Ask the Govt to define Islamophobia & show solidarity with Muslims

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What we want

Legislative changes to define Islamophobia and adopt a formal definition into law. Such a change will bring in much needed accountability for the media which fosters hate speech and division within our communities.

Why is this important?

Defining Islamophobia is the only way to fight it! Right now, there is no definition of what constitutes as Islamophobia.

Defining Islamophobia will not only help challenge it but build a common understanding of its cause and consequences, and express solidarity with your Muslim communities.

Why hold media to account?

An Islamophobic headline plastered over our national newspapers has far greater implication than individual comments on social media. Yet, while individuals can be punished for up to 14 years for hate speech, powerful media companies remain unaccountable.

Daily Islamophobic statements in the media continue unchecked for bias because there are no consequences. Clearly, the media believes a public platform does not come with social responsibility. Earlier this week Media company NZME removed some of its online content in the wake of Christchurch shootings because it was "upsetting people" [1] As one user put it “It's not enough to quietly remove your complicity in the racism and hate (and lies) that created this”

You’d be forgiven for thinking there is no bias in our media, however in 2017 New Zealand media featured 14,349 stories that included the word Islam - nearly 13,000 of those stories mentioned either terrorism or Islamic Jihad [2]

A new study of six newspapers in Australia found 2,891 negative stories about Islam and Muslims in a single 12 months [2017] [3] Per day this represents 8 negative stories!

Headlines in Britain “Muslims Silent on Terror,” [later refuted by UK officials], “Muslims Tell British: Go to Hell,”, “Muslim Schools Ban Our Culture,” are commonplace [3]. Often, they are retracted when challenged for bias. But, the damage is already done!

Is it any wonder the Christchurch mosque terrorist came to view the world as locked in a violent battle against Muslims he deemed “invaders,”? We are told Muslims are violent and Islam preaches violence. How did Muslims react in the aftermath of Christchurch? So, why does the media keep pushing beliefs and teachings antithetical to Islam.

Do we continue to give free reign to our news media which is intent on making us more violent.

What is the price of lives lost in Christchurch. We’ve all looked the other way in the face of racism, now is the time to do something different.

Aaliya, Safia, Marian, Leslie

References 
1) https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/111376467/upset-following-christchurch-shootings-prompts-nzme-to-take-some-content-offline 
2) https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018687496/mediawatch-midweek-20-march-2019 
3) https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/rupert-murdoch-s-islamophobic-media-empire-25079


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