This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights for May, 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.
Date: 5 May 2019
Media Outlet: The Analyst, an opinion site dealing with current affairs
Headline: “The domination of Islam in France”
Description of the anti-Muslim content: TheAnalyst.gr published an opinion piece about the “decline of Western civilization” as “symbolised by the fire in Notre Dame”. Without explicitly asserting that the Notre Dame fire was an act of terror, the author Serena Nomikou casts doubt on the fact that it was an accident. She writes that the former chief architect of the Notre Dame de Paris said that the “church’s fire control regulations were strict” and that “a very effective alarm system was installed”, but she also recalls how a few years ago a terrorist plot on Notre Dame was discovered and prevented and that when the Bataclan attack happened the government initially withheld some information. The article then goes on to focus on the Yellow Vests movement which “turned into the largest European religious protectorate of Islam” and that countries such as Belgium are “at the helm of Islamic terrorist groups”.
Myth debunked: Anti-Muslim narratives around the burning of Notre Dame emerged within hours of the accident and keep being used across Europe. Making unsubstantiated assumptions for tragic events such as the Notre Dame Fire and the attacks in Nice or to the Bataclan is not professional journalism. Yet, the author here refers to the attacks to frame her statements about what she calls “the domination of Islam” in France and Belgium. The author of this opinion piece strategically hyperlinks external trustworthy sources as evidence for her conspiracy theories, but the linked articles do not back up her claims. Together with unsubstantiated claims on Islamic radicalism in Belgium, this opinion piece fuels dangerous anti-Muslim sentiments.
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