On 5th August 2018, the popular British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published an op-ed about Denmark’s Burqa Ban by the former British Foreign Secretary [Foreign Affairs Minister] Boris Johnson. In the article, Johnson uses Islamophobic language that calls women who wear the burqa “ridiculous” and compares them to “letter boxes” and “bank robber[s]”. He has been widely criticised for this and told to apologise by his own Conservative party.
This report, authored by David Feldman and Ben Gidley, explores whether there is a connection between antisemitism and immigration in the UK. The study was launched because of a rising assumption of this connection: "There is a persistent claim that new migrants to Europe, and specifically migrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA migrants), carry antisemitism with them. This assertion is made to different degrees in different countries and can take different forms. Nevertheless, in Europe, the association of rising antisemitism with migrants from the MENA is widespread and needs to be evaluated."
Drawing on a review of existing quantitative and qualitative data and new qualitative research, the researchers explore whether antisemitism in the UK has risen due to an increase in immigration, specifically from the MENA region. Their conclusion, summed up: "We draw the conclusion that the rise in recorded antisemitic incidents and crimes in the UK should not be linked to the arrival of MENA migrants."
The report highlights that there has been a rise in antisemitism in the UK over the last few years. On this topic, they discuss the role of the media in depth. "Politicians and news media can have an impact on both the incidence of antisemitism and also on whether people perceive and/or report antisemitism". When discussing recommendations, based on their research, Feldman and Gidley write: "Politicians, policy makers and journalists should promote a balanced, evidence based discussion of the relationship between immigration and antisemitism."
If you want to read the "Antisemitism and Immigration in Western Europe Today: Is there a connection?" report, you can click here, or you can scroll down to the bottom of this page and download the handbook as a pdf file.
This is the third and final video is a series where we talked to Dr. Verica Rupar, Associate Professor at the School of Communication Studies, Auckland University. Here, Dr. Rupar gives suggestions for improving the diversity of stories we hear in the media. Journalism in the mainstream media is, according to many, in crisis. However, at the same time, it is a great time for journalism, as on the fringes, new forms of journalism are emerging. Dr. Rupar discusses some of these new journalism methods, such as the use of social media to tell stories.
In the second video of three discussing media monitoring, Dr. Verica Rupar, Associate Professor at the School of Communication Studies, Auckland University, talks about self-monitoring of the media. Dr. Rupar sees self-monitoring initiatives as vital, as they allow news agencies to work better. In this sense, self-monitoring is equally important to outside, independent media monitoring. Self-monitoring includes reacting on audience comments, such as through letter to the editor and social media reactions, and then formulating a response.
This video is the first of three in a series where we talked to Dr. Verica Rupar, Associate Professor at the School of Communication Studies, Auckland University. In this instalment, we discuss the question; does media monitoring matter? Dr. Rupar explains that as global citizens we spend an average of 15 full years consuming media, meaning that monitoring this big element in our lives is essential. With each media organisation having its own set of internal policies and sets of norms, media monitoring offers accountability.
An article in Le Vif calls the face veil “an ideological uniform” and claims that the “promoters of women’s face veil obviously have a political agenda” incompatible with democracy and human rights.
Boris Johnson, the UK’s former foreign secretary, wrote a piece for the Telegraph about Denmark’s recent burka ban, and whether we should adopt the same laws in the UK. Upon reading the title of the piece, which claims that Demark has “got it wrong”, you might be cautiously optimistic.