This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of September, 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 of publication: 3 September 2019
Media Outlet: PI-News (“Politically Incorrect”) is a far-right news website that defines itself as “Against the Mainstream, Pro-American, Pro-Israel, Against the Islamisation of Europe, For Fundamental Laws and Human Rights”
Headline: “Backwardness of the Islamic world: cultural enrichment from Muslim immigration cannot be proven”
Description of the anti-Muslim content: The article claims to be a response to “mainstream pro-Islam campaigns” and to “false news, such as the claim that million-fold Muslim migration results in cultural enrichment”. After stating that “Muslim men are often characterised by archaic misogynistic attitudes, a widespread hatred of ‘unbelievers’ in Islam, and contempt for the West,” the reporter tries to prove the “backwardness of Islamic cultures”. He does so by claiming that no Nobel Prize winners for physics, chemistry and medicine originate from a Muslim country and that a comparison of patent applications across different nation states reflects negatively on Islamic countries. He also asserts that many of the countries ranked ‘not free’ by Reporters without Borders have a Muslim majority. The language used is racist, dehumanising and fear-mongering, for example, “two million single men of military age”, “never-ending immigration stream” and “exploding birth rates among Muslims”.
Myth debunked: This article fuels hatred against Muslims through distortions and discriminatory language. “Two million single men of military age”, for example, is not only false, but the author deliberately picks provocative words to evoke the idea of an invasion of violent young men. The statement that Muslims hate the West and people of different religions is further fabrication that perpetuates ‘othering’ and fosters misunderstanding. His critique of sexist attitudes among Muslim men fails to acknowledge the history and endurance of patriarchal structures and values in predominantly Christian and atheist societies. The author also depicts the “West” as culturally superior to the “Orient”. He neglects to acknowledge the role of Arab-Muslim culture in shaping contemporary Europe, from the impact of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, to the legacy of Al-Andalus on Spanish architecture, art and food. Countries with Islamic traditions continue to exert a positive influence in Europe, shaping gastronomy, film, literature, philosophy and music. It is false to say that Muslim countries have not provided any Nobel laureates in Science. Ahmed Zewail and Aziz Sancar, from Egypt and Turkey respectively, won Nobel prizes in Chemistry while Mohammad Abdus Salam, from Pakistan, won for a Nobel prize in Physics, and numerous others have won in the fields of Literature and Peace. Even if there were no Muslim Nobel prize winners, this would not mean that Islamic culture is not as rich or sophisticated as Europe’s. By focusing exclusively on Nobel prizes, patents and freedom of expression rankings, the author presents a narrow, Eurocentric understanding of culture and science.
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