by Khadijah Ali (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 5, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1443)
Last month (June 6), Canadian Muslims and their friends commemorated the first anniversary of the horrific murder of four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario. They were run over by a pick-up truck in what the London police chief had described as a deliberate act of murder because of the victims’ Islamic faith. The accused, Nathaniel Veltman, now 21, has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
There was outpouring of sympathy immediately after the murder of an entire family—husband and wife and their 15-year-old daughter and her 74-year-old grandmother—as they were out for an evening walk. The only survivor was then 9-year-old Faez. He was badly injured but survived. Crescent International can reveal that the bodies of the victims were so badly mangled because the driver of the pick-up truck repeatedly drove over them that few women were willing to take part in their ritual bathing before burial. Finally, a few dedicated sisters from Toronto went to London, ON, to perform ghusl of the three women whose bodies were so badly mangled.
Vigils were held in cities across Ontario. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as other political leaders attended vigils expressing not only sympathy with the family and the community but also stated, “There is no place for hate in Canada.” Regrettably, little practical action has been taken to address the growing problem of anti-Muslim hatred in Canada.
On the first anniversary of the Afzaal family murder, the Canadian government invited applications from prospective candidates to serve as special representative for combatting Islamophobia. While this is a welcome development, it falls short of what the Muslims have demanded: to make Islamophobia a hate crime in law.
Muslims are still trying to come to grips with the now routine terrorist attacks. Prior to the London murders, there was the gun attack on the Quebec City Mosque on January 29, 2017 that left six dead and 19 injured, one paralyzed from the waist down. In September 2020, the throat of the 58-year-old caretaker was slit in a knife attack as he sat outside the International Muslims Organization (IMO) mosque in Etobicoke, ON.
While Muslims live in fear of the next attack, they also ask why anti-Muslim hatred has turned so deadly even in a multicultural society like Canada? There are powerful forces in the US, Canada and Europe that finance media outlets and other organizations spewing an endless stream of anti-Muslim hatred.
It is a billion-dollar industry. The financiers’ primary purpose is to demonize Muslims so that western regimes can justify wars against Muslim countries. Such demonization also facilitates the passage of oppressive laws at home that target mainly Muslims.
Pro-Israeli groups and their fellow travellers—the Christian zionists—have formed an unholy alliance peddling anti-Muslim bigotry. This is part of their strategy to cushion zionist Israel from criticism as it perpetrates war crimes against the Palestinians.
Two American political scientists—Erik Bleich and A. Maurits van der Veen—in their latest study have revealed some alarming statistics. Published in their 2022 book, Covering Muslims: American Newspapers in Comparative Perspective, they tracked the tone of hundreds of thousands of articles over decades (256,963 articles to be precise “over the 21-year period from Jan. 1, 1996, to Dec. 31, 2016.”) They found “overwhelmingly negative coverage, not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.”
The time period of study is revealing. It predates the 911 attacks that were used as a pretext to launch a full-scale war on Muslims. Millions of Muslims have been murdered by the US and NATO war-machines. One study puts the Muslim death-toll since 911 at more than 32 million (See Dr. Gideon Polya’s book, US-imposed post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide. Professor Polya, of Jewish origins, is anti-zionist.)
In their study, Professors Bleich and Maurits van der Veen make other startling revelations. “Our central finding is that the average article mentioning Muslims or Islam in the United States is more negative than 84% of articles in our random sample. This means that one would likely have to read six articles in US newspapers to find even one that was as negative as the average article touching on Muslims.”
They further write: “Articles that mentioned Muslims were also much more likely to be negative than stories touching on any other group we examined. For Catholics, Jews and Hindus, the proportion of positive and negative articles was close to 50-50. By contrast, 80% of all articles related to Muslims were negative.
“The divergence is striking. Our work shows that the media are not prone to publishing negative stories when they write about other minority religions, but they are very likely to do so when they write about Muslims.”
Unlike most other countries, the American public is quite ignorant. Most Americans do not know why they celebrate the 4th of July. For them, it is merely a holiday and time for fun. Some years ago, a survey among university undergraduates found that 32% believed France shared a border with the US. Some 30% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussain was responsible for the 911 attacks.
While the American education system has a dumbing own effect on people, the media also play a large role in shaping attitudes. This is most striking in case of their attitude toward Muslims. A 2007 Pew Research Center survey of Americans found that people’s negative opinions of Muslims were mostly influenced by what they heard and read in the media.
The question is, why are media outlets hell-bent on projecting Muslims in such negative light? Contrary to the widely held belief, media outlets are not independent. They are controlled by a handful of corporations that not only peddle official propaganda but also need a ready target for demonization. The US establishment and major weapons manufacturers are addicted to war. They need an endless supply of enemies, real or imagined, to continue their wars of aggression and sell wares of mass murder and genocide.
Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping may have become the prime villains in official and media discourse, Muslims continue to remain their favourite target. There is a noxious nexus between the merchants of death, pro-Israeli groups and the media.
American zionists have established charitable organizations that finance anti-Muslim hate through the media. The gambling mogul, Sheldon Adelson (now dead) of “I am a one issue guy, and that issue is Israel” infamy was a leading financier of anti-Muslim bigotry.
In a study titled, Islamophobia in the Mainstream, released in January 2022, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) found that a staggering sum of “$105,865,763 was poured into 26 Islamophobia Network groups between 2017-2019, within the US alone.” The top six funders of anti-Muslim hate were: Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Inc., Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable Fund, Marcus Foundation, the Adelson Family Foundation and the Jewish Communal Fund.
The list of recipients is equally revealing. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the American Freedom Defence Initiative (AFDI), Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and the Middle East Forum (MEF) have all been generously funded.
MEMRI is notorious for inaccurate translations of Arabic and Persian media and peddling anti-Muslim tropes. The AFDI headed by Pamela Geller who is a notorious Islamophobe, is well-known as an extremist anti-Muslim hate group. “Its demeaning print media advertising has likened Muslims to savages”, according to CAIR’s report.
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is an anti-Palestinian group. Far from promoting accuracy in Middle East reporting, its primary purpose is to distort news and justify Israeli crimes. Daniel Pipes of Middle East Forum is another notorious Islamophobe. His life’s mission is to denigrate Muslims and Islam. He has used racist language against Muslims in attempts to demean them.
Not surprisingly, murderous attacks on Muslims continue unabated and the authorities do little or nothing to protect Muslim citizens.