgium’s leading progressive francophone daily Le Soir published a video-guide to the upcoming elections. Among other information, their video claimed that around 130,000 foreign citizens have been fraudulently registered as voters.
Although there is no reason to doubt this claim itself, Le Soir used footage of a veiled Muslim woman looking at election posters to depict these fraudulent foreign voters. By visually linking Muslim women to fraudulent foreigners, footage like this risks increasing prejudice against veiled Muslim women and perpetuating Islamophobic stereotypes.
The European Forum of Muslim Women, Get the Trolls Out! partner for francophone media in Belgium sent a complaint to the newspaper. They asked why they decided to use this footage and whether they believed that this Muslim woman depicted in the video is representative of the 130,000 fraudulent voters?
Le Soir did not respond to EFOMW’s emails. However, the video has been taken down from their website soon after the complaints was submitted.