Robert Fisk, the great journalist and apologist for all things Arab, writes in the Independent his regret that mainstream reporting in the UK greatly avoids the use of the word ‘Muslim.’ Unlike the rest of the world, he says, UK journalists prefer to use the wholly inaccurate word ‘Asian.’ In Lebanon, where he lives, no such censorship seems necessary as everyone is quite happy to be identified as a Muslim, Druze, Christian or Jew (if that’s what they are.)
I myself have certainly noticed the regular and widespread use of this device in the British press to disguise the perpetrators as being Muslim. The examples “Asian Sex Grooming Gang – All Named Mohammad – Convicted of Appalling Brutality” or in the respected Wapping Times last week “Man of Asian Appearance Eats Entire Goat Outside London Restaurant Claiming Ramadan Fasting Made Him Suddenly Feel Hungry,” give a clear indication of how devious the press has become. Why the Chinese, Vietnamese or other genuinely Asian groups in the UK don’t complain about this gross deception escapes me. Perhaps they assume that cultural relativism means that everyone should look alike, no matter what ethnic grouping they come from, and it would be racist to suggest otherwise.
In Australia, where everyone (except the Kiwis of course) is assimilated, the Islamic community is quite relaxed about this issue and have come up with a highly-innovative community-outreach program. That being to employ the word ‘Muslim’ when things are all hunky-dory and, when things are really bad (most of the time) apply another word: ‘Islamophobia’.