Mehdi Hasan is Britain’s answer to Reza Aslan: a mainstream media darling whose fawning sycophants never challenge him on his numerous misstatements and deceptive claims about Islam. He once infamously claimed that Muslims always keep the moral high ground, and declared that non-Muslims live like animals. He claims Islam is a Religion of Peace, making his case with the usual half-truths, distortions, and outright lies.
And also like Aslan, he is a foe of the freedom of speech; like other Islamic supremacists, he wants Islam’s blasphemy laws brought to the West in the guise of “hate speech” laws, and applied in order to silence all criticism of Islam, including examinations of how Islamic texts and teachings incite people to acts of hatred and violence. What he calls for here is of a piece with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s years-long campaign to intimidate the West into criminalizing “incitement to religious hatred” — that is, criticism of Islam and opposition to jihad terror.
“Mehdi Hasan: sanctions for ‘dishonest, demonising press coverage’ of Muslims,” by Oscar Williams, the Guardian, November 14, 2014:
Misrepresentative portrayals of Muslims and other minorities will not stop unless newspapers are threatened with sanctions, Mehdi Hasan said yesterday.
“Misrepresentative” here and in other cases like this refers to reports that are completely accurate, but that discuss facts that people like Mehdi Hasan would prefer not be known, such as the fact that the Qur’an contains passages exhorting believers to wage war against unbelievers, etc. In Islamic law, “slander” doesn’t mean lying about someone; it means “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him.” (Reliance of the Traveller r2).
The columnist and political director of the Huffington Post UK said the press has proven “singularly unable or unwilling to change the discourse, the tone or the approach” towards Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers.
In reality, coverage of Muslims in the mainstream media is universally fawning and positive. Reporters constantly go to groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and deceptive Islamic supremacists such as Hasan and Aslan as if they were reliable sources. They constantly denigrate and demonize opponents of jihad terror, and report Islamic supremacist smear claims that such opposition constitutes “bigotry” and “racism” as fact. The treat “Islamophobia” as if it were a genuine phenomenon and not a propaganda term designed to intimidate people into thinking there is something wrong with opposing jihad terror. And when reporting on acts of jihad terror, they refer to jihadis as “youths,” or “militants,” or “insurgents,” or (in the UK) “Asians,” doing everything they can to obscure what they really are: Muslims acting in the name of Islam and in accord with Islamic texts and teachings.
But even all that isn’t enough for Mehdi Hasan. Apparently he wants all reporting of acts of jihad terror, Muslim rape gangs, etc. to cease, and for us non-Muslims to acquiesce quietly to conquest and Islamization.
Hasan, who was speaking in a personal capacity at a media industry event hosted by Mindshare UK, said: “We’re not going to get change unless there is some sanction, there is some penalty. This is not just about Muslims; it is about all minorities.”
This is how a fascist like Hasan makes his case to destroy the freedom of speech: he situates speaking honestly about jihad terror within the context of racism and the plight of minorities, as he knows that will make it a much easier sell to the political elites. If you tell them, “Criminalize criticism of Islam,” they might balk. But if you tell them, “Do something to protect minorities,” they’ll be all over it.
“Therefore you have to ask questions about: does it need to be externally imposed, either by better regulation or via some form of commercial imperative? Though, that requires a separate campaign to get companies to give a damn about this stuff,” Hasan added.
He suggested advertisers would have boycotted newspapers over the publication of certain headlines about Muslims, had they been about other minorities.
In a session titled “The Muslims are coming!”, Hasan presented to a group of media industry figures a slideshow of British newspaper headlines and front pages, which he said ostracised the Muslim community, presenting Muslims as “the other”. Hasan also highlighted the factual inaccuracy of some of the stories and accused newspapers of peddling misinformation.
They are peddling misinformation, but not in the way Hasan is claiming. The misinformation they peddle is the same that Hasan peddles: that jihad terror has nothing to do with Islam, etc. You know who else peddles misinformation? Mehdi Hasan. See here and here.
He said the practice was not just morally wrong, but also “dangerous and counter-productive […] because it increases alienation, […] and it also confirms the extremist narrative, the Islamist narrative that there is some kind of inevitable clash between the West and all of the Muslims living in the West, that there can never be any kind of reconciliation, that there is always going to be some kind of war between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
There are, of course, Muslims who believe that. One of them was Muhammad: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer and pay zakat.” (Sahih Muslim 33). It’s also in the Qur’an: “And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (8:39). Many jihadis and Islamic supremacists have repeated it in our own day. But for Mehdi Hasan, if non-Muslims note that and report on it, that is offensive and must be suppressed. The effect of that would be that the jihadis would advance while non-Muslims stood by mute, unable to say a word in opposition to them.
He added: “To pretend that all this negative, mad, crazy, over the top, dishonest, demonising press coverage is justified is wrong. To pretend that it has no impact on a minority community living in the UK or on our multicultural society, on relations between communities is naive, if not disingenuous.”
The only people who actually get negative, mad, crazy, over the top, dishonest, demonizing press coverage are foes of jihad terror. And yes, it is dangerous.
In addition to commercial pressure from advertisers and stricter press regulation, Hasan said a drive for greater diversity in the industry was essential to changing culture: “If you’re a Daily Express journalist writing some sort of anti-Muslim headline and the guy sitting opposite you is a Muslim it makes it much more difficult I would imagine.”
Indeed. And it also makes it much more difficult for the non-Muslim to write anything that the Muslim might find offensive.
Finally, Hasan called for “similar sized apologies for similar sized nonsense headlines”. He told the Guardian he is a proponent of front page apologies for incorrect front page stories.
Sounds like a great idea — but then the front pages will be full of apologies to foes of jihad terror for all the demonization of us as “bigots,” “racists,” “hatemongers” and “Islamophobes.”
Hasan is a prominent critic of Islamophobia. In 2008, while working at Channel 4, he commissioned and produced an episode of Dispatches on the danger of Islamophobia titled, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Muslim. He has also written regularly about the issue of Muslims’ portrayal in the media.
“Islamophobia” is a term designed to frighten people into thinking it is wrong to oppose jihad terror.