Wednesday, 05 December 2018 12:09

UK – Misleading photo fuels hostility towards Muslims and asylum seekers

A populist far-right news website has illustrated an article with photos that misinform and are inflammatory. In the entire piece, there is no mention of the asylum seekers’ religion and yet the photos show a British street filled with many men who are exclusively Muslim, as well as a woman wearing a niqab. This is UK's media monitoring highlight for November.

This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of November, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

politicalite send them southDate of publication: 21 November 2018

Media Outlet:  Politicalite, populist far-right news website.

Author: Jordan James, Editor-in-Chief

Link: https://goo.gl/nBvRHn

Headline: “SEND EM’ SOUTH: Fury as Greater Manchester sees 102% increase in Asylum Seeking Migrants”

Description of the anti-Muslim content: The article reports on an exchange between the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the Home Secretary Sajid Javid on the government pledge to reduce the number of asylum seekers being sent to Greater Manchester. The photos used to illustrate the article misinform and are inflammatory. In the entire article, there is no mention of the asylum seekers’ religion and yet the photos show a British street filled with many men who are exclusively Muslim, as well as a woman wearing a niqab. The headline used (“Send them South”) is also very biased and polarising against asylum seekers.

Myth debunked: The misleading photo of Muslim people wearing religious garments on the street is used to drive the narrative of the ‘Muslim invasion’. In this specific article, using those photos misleads readers into thinking that those “asylum-seeking migrants” that have increased by 102% are Muslims and that, if they are not “sent away” every British street will look like this. Those images sell the message that Muslims are a problem for British society, creating fear and misunderstanding. When put together, both the articles and images on Muslims, create a very strong and negative narrative that has an impact on the life of Muslims in the country.  The article also presents an inaccuracy.  It is not true that, how the article says, “THE NORTH West of England is stuck with SEVENTY per cent of Britain’s asylum seekers”. Government figures, as mentioned in Burnham’s letter, say that “the north-west of England hosts 25% of the national population of asylum applicants who require housing and support” and that Greater Manchester is housing “70% of the region's numbers”.

More to read:

How Tabloids Get Away with Islamophobic Front Pages

Number of people granted asylum in UK plummets by 26% in a year

Asylum seekers 'could contribute £42m to UK' if work rules relaxed

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