Imam Sajid believes that the media “demonizes Islam”. After the Oklahoma bombing, for instance, the world’s media immediately speculated that a Muslim was responsible, “without checking the facts”. One can understand, therefore, Muslim frustration when tabloid headlines scream about Pakistan’s “Muslim bomb”. Britain’s and America’s nuclear arsenal would hardly be called Judeo-Christian.
But not only the tabloid press are to blame, says Philip Lewis, author of Islamic Britain, who, as advisor to the Bishop of Bradford on interfaith issues, also served on the Runnymede Commission. “We found that it was the quality press who were pumping out bile,” he says.
“Replace the word Muslim with Jew in any story on Muslims and it sounds anti-Semitic. That is Islamophobia,” says Yousif al-Khoei, who runs the al-Khoei educational and religious foundation in London.