From prominent London-based publications like The Economist to the cartoonist of India's left-leaning newspaper The Hindu, the editorial judgements reek of anti-Muslim hatred.
Muslim bashing hasn't come to a halt even at a time when the whole world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, the contagion is being used to fuel anti-Islam sentiments. From the US to the UK to India, far-right figures, journalists with dubious distinctions and some major publications like The Economist have had no qualms about equating the novel coronavirus with terms like 'jihad' or with stereotypical caricatures of Muslims — as portrayed in a cartoon published by one of India's leading newspapers The Hindu.
"The Hindu" news paper displays a cartoon of Corona virus with Muslim attire. What does this indicate. Are not these blood thirsty mainstreams done with Muslim hatredness?— Ladeeda Farzana (@ladeedafarzana) March 26, 2020
Condemn #Islamophobia pic.twitter.com/pci9ELTMlV
The Economist compared so-called ‘radical Islam’ in the Maldives with Covid-19, saying both are equally contagious in the country. The poorly thought out argument drew ire with people taking to social media and lambasting the London-based weekly newspaper. The Economist later removed the story from its Twitter feed.
Here's how people responded to the newspaper's shockingly xenophobic editorial judgement.
Continue to look for ways that some media outlets instrumentalize #COVIDー19 to heighten #Islamophobia.— Todd Green (@toddhgreen) March 23, 2020
Thanks to @Rowaida_Abdel for grabbing this screenshot before @TheEconomist took down the story and the tweet. pic.twitter.com/ysVqZz84H1
Editor: I need a piece dehumanizing Muslims, fear-mongering, but our editorial priority is COVI—— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) March 23, 2020
writer: I gotchu pic.twitter.com/rkTSg5lozD
When the world is finally uniting in it's humanity, faced with a global pandemic, but your job requires spreading hatred 24/7 and you gotta try be creative.— Maryyum #StayHomeProtectTheNHSSaveLives 💛 Mehmood (@marymood) March 23, 2020
A lot you are being exposed in this #COVIDー19 #coronavirus #COVIDIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/wWC2XuaLsg
Editors of @TheEconomist should be ashamed at themselves for allowing the magazine to be a platform where #COVID19 is exploited for bigotry— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) March 24, 2020
Whilst this specific tweet has now been quietly deleted there's no acknowledgement of the error nor an apology
Where's the accountability? pic.twitter.com/NK8q9aoHpY
Many far-right and racist Twitter users are currently circulating old videos of Muslims praying in London streets. The intention is to misinform people by insinuating that Muslims are violating the lockdown, and sow feelings of discord between the minority community and majority Christian country.
Here's an example of how an old video was being circulated to demonise British Muslims.
Huge announcement on #UKlockdown & while lots of folk focussing on exercise, the big one will be closing down places of worship— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) March 23, 2020
With London mosques, for example, packed out as recently as Friday, how will it pan out if cops start raiding places of worship?
London-based journalist Lizzie Dearden was quick to highlight the absurdity of the shared footage saying it could not have been taken in recent days since it hasn’t rained in the city for over two weeks.
But the video is making rounds on far-right social media networks, despite the fact London has been getting wall-to-wall sunshine since Boris Johnson-led government announced restriction of large gatherings and lockdown in light of the coronavirus threat.
This video is doing the rounds on far-right networks, claiming to show Muslim worshippers violating UK's coronavirus lockdown— Lizzie Dearden (@lizziedearden) March 25, 2020
But in the video, it is clearly raining. It's been wall-to-wall sunshine in London since the new measures came into force.
Don't fall for it. https://t.co/jsSx13Z96b
In the US, some Trump supporters are peddling conspiracy theories, asking people to watch out for the holy month of Ramadan, which will start in mid April.
Amazing. Finally our stealth Ramadan jihad worked!— rabia O'chaudry (@rabiasquared) March 26, 2020
Things aren't any different in Europe either. In early January, Austrian media announced a suspected coronavirus case — a Chinese stewardess — but used an image of a Hijab-wearing woman who was neither Chinese nor a stewardess to illustrate the story.
In China hat sich das Coronavirus ausgebreitet. Ein Verdachtsfall einer chinesischen Stewardess wird nun in Wien untersucht. Und der mediale Bodensatz bebildert das mit einer Frau mit Kopftuch.— ClaudiaZettel (@ClaudiaZettel) January 26, 2020
Wie tief kann man sinken, um Stimmung gegen Menschen zu machen und Ängste zu schüren pic.twitter.com/B4BjI9WAhF
Similarly, many famed media outlets used images of mosques or Muslims as coronavirus hit their borders.
Caveat that the photo on the @nytimes front page rotates... Nonetheless, I find it interesting that #Turkey Turkey is considered "Europe" in this instance. And then we wonder how Islamophobia is perpetuated? pic.twitter.com/u3nW92tgIX— Elmira Bayrasli (@endeavoringE) March 12, 2020
Athenian daily Kathimerini seems to relate coronavirus to only Muslim women wearing burqa living in their natural habitats under the shadow of a mosque and Turkish flag.
[NOTE: The article came from TRT World’s Eyes on Discrimination (EOD) Centre, which monitors and reports on offences, hate crimes and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin and religion, or other related social categories.]