The amount of negative stories about Muslims in the UK was demonising a whole religion the Leveson Inquiry has heard. Inayat Bunglawala, consultant editor to ENGAGE, appeared at the Inquiry to present evidence on representations of Islam and Muslims in the British media.

In its written submission to the Leveson Inquiry, ENGAGE highlighted the inadequate provisions in the Press Complaints Commission’s Code of Practice to handle third party complaints and its negative cumulative impact on processes for redress of grievance.

It also heard that the excessive media attention granted to fringe Muslim groups to demonised the wider British Muslim population; and instances of gross misrepresentation or fabrication in the production of news stories relating to Islam and British Muslims fuelled a false narrative.

ENGAGE stated in its written submission, “In consideration of the enormous impact of coverage that is proven to be inaccurate, inflammatory, prejudicial and detrimental to the representation of social groups in society, whether composed of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, the exclusion of ‘third party’ complaints is deeply unsatisfactory and remains a grave deficit in the complaints handling powers and procedures of the Press Complaints Commission.

“A more robust system of self-regulation is required, one which mandates the right of third party complainants to challenge misrepresentations, inaccuracies and false reporting.

“British Muslims as a social group collectively suffer from poor media practices, whether this be the excessive attention granted to fringe Muslim groups, like Muslims Against Crusades, by the media or poor fact-checking prior to publication.

“Improving media practices and media responsibility on portraying and reporting fairly on Islam and British Muslims, without bias or discrimination or intent to incite anti-Muslim prejudice, is an urgent concern.”

” We need to organise more of these sessions to enable engagement. “International Symposium on Tackling Extremism

” This course provided a lot of material to consider around my work with those ‘hard to reach’ ” Claire

“This course broadened my knowledge on how youth work can be applied in a Muslim youth work setting” Yasmin

“I have learned what components make up culture and what to be aware of when working with members of the community” Martin

“My personal thoughts on this event is that this is very educational and if these events take place more around the country more youngsters would take part. I learned about respect and participating ” Shahid

“I have been inspired to a lot more with my life” Hamza

“I would recommend this course to other workers in our service, Youth Offending Team, Youth Development and Support Service” Patrick

“Best programme i’ve been on!” Thomas

“Thank you both very much. A very difficult subject handled well.” Police officer

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for the work you did for us in facilitating the workshop at our AGM conference. You will be interested to know that we had very positive feed back on your presentation.” NCVYS (National Council for Voluntary Youth Services)

“It has made me think about ‘expression’; how it is encouraged and supported”
“Extremely informative and well presented” Youth Service Annual Conference

“An innovative set of resources that have helped the pupils at our school really overcome some prejudices” High School – PHSCE Dept.

“MYS came in to provide an excellent inset for staff. The session was interactive, informative and challenged us. We will be inviting them again.” High School

“We need to organise more of these sessions to enable engagement.”

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