The obsession of some of our media: succeeding in linking a news item to Islam and Muslims, or, failing that, abandoning it.

The obsession of some of our media: succeeding in linking a news item to Islam and Muslims, or, failing that, abandoning it.

The CFCM deplores the serious drift that media treatment is taking in our country. This partisan and oriented treatment of information, which aims to make Islam and Muslims a subject of anxiety and major concern for our fellow citizens, to instill fear and, sometimes even, to incite hatred, must be denounced and fought.

Indeed, it is clear that when a news item occurs and the sound of the suspect's first name suggests that he is Muslim, everything is done in some of our media to link this news to Islam and Muslims, even when it has nothing to do with religion.

The suspect's first name “with Muslim connotations” appears everywhere, and almost becomes a more important subject than the act or offense itself. The facts then became the subject of exceptional media coverage and Muslims as a whole were singled out.

Conversely, when facts concern individuals whose first name would not a priori have “Muslim connotations”, the first name in question almost never appears and leaves room for anonymity. The cases in question are very quickly ignored, abandoned and quickly disappear from our media, even when they are extremely serious.

Thus, the terrible knife attack which took place in Australia on Saturday April 13, 2024, causing 6 victims and injuries including a baby, first made the front page of the CNEWS channel with specialists who explained live that the suspect would be of “Eastern” origin and that “Australia seems to us to be a calm country, but there have been multiple incidents linked to radical Islam and terrorism”. When we learned that the attacker was called Joël Cauchi, this media immediately ceased to have any interest in this drama.

In an investigation by the newspaper Mediapart dealing with this media drift, we learned, for example, that an editor-in-chief of the Cnews channel would have sent, in an editorial Whattsapp group, the following instructions for the treatment of a news item in a college in Cholet: “Affaire de Cholet let it go!!! There was no reference to the Koran!!!”.

The fact that our media concentrates solely on the misdeeds committed by Muslim individuals or presumed to be such, and amplifies them, while neglecting other news that is sometimes more serious but which cannot be linked to Islam, contributes to manipulation and nauseating propaganda contrary to journalistic ethics and the fair, equitable and objective treatment of information.

It is also contrary to the values ​​and principles that underpin our Democracy and our rule of law.

It is also one of the sources of racism and anti-Muslim acts which are only growing dangerously in our country.

Paris, April 15, 2024

The French Council of Muslim Worship