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  1. #81
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    Australia - Islam in the Media 2017


    By The Numbers

    These are the results of a year-long investigation into Australia’s media coverage of Islam and Muslims.

    For the entire year of 2017, OnePath Network tracked how 5 of Australia’s biggest newspapers reported on Islam. We wanted to see exactly how the media portrayed the 2.6% of the Australian population that identify as Muslim, and whether or not journalists and columnists were fair in their coverage. This is what we found.

    Whilst it isn’t exactly news that newspapers like the Daily Telegraph and The Australian talk about Islam a lot, what is really shocking is just how much they do it. We focused on 5 newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch’s company News Ltd., namely the Australian, the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail and the Advertiser. In these 5 newspapers alone, we found almost 3000 articles that referred to Islam or Muslims alongside words like violence, extremism, terrorism or radical.

    That’s over 8 articles a day in the Murdoch press-slamming Muslims. If all of those were put together, that would be a full double-page spread. Every single day.

    We also found 152 front pages over the year that featured Islam in some negative capacity. A lot of the time, these articles and exclusives were the featured item, the most important story for selling the newspaper.

    When we looked more closely, we saw that certain names came up time and time again, as they have been for almost 2 decades. We looked into 6 of the most controversial commentators in the Australian news media, including figures like Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Janet Albrechtsen. On average, 31% of their opinion pieces were devoted to Islam, with the overwhelming majority of them being negative and divisive in nature. For Jennifer Oriel, that number was 54%. Even though they are stated to be “opinion” pieces, they are often written as fact and encourage.


    more at link below.


    Whilst a general overview clearly shows just how disproportionate the negative coverage of Islam is, it’s only when you zoom in and see the actual issues that the obsessive and unnecessary nature of the coverage becomes clear. And it wasn’t just about terrorism. Many of the most absurd and overblown examples of coverage come from issues that the Murdoch media highlighted by themselves, dragging the rest of Australia into their worldview. Here’s a couple of ridiculous highlights from a year of crazy coverage.


    Media coverage of Islam does not exist in a vacuum of facts and objectivity. The reality is, print news is a struggling industry, and a very effective method for selling newspapers is fear, sensation, and drama. The more that these methods are normalised, the more they will be used against anybody who the media paints as the next ‘enemy’ of ‘Australian values’. As Charles Morton from Victoria Police Media put it, “At the end of the day, they want to shift newspapers” (Ewart 2016).

    This is not just an issue of bias or exaggeration in individual reports. As we found in our research, the overwhelming scale of association between Islam and terror, extremism, violence, and oppression through phrasing and word choice is far more significant than any isolated events or reports. If 2891 articles include the phrase “Islamic terrorism” or “Muslim oppression”, those ideas stick.

    This is coupled with stereotypical pictures and images on front-pages and feature stories that are prominently shown in order to sell more papers. These images have been shown to significantly shape the way Islam and Muslims are framed in the public eye (Ewart 2017). In fact there have been a high number of incidents in which images have had to be withdrawn and apologies made for incorrect associations with events. Many newspapers seem to have a policy of “show the face, apologise later.” This kind of approach not only affects public perceptions, it has serious ramifications on the individuals that these papers choose to ‘name and shame’, whether correctly or not.

    However, what is said and shown is only one aspect of the equation. As Thomas Huckin points out, “what is not said and/or written is equally powerful because of the ideological role it plays” (Patil 2016). It is simply naive to think that journalists don’t have a choice in what they choose to talk about, and that those choices don’t have consequences on the public’s perception.



    In 2016, an Essential Report found that 49% of Australians supported a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia. Another poll by the Australian National University found that 71% of Australians were concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism locally. In the same year however, researchers at Griffith University found that 70% of Australians believed that they themselves knew “little to nothing about the religion and its adherents” (O’Donnell 2017), despite the disproportionate coverage of Islam and Muslims in the media shown above.

    It takes a special kind of fear mongering and sensationalism to convince the majority of a nation to ban a community they themselves recognise they know almost nothing about. It is simply naive to ignore the serious role the media plays in making Muslims seem ‘different’ to the rest of Australian society. As Anne Aly, an academic and MP for Cowan, put it:“In the popular Australian media… Muslims have been characterized as non-members of the Australian community – relegating them to the space of the ‘other’, alien, foreign and incompatible with Australian cultural values.” (Aly 2007)

    In 2016, 2,886 Australians died in relation to suicide, whilst 0 people died from a terrorist attack on Australian soil. Yet in the 2017 budget, the federal government allocated $7.2 million to the ANZ Counter-Terrorism Committee, and only $2.1 million to suicide prevention and awareness. That is not to take away from the work that our police and intelligence agencies do to keep us safe. But it’s essential that we remember that our beliefs as a society do not just affect how we view or treat the individuals around us. They shape government policy, institutional agendas and cultural norms. And those things have a far greater power to harm a community that is already struggling to find its place in Australian society.

    In 2017, the Islamophobia Register Australia published the report Islamophobia in Australia: 2014-2016, which found “an observable coincidence between spikes of vilification reported to the Islamophobia Register and terror attacks, anti-terror legislation and negative media coverage of high profile Muslim leaders” (Iner 2017), such as the with the case of the Grand Mufti. It also showed that the majority of Islamophobic insults were not related to terrorism, meaning that simply the existence and visibility of Muslims and Islam is now the main motivation behind these hate attacks.

    Aly also noted that “attempts by Muslims to articulate their views and opinions in the popular media often draw opposition from the public about accommodating the needs of Muslims” (Aly 2007). This can clearly be seen in the case of Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s infamous Q&A appearance and ANZAC day post, or in the debates surrounding Halal food.In other words, whether Muslims stay silent and take the heat, or ‘play the game’ and push back, the result is the same: public animosity and resentment of Islam in Australia.


    If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that we have a serious lack of faith in journalism, and for good reason. A Pew Poll in January 2018 found that whilst people around the world “overwhelmingly agree that the news media should be unbiased… many [say] their media do not deliver.” We are grappling with the critical question of what ethical journalism really is, and so far we haven’t found the answer. All we do know is that our current approach is not working.

    There are certain actions we can all take that will benefit our situation. Building relationships between communities is one of the most effective ways to ensure that we do the right thing by each other. For journalists and media outlets, that means any coverage that alienates or dehumanises a community is simply bad reporting, and needs to be avoided. Strong relationships at an individual and organisational level allow legitimate voices to be heard, and legitimate issues to be addressed.

    For everyone else, that means better understanding where and how we get our news. If we know the difference between a trustworthy story and an untrustworthy story, the financial and political incentive for fake news drastically decreases. When we hold the media to a higher standard, they will have no choice but to meet it.


  2. #82
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    The Sun pays fines for falsely accusing Muslim couple in "Trojan Horse" plot

    The Sun pays out 'substantial damages' after wrongly claiming couple part of Islamic 'Trojan Horse' plot to take over primary school

    The Sun has paid “substantial damages” to a Muslim couple whom it wrongly alleged were involved in a “Trojan Horse” plot to take over a primary school and enforce a “separatist agenda”.

    The paper has apologised to Nasim Ashraf and his wife Hafizan Zaman ovre articles published in 20 February last year, including a column by former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie.

    False allegations included that the married couple were involved in a violent plot to take over Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham and that Zaman had “told staff to wear the [Islamic] veil”.

    The Sun said: “We now recognise these allegations are unfounded, and they were not involved in any alleged Trojan Horse plot.

    We apologise to Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman for the distress caused. We have agreed to pay substantial damages and their legal costs.”

    The allegations were said to be supported by a leaked report from Oldham Council.

    But, lawyers for the pair said Ashraf was “described by a headteacher at another school as a model parent” and that the council has said he was “an individual who is very active within the faith communities of Oldham”.

    Contrary to the allegations made by The Sun, the report confirmed that he is not an “extremist”
    said a spokesperson for Rahman Lowe Solicitors, who represented the couple.

    Ashraf said: “Hafizan and I are pleased that the Sun has agreed to set the record straight by apologising and making clear that the allegations reported in the articles are untrue and wholly without foundation.

    “The agreement to pay substantial damages and legal costs reflects the gravity of the allegations that were made against us.

    “We are living in times where anti-Muslim hate and discrimination are increasing day by day and the Muslim community is constantly on the receiving end of false allegations.

    “Unfortunately, the media has played a role in this which in turn only serves the interests of the far right, neo conservatives and those that wish to create division, rather than mutual respect and unity within our diverse communities in the UK.”

    It is understood Ashraf and Zaman are also pursuing a legal claim against The Times. Last week, Press Gazette reported that the Telegraph had also apologised and paid damages over similar claims.

    The Sun’s apology in full:

    Articles on 20 February 2017 suggested Nasim Ashraf and Hafizan Zaman were involved in an alleged ‘Trojan horse’ plot to take over Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham.

    We said this involved violence and threats, that Mr Ashraf held Islamic teaching sessions, and Mrs Zaman told staff to wear the veil.

    We now recognise these allegations are unfounded, and they were not involved in any alleged Trojan Horse plot.

    We apologise to Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman for the distress caused. We have agreed to pay substantial damages and their legal costs.



    This is how you get islamophobe bigots and haters in line, hurt them where it hurts (finanically).

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    Fake news: 'Mass sexual assault' by refugees at New Year in Germany

    Fears over the influx of migrants and refugees into Europe has led to the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany

    by Alex MacDonald - 15 February 2017

    The UK's Daily Express had the story on its platforms until shortly after the Bild apology (screengrab)

    Reports of a mass sexual assault by refugees in Frankfurt on New Years Eve were fabricated according to German police.

    The right-wing newspaper Bild reported last week that 900 drunk refugees had been involved in the mass sex attack and quoted a number of witnesses and victims' testimony.

    "I can be happy that I wore sheer tights. They [the migrants] grabbed me under the skirt, between my legs, my breasts, everywhere," one alleged victim, Irina, was quoted as saying.

    Another witness, a local pub owner, said that his pub had been "full with a group of around 50 Arabs."

    "They did not speak German, drank our guests' drink and danced towards them. The women asked me for help because they were being attacked. The mood changed completely."

    The quotes were also used in the right-wing British tabloid Daily Express.

    Police dismiss story

    However, on Wednesday German police said that the accusations were "without foundation" and that they were investigating those who had made the alleged comments.

    "The interrogations of the witnesses, guests, and staff have created considerable doubts about the portrayal of events," the police told the press.

    "A person allegedly affected by the actions was not in the city at all when the crime occurred."

    Following this, Bild removed the story from their website and their online editor-in-chief apologised for running it.

    However, the Daily Express still carried the story online at the time of this article's publication. It was eventually replaced with a version that mentioned the Bild apology.

    Rise of anti-refugee sentiment

    Fears over the influx of migrants and refugees into Europe has led to the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany and seen a rise in poll numbers for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

    However, the AfD's popularity took a knock after comments by the party's Thuringia state chairman in which he referred to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial as a "monument of shame", leading to his expulsion

    The party, which was originally founded in 2013 on an anti-euro platform, shifted geared to rail against immigrants after 2015's mass influx of refugees from Syria.

    It is setting its sights on winning its first seats in national parliament in general elections on 24 September.

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    This is how Fox News spreads hate: How right-wing media tells lies about Islam

    The media highlights extreme voices; GOP wingnuts amplify irrationality; An expert explains how the madness works

    by Paul Rosenberg - Mar 17, 2015

    It may be hard to fathom or remember, but in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the American public responded with an increased level of acceptance and support for Muslims. President Bush—who had successfully courted the Muslim vote in 2000—went out of his way to praise American Muslims on numerous occasions in 2001 and 2002. However, the seeds were already being planted that would change that drastically over time. Within a few short years, a small handful of fringe anti-Muslim organizations—almost entirely devoid of any real knowledge or expertise, some drawing on age-old ethno-religious conflicts—managed to hijack the public discourse about Islam, first by stoking fears, grabbing attention with their emotional messaging, then by consolidating their newfound social capital, forging ties with established elite organizations, and ultimately building their own organizational and media infrastructure.

    How this all happened is the subject of a fascinating new book, “Terrified: How Anti-Muslim Fringe Organizations Became Mainstream,” by sociologist Christopher Bail, of the University of North Carolina. The book not only lays bare the behind-the-scenes story of a momentous shift in public opinion, it employs cutting-edge computer analysis techniques applied to large archives of data to develop a new theoretical outlook, capable of making sense of the whole field of competing organizations struggling to shape public opinion, not just studying one or two the most successful ones. The result is not only a detailed account of a specific, significant, and also very pernicious example of cultural evolution, but also a case study in how to more rigorously study cultural evolution more generally in the future. In the process, it sheds considerable light on the struggles involved, and the difficulties faced by those trying to fight back against this rising tide of misdirected fear, anger and hatred.

    For those perplexed by the explosive spread of anti-Mosque hysteria, or legislation to combat the non-existent threat of Sharia law, Bail’s account provides an in-depth view of how the broader cultural landscape has been reshaped in ways which make such panics possible, if not virtually inevitable. For those who want to fight back, there are no easy answers here. But there is a very fruitful starting point for beginning to ask the right sorts of questions. Salon discussed Bail’s work three years ago, following publication of his research in the American Sociological Review. Now that his book has been published, we interviewed him at length about the full scope of his work, and what it has to teach us. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

    There Interview

    Your book has a very important subject–how formerly fringe anti-Muslim organizations came to dominate the mainstream of political discourse over time, but it also has even broader implications in terms of (a) advancing a general theory of the cultural evolution in response to crises, and (b) advancing a set of tools and methods to study that evolution.


    Could you first talk about how you came to the project, what drew you to it, and what led to the development of the theory and what it says?

    I began my earlier work on immigration in Europe and I lived in Britain for a short time, and immediately became aware of the high-level politicization of the Muslim community there, and the higher levels of tension between Muslims and non-Muslims. This was shortly after the September 11 attack, and I really didn’t know much about Islam in the U.S. at the time. But when I came back I was eager to learn more. I was surprised to see how few Muslim American organizations had a high enough public profile to really help Americans understand what Islam was. And in their place I, like a lot of Americans, started clicking around on the Internet, and was pretty quickly confronted by a dense web of networks that saw Muslims, and particularly Muslim Americans, as a fifth column, secretly plotting to overthrow the United States government, in the guise of political correctness.

    There just seemed—in my limited experience with Muslims in the U.S., but also my significant experience with Muslims in the UK—this just didn’t ring true. I’ve been working on some other work about the media and cultural change more broadly, and so I came to the conclusion that this is kind of a ideal case study, the social construction of an entire group of people within the media, and of course this coincided with an explosion of big data. When I first started writing this book, we didn’t even have the term “big data” yet, but we were certainly enamored of the potential these new data sources to let us look at the spread of cultural narratives, or scripts as unprecedented scale, and so I think the combination of those, my biographical experience, my pressing theoretical questions, and then the opportune coincidence of big data are really the story of how the book came together.

    In the book, you talk about your theory as being both ecological and evolutionary. What do those terms mean more concretely and specifically?

    I use the term “ecological” to counter the tendency for academics to focus on individual organizations, instead of vast fields of organizations. I think it’s a big problem because when you focus on one organization, particularly a successful organization, you tend to get a very myopic perspective on how that organization succeeded in creating cultural change. In fact, you only probably come to study the organization precisely because it’s created some sort of cultural change, and so you begin to confuse the characteristics of a successful organization with the causes of an organization becoming influential.

    This is where I think evolutionary ways of thinking are really important. A big story in my book is the tendency for media rich [organizations] to shape a lot of outcomes outside the media. So, for example, when these anti-Muslim fringe groups develop a high profile after September 11, they use their privileged position to forge ties to other organizations, service groups, and so on. And this enables them to effectively create a sea change not only in how Islam appears in the media, but how people think about Islam outside the media. And so we see this kind of sounding board effect, where the more a rumor is repeated, in them more and more high profile and official setting, the more it becomes true.

    So much of the story of the book is about the evolution of this fringe narrative, from a group of kind of hawkish neocons whose careers are mostly over, to a point where nearly every candidate in the 2008 Republican election is warning about the advance of Sharia law, and the looming threat of Islamism for the future of Western civilization. And now more recently, of course, we see the spread of this to people like Bobby Jindal, again, very high profile, very mainstream, public figures, reproducing this message of so-called “no go zones” in Paris.

    So the idea is really to think about cultural change, about the tendency for media coverage of fringe groups to set in motion a chain of processes that allows them to rise to public prominence precisely because of the efforts of mainstream organizations to prevent them from doing so. So it’s sort of a story about the unintended consequences of media coverage, I suppose, to put it simply

    Maybe it would help to break that story down a bit in terms what the main turning points of your story. You talk first about how the fringe first gained disproportionate attention and then how the response to them backfired, and then led to the splintering of the mainstream. Could you sketch that out a bit?

    Prior to the September 11 attacks, what I call mainstream Muslim organizations, or those that produce common messages about Muslims—and these are mostly pro-Muslim messages, both before and after September 11—enjoyed pretty substantial public influence, both within the media, but also in elite political circles. So Muslims voted for Bush, 3-to-1 in the 2000 election, they enjoyed private audiences with Bush, and Cheney, and of course all this “changed,” the thing that didn’t change was people continue to produce overwhelmingly pro-Muslim messages about Islam, but themedia gravitated to the small group of fringe organizations, because—I argue—because of the emotional tenor of their messages.

    Sociologist and social psychologists have long recognized that during periods of crisis people tend to look for sources of information that validate their feelings, and this is both an individual level, and also in the societal level, so journalists searching to figure out the true meaning of Islam may be more likely to gravitate to towards the crazy person waving a sword rather than the rather more calm, measured, dispassionate person giving a lengthy theological explanation of the tenets of Islam.

    This really has two functions: one it attracts a lot of attention, and then to get your second question, it also provoked a pretty significant response from the mainstream.

    For example, one popular claim was that Muslim extremists had infiltrated the White House, the more mainstream Muslim organizations became very angry about those accusations, along with a lot of other accusations about Islam being inherently violent or so on and so forth. They shifted their style from this dispassionate discourse, trying to use technical language from the Koran to distinguish the true nature of Islam from what’s promoted by groups like Al Qaeda, and they switch to a much more angry tone. So, in other words, the amplification of the emotional fringe discourse promotes an equally emotional response in the mainstream, that had the unintended consequence of a further increase in the profile of the fringe.

    This is what I call the riptide in the book. This is in keeping with the environmental metaphor I use throughout the book, of kind of flowing waters. This pulls mainstream organizations further out to sea, precisely as they struggle against the current that’s drawing them out there. This not only increases the profile of the fringe organizations, but it also begins to create internal tensions within the mainstream organizations that will ultimately lead to the breakdown of the mainstream.

    For example, you may recall from the book, there is a series of debates within mainstream organizations about whether and how to engage [anti-Muslim] fringe organizations, and one side of the argument is people who say we don’t stand up to them that will leave them to define Islam to the American public because at the time at least they were dominating the public discourse about Islam. On the other hand, there are those who realize that in engaging them, they risked increasing their profile, and moreover that Muslims should not be forced to apologize for the type of terrorist groups that they believe were not inspired by Islam. And so this creates a rift within, particularly within mainstream Muslim organizations about whether Muslims need to do more to denounce terrorism.

    Now, of course, they are denouncing terrorism. I have this line from a world leader in the book; he denounces terrorism so often that he could “do it in his sleep.” But you know, the media is not covering it because he’s not doing it in an angry sensational way that causes the celebrity of the fringe. Instead the medias amplifying this angry response, which in turn feeds into this narrative of the fringe groups that Muslim organizations are not peaceful moderate organizations they proclaim themselves to be, instead they are secretly terrorist sympathizers who you don’t see condemned terrorism because they secretly condone it.

    And so, by this point, the rift within the mainstream Muslim community comes to, kind of substantiate some of the claims being made by the fringe groups, the anti-Muslim fringe groups. So that’s kind of the series of events in the evolutionary process that I was talking about earlier.

    After the initial phase of fringe groups gaining a bigger visibility than was warranted, either by knowledge or size, you point out that emotions alone were not enough to consolidate the shift in the cultural landscape, that other factors had to fall into place. Organizational links and fundraising are two of the things that you point to. Could you you elaborate on what you found out about those two factors and how you measured them?

    The question for the fringe groups is how they move from being peripheral actors in the conversation to gaining entry to the really high-level conversations were they can really achieve influence. It happened in multiple stages. On the one hand, fringe organizations reached out in conservative circles; on the other hand, they were immediately recruited as authorities on Islam, precisely because they were the only so-called experts about Islam who were regularly featured in the media. So there’s a self-reinforcement process, where the social construction of their expertise happened partly because of their emotional charisma. But they pretty quickly forge ties to elites: conservative organizations, Republican Jewish coalitions, the American Enterprise Institute, and so on and so forth, and the question that’s interesting to a sociologist is how bonds develop and how you routinize emotions into networks.

    There are sociologists and social psychologists who have produced a pretty long literature that explains how shared fears create really durable social bonds and so that’s the primary mechanism I talk about in the book for the routinization of emotions into the social networks that enable anti-Muslim fringe organizations to establish ties to elite circles, but then also to expand their own media infrastructure via movies, creating subsidiary organizations, and they really become able to create their own media spectacle, rather than depending on the media spectacle create the story.

    It’s really a story about how emotions become imprinted within these relationships, but then that story of the emotional transmission of these bonds kinds of falls apart, or becomes invisible, a few years out, and these once-fringe actors are perceived as world-renowned experts about Islam. So that ability to disguise their fringe roots is critical to their success. This is not an unconscious effort, it was something that was very carefully orchestrated.

    Could you say a bit more about how you measured this process? I think that’s really something distinctive about the big data movement, and how it figured into your work.

    My approach was use a combination of traditional discourse analysis and with some automated method. With a team of research assistants I collected every press release produced by what I call civil society organizations and non-state nonprofits organization that was designed to manage and shape public discourse about Islam, and these can be identified by the large text archive. You can look at hundreds of thousands of press releases, in really no time.

    Then we decided we needed to develop a coding scheme, to differentiate the general ways of talking about Islam. I could go into that, if you’d like.

    Yes, please do.

    What we found was a reasonable way to categorize these press releases, to look at essentially five different ways you could talk about Muslims. The first is a kind of universalist approach, that just says no religion endorses terrorism, Islam is one of the world’s great religions, and it’s no more violent than any other, religion, and therefore Muslims deserve our protection, and they’re really the most tragic victim of the rise of things like Al Qaeda. So that’s a very common discourse after 9/11.

    Then, kind of the other extreme is what we call the anti-Muslim discourse, it describes any discourse that suggest all Muslims have the potential to become radical extremists, so that Islam is a continuous from people who are moderate and people to those who are required to commit violence against infidels or nonbelievers. These kinds of texts say things like Islam is inherently violent religion, or Muslims all prefer to see the violent takeover of the West by Islam, given the opportunity, these types of things.

    Then there’s a variety discourses in between. So, one is what I call in the book a battle for the hearts and minds narrative, that’s kind of “most Muslims are good, some Muslims are bad, so we need to empower the majority against the extremist minority.” And that’s another very common discourse you see. But it’s not anti-Muslim, because it recognizes that most Muslims are not intrinsically violent and they suffer from groups like Al Qaeda. Then you see what I call a Muslim empowerment narrative. This is a somewhat rare kind of discourse; in it not only are Muslims not responsible for terrorism and not only does Islam not have anything to do with terrorism, but Islam is actually less violent than the Judeo-Christian religions against the historical record. And so these would be occasionally mostly Muslim groups, would bring up this kind of narrative.

    The last one is like a blurring narrative, which is very similar to the first narrative dimension. It says we should blur the boundaries between Muslims and non-Muslims because we’re also similar, and we’re all in this together and against terrorists.

    One of the bigger methodological innovations of the book is to modify a plagiarism detection software algorithm in order to pick up how much resonance, or coverage, influence, each press release gains within a very large sample of newspapers articles television transcripts, government documents, social media messages, that mention Muslims. And, so the neat thing about the plagiarism detection algorithm is it allows us not only to identify whether an organization achieves influence, but what type of influence they achieve. So being able to qualitatively confirm the positive influence of an organization was an important methodological advance.

    You touch on some significant developments in the media and politics, which from your theory appear more as secondary effects, though they’re certainly significant in their own right. These include the spread of laws purporting to outlaw Sharia law, and the spread of activism to prevent the building of mosques, or in some cases, even just Muslim community centers. Could you talk about how these two movements fit into the larger cultural processes that you described?

    First, I don’t think either of these movements would’ve occurred, or at least at such scale, absent the rise of anti-Muslim organizations within the public sphere and the sea change in public discourse about Islam. The anti-Sharia law movement in particular is really carefully orchestrated by several of the organizations I study in the book. I apply the same plagiarism detection algorithm to look at model legislation introduced by these organizations and compared to the final text that was produced in each state and I find that very high levels of influence. So it really appears these organizations had a lot of influence convincing lawmakers to propose, and in many cases pass, these laws.

    The really remarkable thing is that this narrative, that Muslims are secretly trying to advance Sharia law on the United States, gained a foothold, when there’s really just no evidence there. There’s no evidence of a concerted attempt by Muslims or Muslim-American organizations to create such legal changes. Even more importantly, there’s no mechanism within the U.S. Constitution for Sharia to ever supersede U.S. law. In fact, it’s only permitted in cases of individual arbitration, the U.S. company seeks damages in Saudi Arabia, and therefore agrees to have a hearings informed by sharia principles, because that’s the rule of the land in Saudi Arabia, or maybe a husband-and-wife seeking a divorce.

    So, I do think that the success of that campaign depended on the newfound gravitas of these anti-Muslim organizations, and their dense political ties, but also to, relative obscurity of most mainstream organizations who might be situated to discredit those claims,. And the key issue there, by this point, once anti-Muslim organizations have achieved their high status in the public sphere they’re able to leverage that position to cast genuinely mainstream organizations as radicals.

    In the book, I give the case about the Holy Land Foundation, which was a somewhat controversial case. During the trial, a document was circulated that basically listed four or five of the largest Muslim American organizations as unindicted co-conspirators to channel money to al Qaeda. This was particularly absurd because (a) there was just no evidence of any kind of extremism among these organizations, but then also because it was later determined that this list was generated by a letter or a memo that was circulated by an obscure fringe actor in the Muslim Brotherhood in which he proposed that the Muslim Brotherhood should advance a jihad against American civilization, and overturn America’s wicked ways and so on and so forth. When you talk to Muslim leaders, or again, experts in the field, you learn that this was widely viewed just as a rantings of a single individual, and yet this was held up as a strong evidence of the linkage between Muslim groups and terrorism. And so, to this day many of these groups still struggle to free themselves from accusations that they secretly endorse terrorism.

    So, to answer the question about how these developments are possible, I can’t say with absolute certainty that anti-Muslim organizations created each and every mosque controversy for example. But I think one of the more powerful effects of this type of sea change in public opinion is when the manipulation that went on becomes invisible. So Americans develop increasingly cold attitudes towards Islam, not only because they are repeatedly exposed to sensational messages about Muslims by most anti-Muslim groups, but also because there’s no counterargument that’s visible within the public sphere—apart from the image of an angry Muslim was complaining about so-called Islamophobia, or anti-Muslim attitudes. This, of course, reinforces the narrative of the anti-Muslim organizations that all these groups are secretly endorsing terrorism.

    What would you say is the most surprising things you learned from your research?

    I guess the surprising thing was that I was heartened to learn that America was not simply reacting in a kind of nativist way to Islam, and that there was actually a struggle, and I think there continues to be a struggle, and it’s a critically important one. The real tragedy here is not only that these anti-Muslim organizations have come to disseminate a narrative that’s really untrue, but also that Americans attitudes about Islam are starting to reverberate internationally.

    Okay, to switch from surprising, what are the most important things to take away from your research, first for society as a whole, and then for the research community? For people who are trying to deepen their understanding what’s most important in either sense?

    This expertise isn’t just going on in the media. In the book, we didn’t talk much about the chapter where I discuss the influence of anti-Muslim organizations on counterterrorism policy, but that is a really troubling issue. If you have people who have no credentials to study religion or the Middle East or Islam, and no language skills, and presumably little experience with Islam itself—though I can’t say with certainty, but—you windup having the blind leading the blind. Thousands of New York Police Department officers watching videos produced by anti-Muslim organizations, and these are meant to increase our capacity to recognize terrorism? Simply stating that radical Islamism is on the rise and hidden, and inside our front door? I think a much more effective approach, of course, would be to engage these mainstream organizations that have been completely marginalized, and yet are uniquely positioned to discredit the claims of extremists, and also to create a pro-U.S. message abroad, and also to prevent what little radicalism does exist in the Muslim American community.

    A slightly different question: What are the most troubling problems that were left with for society – what light does your book throw on the problems that remain?

    I think the biggest problem with fringe organizations in particular, they’re just really profound dilemma that the mainstream faces, not just anti-Muslim or organizations that any kind of fringe organization, which is again if you try to ignore them you risk forfeiting the conversation and if you try to engage them you increase their power to define the conversation. So I completely sympathize, in my case of course, with Muslim organizations having found themselves locked into a conversation which is not of their choosing. How you prevent the spread of this type of thing, particularly in moments of crisis when, again, emotions are so powerful and so prone to spread because of shared fear and so forth? This is really a profound dilemma.

    Yes. Maybe troubling would be the wrong word, but what’s the most urgent problem that you see on the dashboard of the unsolved problems, the intellectual challenges that come out of your work?

    I think one really big one that I’m trying to currently work on is whether what happens in the public sphere—so, in the media or the policy process, even in social media texts—really translates into how individuals think. I think my book presents a nice overview of how things evolve in the public sphere and it shows suggestive evidence that what goes on in the public sphere has influence outside the public sphere. But we really haven’t yet seen how a message travels from, say, social media into someone’s deepest darkest thoughts, where they begin to contemplate things like attacking a mosque or even worse taking someone’s life, or attacking someone.

    That goes to the other side of this equation too. So the battle for hearts and minds, so to speak is currently waged on social media sites, around ISIS recruiters recruiting young Muslims, both in South Asia and North Africa in Southeast Asia, but also in America. So thinking about whether and how these largely online narratives come to shape off-line behavior, I think it’s really critical. There’s a lot of evidence of recruiting, terrorist recruiting happens through these avenues.

    I think this is a very big problem and it can’t be solved by a single study, it needs many studies of many different areas, with many different methods, many different types of people. But as social scientists, it’s also the $60 million question – how do you influence people? And how do you create enduring shifts that will help country like the U.S. create a counter narrative to group like ISIS. How you do that? That’s a really big question, that I plan to spend most of my career trying to solve.


    This was published a while ago and since then CAIR has published reports exposing these "fringe organizations" as the Islamophobia network. The below links show these reports and a website showing people behind them.

    Islamophobia Network

    Fear, Inc

    Fear, Inc 2.0

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    BBC retracts false statement about Haitham al Haddad’s views on Jews

    The BBC has published a retraction of a statement made by presenter Andrew Neil in which he claimed the prominent Islamic scholar Haitham al Haddad said Jews were descended from pigs.

    Neil made the claim on BBC1’s This Week show on 5 March 2015. The statement was based on an inaccurate internet post attributing words to Dr al-Haddad that he had never said.

    The BBC had not corroborated or checked the internet site with Dr al-Haddad before broadcasting Mr Neil’s statement as a statement of fact.

    The BBC has now published the following retraction:

    This Week, BBC One, 5 March 2015
    During an episode of This Week broadcast by the BBC on 5 March 2015, the BBC made a number of statements about Dr Haitham al-Haddad. One was that Dr al-Haddad believed that Jews were descended from pigs. Dr al-Haddad has made clear to the BBC that he has never stated that Jews were descended from pigs and that the BBC had referenced an incorrectly attributed sermon. The BBC accepts Dr al-Haddad’s assurance that he has not stated that “Jews are descended from pigs”. It has withdrawn this allegation and confirms that it will not repeat it.

    The retraction and undertaking not to repeat the claim concludes long running litigation in which Saracens Solicitors, instructing Mark Henderson of Doughty Street Chambers, acted for Dr al-Haddad against the BBC.

    The BBC continued to broadcast the allegation on its website for almost three years while litigation continued, until it was required to halt ongoing publication last week pursuant to an undertaking as part of the settlement.

    At the point when Mr Neil’s statement was first broadcast on This Week, Dr al-Haddad had already confirmed on the record that he had never said those words.

    Nishtar Saleem, Senior Partner at Saracens Solicitors and Dr al-Haddad’s solicitor, said: “Andrew Neil’s statement that my client believes that Jews are descended from pigs was, it turned out, based on nothing more than an inaccurate posting on a foreign website.

    “The BBC breached its own accuracy rules by doing nothing to verify this uncorroborated internet source before broadcasting Andrew Neil’s claim as if it were established fact. Had it first done some elementary research, it would have seen, including from video online, that my client had confirmed that the report was indeed false and that he had never said such words.

    “The BBC also breached its own guidance and Ofcom fairness rules and failed to respect basic principles of fair and responsible journalism by broadcasting this allegation without first making any approach to my client for comment.

    “Dr al-Haddad is horrified that the BBC relied on an unverified internet posting to broadcast such an allegation. In the course of the long battle to correct it since it was first broadcast, the BBC has produced not a shred of evidence to support the claim. To make this incendiary allegation against an Imam, scholar and jurist respected within the British Muslim community and abroad without any corroboration at all, undermines the trust that the community places in the BBC.

    “Dr al-Haddad was clear throughout these proceedings against the BBC that his aim was to win a public retraction of this allegation and a recognition that it was untrue, and to ensure that the BBC would stop broadcasting the allegation online and never repeat it. He is relieved to have finally achieved all these aims.

    “Dr al-Haddad remains deeply concerned that the BBC continued to broadcast Mr Neil’s allegation online for almost three years after he had confirmed directly to the BBC that it was relying on a false report. He very much regrets that he had to fight for so long to win a public retraction and a published acceptance that he had not said what was attributed to him, together with an undertaking not to repeat it, which finally halted all online publication on the BBC’s website and Facebook pages.”


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    Screenshot of Pamela Geller (Islamophobe Zionist Jew)'s page showing spreading fake news about Muslims.

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    Israeli Killing of Gaza Peace Protestors and Media Bias


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    What Media Mind Control Looks Like

    All news is scripted from the same single source


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    The bare facts about the Gaza demonstrators are correct, but the rest of the story is missing

    Apr 06, 2018

    Media coverage of Israel's massacre of Palestinian protesters during the first weekend of multiweek demonstrations in Gaza offered textbook examples of how syntax and word choice shape, and even distort, representations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    . Even if the facts are accurately stated, the ways in which sentences are constructed, and the extent to which details are contextualized, can subtly lead readers astray.

    Consider for instance the enormous consequence of choosing passive rather than active language to convey what happened. "At least 15 Palestinians die as Israel responds to protest," wrote the Guardian in one early headline. "15 dead in Gaza demonstrations" read the front page of this newspaper, and the New York Times led with a similar formulation: "Confrontations at Gaza Fence Leave 15 Dead."

    Such phrasing separates facts from the agency that makes them intelligible. After all, those Palestinians (the actual number varies according to reports) did not simply drop dead: They were shot, deliberately. Simply splitting subject from verb, however, obscures who did what to whom and under what circumstances. "Israeli troops kill 15 Palestinians at Gaza protest," for example, would tell a different story — and would cue a different response from readers.

    So too with the use of the words "clashes" and "confrontations" in describing what happened. The next-day story in the Los Angeles Times began this way: "A day of clashes between Israeli soldiers and protesters left 16 Palestinians dead." Again the passive voice obscured agency, and the word "clash" suggested a rough parity between the action on both sides, an exchange of equal blows. Yet there is no parity between a milling, overwhelming nonviolent crowd of 30,000 demonstrators and heavily armed soldiers manning fortified positions, let alone army snipers picking off their targets from a comfortable distance. Moreover, an army of occupation and an occupied people do not "clash." One tries to crush; the other tries to resist, or at least to remain steadfast.

    Significant ancillary circumstances were either elided or obscured in the coverage as well. There were plenty of references to the "border" between Israel and Gaza, suggesting that what happened took place on the frontier between two states. Yet Israel refuses to declare its borders, and Gaza is not a state, but occupied territory. The soldiers weren't protecting sovereign space so much as violently suppressing the Palestinian people's internationally recognized demand for their rights. In a video posted on an Israeli news site, Eli Hazan, the foreign affairs director of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, went so far as to assert, in defiance of international law, that "all 30,000 [protesters] are legitimate targets."

    Precious little of this came through in the U.S. media. We were told in The Times, correctly, that the Gaza protests mark the buildup to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the calamitous dispossession of the Palestinians during the establishment of Israel in 1948. "A majority of Gazans," we're told, "are the descendants of the 1948 war." The demonstrations "demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in what is now Israel."

    "I am from the city of Majdal," one demonstrator told the reporter from The Times. "I am from Jaffa," said another. "I won't accept any solution that does not grant me my rights to return to my father's hometown."

    The quotations are poignant, but they offered an opportunity — missed — to clarify what the speakers, Khalil Abu Qammar and Khadrah Zaqout, were talking about. People like them, from Majdal and Jaffa, did not become refugees by happenstance; they were driven from their homes by Israel's founders, who aimed to create a state with a Jewish majority, in which, by definition, too many Muslims and Christians would be problematic.

    Palestinians such as them are now not allowed to return to their hometowns, cities and villages for the same simple reason: They are not Jewish; their homes and lands are held by a state that insists on its Jewish identity at the expense of anyone and any right that stands in the way. The army that shot at them last weekend — and may do the same this weekend, as the Gaza protests continue — was, in other words, enforcing an as-yet-incomplete project of ethnic cleansing.

    The Palestinian scholar Edward Said once pointed out that facts don't speak for themselves; they require a narrative to absorb and sustain them. What was missing from almost all of the mainstream media coverage, as usual, was not the facts as such, but rather the Palestinian narrative of enforced exile and struggle for return that renders those facts comprehensible, both politically meaningful and emotionally resonant.

    Palestinians are not merely a ragtag collection of refugees; they are a people purposefully kept from their homes by an army of occupation. Restoring or even acknowledging their narrative would enable us to understand them as genuine human beings animated (as the great English essayist William Hazlitt put it in his essay "What Is the People?" in not dissimilar circumstances) by thoughts, feelings, affections, cares, worries, desires, rights — and the will to be free.


    Israel is fake news.

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    Anti-Rohingya Propaganda Increasingly Relying On Fake Images Of Children

    by Karen Rebelo - September 25, 2017

    As the anti-Rohingya rhetoric on social media rises, photographs of children are being misused in the divisive propaganda.

    As the anti-Rohingya rhetoric on social media in India grows, fake narratives are being spun around photographs of children as part of a divisive propaganda.

    This is likely to get worse in the coming days as India woke up to news that Myanmar’s army had discovered a mass grave of 28 Hindus in Rakhine. The Burmese army has blamed Muslim Rohingya militants for the killings.

    BOOM came across two instances in the last 24 hours where
    fake stories were weaved around actual photos of children. The reactions and comments on these posts show that they have been extremely effective in stirring religious bigotry.

    Ravinder Sangwan, who goes by the Twitter handle @Shanknaad and who is followed by Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, tweeted the below image of a little girl holding an infant.

    The image appears to be a screenshot from a BBC News video

    Sangwan claimed that the girl was 14 years old and had two children. He also claimed she was married to a 56-year old man who had six wives and 18 children.

    But Sangwan’s story is a figment of imagination. BOOM traced the screenshot to BBC News’ video – ‘In the jungle with Rohingya refugees feeling Myanmar ‘ uploaded on YouTube on September 4th.

    In the video, BBC’s correspondent Sanjoy Majumder is seen trekking alongside people fleeing Myanmar. The girl in the image can be seen at 2 minutes and 06 seconds. The girl is not mentioned in the clip proving that the
    backstory given to her by social media is fake.

    We found the
    exact same fabricated story on a right-wing Facebook page called ‘India Rising’.

    As India’s Supreme Court hears a petition challenging the government’s decision to deport 40,000 Rohingyas living illegally in India, some
    nationalists are leaving nothing to chance and are turning out a near constant drip of vitriol.

    Advocate Prashant P. Umrao tried to pass off the image of a sick child in Brazil as that of a pregnant Rohingya refugee girl at a UN clinic.

    Once again, his story turned out to be fake.
    Umrao subsequently deleted his tweet when called out by BOOM on Twitter.

    BOOM found a Facebook post going back to November 2016 which contained several photos of the girl. The post in Portuguese states that Sandy Brandão da Cruz, 12, a resident of the city of Garrafão do Norte, Pará (Brazil) was hospitalized at the Barros Barreto Hospital in Belém. She was suffering from a problems of the liver and spleen.

    A video where Sandy speaks in Portuguese about wanting to meet Brazilian actor, singer, dancer and TV presenter Rodrigo Faro proves that the child has no connection to Myanmar.

    It’s not just Hindu or Buddhists nationalists who are guilty of using fake images online to rally support.

    The fresh outbreak of violence in Rakhine since August 25th has sparked a steady stream of inflammatory but nevertheless fake images from both sides that are muddying public opinion about the conflict.

    Myanmar authority in attempt to draw world attention publishing fake news against Rohingya

    By Arakan Times - 24 September 2017

    Myanmar government information committee said 28 dead bodies of Hindus, eight men and 20 women buried in two pits had been found in Maungdaw in Northern Rakhine State on Sunday.

    The statement added that the deceased are out of 100 people arrested by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) from Yebaw Kya village on August 25, the day the Muslim militants launched attacks on 30 police outposts, according to Commander in Chief Office.

    a single Hindu was neither killed by ARSA nor Myanmar security forces after 25 August. The photos of dead bodies that were shown are the corpses of Rohingyas who were killed by Myanmar armed forces in the fresh attack after 25 August.

    The faces of Hindus and Muslims look alike and so it is easy for liar,
    Myanmar government to claim the Muslim dead bodies as Hindus to draw the attention of the world to tarnish the image and views of Rohingyas to brand them as terrorists.

    Those are the photos of mass killings of Rohingya Muslims which the military used against the Rohingya insurgents referring the photos of dead bodies are of Hindus to blame the Rohingya community.

    Nobody should believe the statement of Myanmar military which they claim that the corpses are of Hindus, but they are really bodies of Rohingya Muslim civilians who were brutally killed by Myanmar armed forces after 25 august.

    It is a habit of Myanmar liar government to tell a lie every moment which is well known to the world, said a Rohingya Rights Acitivist.

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    When it came to Asians, the islamophobe propaganda white media sold the story of “Muslim grooming sex gangs”, when it came to their own white people, the story sold was “pedophile ring” busted. white ‘Grooming Gangs’ simply do not exist. Interestingly, not only are these groups not ‘grooming gangs’, according to the news reports, they aren’t even ‘groomers’ at all.

    Making a Monster: How The Times Created the Asian ‘Grooming Gang’

    By J. Spooner & J.Stubbs

    “BBC Radio News with Julie Candler: Six members of a grooming-gang were convicted for a combined total of 87 years in Birmingham Crown Court today for offences against twelve girls, ranging in ages from 12 to 16. In sentencing, Judge Ferguson accused the evil gang members of preying on the vulnerable young girls from local care homes, to whom they had done irreparable damage.”

    Close your eyes. Visualise the appearance of the groomers. What ethnicity are they?

    The fictional BBC Radio example serves to illustrate the power of the media to inject racial biases into the collective consciousness. The imported dark-skinned savages with uncontrollable libidos preying on white girls trope has been a mainstay of white supremacist propaganda throughout. Having existed solely on the radical fringes of the right, UK newspaper The Times have helped elevate this stereotype into the mainstream with their creation of the Asian “grooming gang”.

    Their method of manipulation is helped explained by The Blind Men and the Elephant, an ancient Hindu parable which describes a number of blind men who have never encountered an elephant before, each touching a different section of an elephant’s body to learn what an elephant is. Naturally, each man, limited in his knowledge to the tail, or the leg or the tusk and so on, differs in his subjective truths to the next man. No man has complete context as each man has his perception limited.

    It is in this manner, but by design, that The Times has implanted the racial stereotype of the Asian grooming-gang into our national psyche. They have achieved this through lying-by-omission, race-specific application of terms, and zooming in on crimes by British Asians while simultaneously zooming out on crimes by white British.

    Whether it be right-wing media promoting this racially-fueled connotation, or left-wing outlets protesting against it, the term ‘Grooming Gang’ is now used across the board. But how objective is it really? How much do we really know about this specific label? What are the caveats for this term to be applied? Where did the term come from? We know from our previous research on the fraudulent 2017 Quilliam report, that there are groups of white offenders grooming and sexually assaulting children, but are these considered ‘Grooming Gangs’ as well? And if so, more importantly, where are all these white ‘grooming gangs’?

    Origins of the Asian Grooming Gang

    On the 5th of January, 2011, The Times newspaper launched an exclusive four-page exposé on the “sexual exploitation of hundreds of young British girls by criminal pimping gangs”. The article claimed that “child protection experts” had identified a separate category of sex offending which The Times labelled “on-street grooming”, and that within this profile “most of the victims are white” and that “most of the convicted offenders are of Pakistani heritage”. The politically-conservative newspaper revealed that its own investigation even had the statistics to back these findings up. The exclusive declared:

    “The Times has identified 17 court prosecutions since 1997, 14 of them during the past three years, involving the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 by groups of men. The victims came from 13 towns and cities and in each case two or more men were convicted of offences.In total, 56 people, with an average age of 28, were found guilty of crimes including rape, child abduction, indecent assault and sex with a child. Three of the 56 were white, 53 were Asian. Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community…”

    The hysteria-inducing Times investigation exclusive broke on the 5th of January, 2011.

    Inevitably, within no time, the story had ignited national hysteria. Over the following days, all major news outlets covered the story, as well as radio talk-back shows and websites. That same week, The Times doubled down heavily, with further front page ‘scoops’, opinion pieces, web-chats and letters to the editor all relating back to the initial investigation. From our counting, they ran at least twenty articles on the topic of ‘on-street grooming’ in the following seven days to accompany their initial exclusive. Among the many others who pounced on this story, the Daily Mail ran seven articles in the following twelve days all referring back to the alleged Asian connection discovered by The Times.

    Astutely, the Times’ investigation was released in the same week as the conclusion of a high profile court case, in which a group of Asian males were sentenced for CSE related offences. Needless to say, the media went even further into overdrive. BBC Newsnight ran a special where former Home Secretary Jack Straw warned that white British girls were being targeted as “easy meat” by their British-Pakistani predators. The Times continued, relentlessly pushing articles reiterating the ethnic connection between ‘on-street grooming’ and British-Pakistani men in a manner which the Huffington Post later described as a “desperate” effort “to see the ‘Asian model’ recognised as a distinct category of CSE”. They also wasted no time getting hold of British PM David Cameron, at the first opportunity drawing comments from him in which he gave his support to “pursue pimp gangs ‘without fear or favour’”.

    Within the space of a month, the new head of Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command was stood in front of his funders at the Home Office, promising to focus further research and resources to “concerns originally exposed in The Times”. The following is a transcript of this conversation at the House of Commons meeting between the Home Affairs Committee and CEOP head Peter Davies, just three weeks following The Times’ exclusive:

    Chair: Indeed, I think you made that very clear. Can I move on to a current piece of work that you’re doing, the issue of child grooming? Following the public concerns originally exposed in The Times newspaper, was it you who decided to conduct this research or did the Home Office ask you to conduct the investigation into child grooming?

    Peter Davies: I decided that it was part of CEOP’s role to understand problems such as this and it was my decision.

    Chair: So you read about it in the newspapers; you saw the controversy and you decided that there should be an investigation?

    Peter Davies: That was one of the elements. There were other elements going on at the time as well that prompted the decision. But yes, it was my decision.

    In a clear example of media influence shaping official responses, just after this meeting CEOP launched its first investigation into ‘localised grooming’.

    Following this came another CEOP report in 2013, undertaken alongside further Home Affairs Committee investigations and Government recommendations. Davies’ arm was being twisted by the combined forces of Rupert Murdoch and the British tabloid press to react, not to child sexual exploitation holistically, but to this new menace, whose crimes were uniquely Asian. Yet what makes this influence even more striking, and what went largely unnoticed, is that The Times’ original investigation was intrinsically flawed.

    The investigation was heavily criticised by the very experts whose research The Times had cited, or “de-contextualised” in an attempt to add weight to their own report — sexual exploitation and human trafficking researchers at University College London, Dr Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley. Within two days of the story breaking and their research cited within it, Cockbain and Brayley wrote to The Times, warning their readers to not “to be blinded by this emergent and untested racial stereotype”, which was crudely being exploited by The Times. Furthermore, additional criticisms of the investigation were:

    • · 17 cases over 14 years did not make up the “tidal wave” of offending that it stated was taking place.
    • · The investigation failed to justify or explain how it came to decide on their criteria for selecting some cases and not others.
    • · The criteria eventually chosen appeared biased towards Asian offenders. Almost like the author looked at where Asian offenders were most prevalent, and based his criteria on what their offending all had in common.
    • · The investigation relied on taking the author/researcher at his word on his results, rather than showing any clear methodology or evidence of data gathering.
    • · The author/researcher only included cases he could ‘identify’, whatever that means.

    Dr Cockbain herself made the following remarks referring to The Times investigation:

    “Findings from an exploratory academic study were cited in support, despite the authors publicly emphasising that their (unpublished) work, focusing on two cases alone, had been de-contextualised and deliberately ‘over-extended to characterise an entire crime type”

    “ These inclusion parameters (of the Times Investigation) have never been explained or justified, despite the questionable decision to exclude male victims wholesale. This raises the question as to whether the statistical exercise was deliberately designed to isolate evidence for a predetermined ‘Asian model”

    From Cockbain’s various responses to The Times’ investigation and its subsequent ‘grooming-gang’ coverage, it was clear she was unhappy at how her research had been misrepresented by them.

    Cockbain pondered if The Times had set out to purposely manipulate their research as to fix the results to isolate only Asian offenders. In another piece, she and fellow CSE specialist Brayley lamented The Times as being “the inventor of the spurious crime category of ‘on-street grooming’”.

    Similarly, Libby Brooks of the Guardian lashed out at shoddy nature of the investigation, stating:

    “The efforts of the Times to stand up this investigation are certainly considerable: selectively quoting or misquoting some groups, and inventing a category of “on-street grooming” that does not exist in law and was not recognised by any of the agencies I spoke to. It is also worth asking how responsible it is to provide ammunition to the violent racist extremists already active in these areas on such flawed evidence.”

    Additionally, from our own research, we have found multiple cases of white offenders convicted in ‘on-street grooming’ incidents that that The Times apparently could not. Even though their investigation failed to justify the parameters used for the cases it selected, we believe that we have found many cases of white offenders which still fit within them. Yet The Times’s investigation curiously declared:

    “With the exception of one case involving two white men in Blackburn, The Times has been unable to identify any court case in which two or more white British, Kurdish, African-Caribbean or Bangladeshi men have been convicted of child-sex offences linked to on-street grooming.”

    We found ample evidence to the contrary. The following are a few, but not all, of the cases we believe were either ignored or incompetently ‘not identified’ by The Times:

    In a nutshell, The Times orchestrated public outrage and facilitated government responses via a relentless campaign that revolved around a highly flawed investigation and a self-invented category of CSE. When referring to the investigation and its follow ups, The Times would later boast, taking credit for their ‘discovery’:

    The many stories written…have revealed a crime model that police and care agencies refused to recognise.

    This specific “crime model” has since evolved in the media headlines and discourse over the years, now commonly referred to as ‘Grooming Gangs’.

    . . .

    No Such Thing as White Grooming Gangs

    The legacy spawned by this manufactured ‘Asian model’ of investigation and its subsequent response, is that the modern, colloquial term for ‘on-street’ grooming — ‘Grooming Gangs’ — is not only commonplace, but applies solely to Asian/Muslim offenders. Examination of media reporting by ourselves confirmed our suspicions that all usage of this racially-loaded label applies only to groups of primarily Asian/Muslim offenders.

    Thanks to websites such as the ‘UK database for crimes against kids’, it is irrefutable that white “grooming gangs” exist in numbers by any standard and by any definition applied to their darker skinned and immigrant background co-offenders. However, any individual getting their information from the British media would be utterly oblivious to this.

    In our research, we focused on eight major online media providers from across the political spectrum and from these, identified over 500 articles which made mention of the specific phrase “grooming gang”. The results were consistent, conclusive and a shameful indictment on the British press. Without exception and across the board the term “grooming gang” was exclusively and discriminately applied only to groups of Asian/Muslim offenders. Not a single example exists of a white group committing the very same crimes being described using that term:

    News reports using the exact phrase of “grooming gang”. * Mail Online only the first 350 most ‘relevant’ search results included as archive search was too broad to find exact matches.

    As unequivocally demonstrated in the table above, in the eyes of the UK media, there are no such things as White ‘Grooming Gangs’. The Times appears to have been successful in their campaign beginning back in 2011 to create an entire media profile of CSE that is exclusively Asian/Muslim.

    From our previous research, where we identified 126 white offenders convicted in what can comfortably be defined as ‘Grooming Gang’ related offences, we know that these seemingly invisible White offenders certainly do exist. So how are they reported on and labelled by the media? We’ve collected phrases and adjectives used to describe these white offenders in the corresponding news reports of ten prevalent cases. Below shows the case in question (linked), as well as the descriptions of the white ‘Grooming Gangs’ given in the media coverage:

    Coventry, November 2017 3 white offenders: “Gang” — The Mirror , “Three Men” — BBC ,“Three Thugs” — Daily Mail, “Sex Gang Sickos” — The Sun, “Three Men” — The Independent.

    Wrexham, July 2015: “Predatory Paedophile Ring” — The Guardian, “Predatory paedophile ring” — ITV, “paedophile ring” — BBC.

    Bristol, April 2015: “Child sex-abuse gang” “Paedophile Ring” — The Guardian, “Paedophile Ring”- BBC, “Paedophile Gang” — The Mirror.

    Cardiff, August 2017: “The three child abusers”- Independent, “Warped Paedos” — The Sun, “The trio”- Daily Mail.

    Norwich, July 2015: “sex abuse ring” “paedophile ring” — Guardian, “paedophile ring” — Telegraph & ITV, “sex abuse ring” — BBC.

    Birmingham, July 2016: “Nine Men”- BBC, The Guardian, “Nine perverts” -The Mirror.

    Bristol, September 2016: “Paedophile Gang”- Daily Mail & Mirror, “Paedo Ring” — The Sun.

    Surrey, April 2017: “Human traffickers” — Daily Mail, “sex trafficking gang” -The Sun, Daily Mirror.

    Sydenham, September 2014: did not make National News.

    Shrewsbury, February 2014: did not make National News.

    Sex Gang ‘Sickos’ — A typical headline for refferring to white offenders.

    As reinforced by the examples listed above, white ‘Grooming Gangs’ simply do not exist. Interestingly, not only are these groups not ‘grooming gangs’, according to the news reports, they aren’t even ‘groomers’ at all. Some articles do (rarely) mention that the offenders partook in ‘grooming’, yet the term is never used to describe them directly. Grooming, and its predatory-themed extension to ‘Grooming Gangs’ appears to be an exclusively Asian/Muslim trait. Also worth noting, in all of the articles we found reporting on white offender groups, none of the background/heritage/ethnicity was ever mentioned. Now compare the above examples with the media language used to describe ten of the most prevalent Asian/Muslim offending group cases:

    Newcastle, August 2017: “Grooming Gang” — The Guardian, The BBC, The Sun, Independent. All media outlets in their reporting on this case made mention of the ethnicity/background of the perpetrators and/or the Victims.

    Newcastle, November 2017: “Grooming Gang” — The Guardian, Daily Mail, “Kurdish illegal immigrants who groomed” — Daily Mail, “Kurdish Paedophile Gang” — Daily Mirror, “Kurdish Gang” “Asian Grooming Gang” — The Times.

    Rotherham, October 2016: “Grooming ring” — The Guardian (refers to the ‘white’ victim),Grooming Trial” — BBC, Refers to the Asian ethnicity of the men — Daily Express, “Asian child sex gang…white victim”- The Sun.

    Rotherham, February, 2016: “Grooming gang” — The Independent, The Telegraph (makes reference to Asian ethnicity), BBC, & Daily Mail. Also, Reuters makes reference to victim/offender ethnicity.

    Rotherham, January, 2017: “Five Asian men” — The Times, “grooming gang” -Daily Mirror. The Sun, the Times, & Daily Mail all made mention that the defendants yelled “allahu akhbar” in the court.

    Bristol, November, 2014: “Somali prostitution Gang” + 13 other mentions of the men being Somali — Daily Mail, “Gang of Somali Refugees” — The Telegraph, “Sex Gangs Jailed for Grooming girls” — BBC Headline, “Somali Grooming Gang” — The TimesSomali Sex gang groomed…” — Daily Mirror Headline.

    Telford, 2011 — May, 2013: “Asian gang groomed kids” — The Sun headline, “sex grooming case” — The Times headline, “grooming gang” — The Guardian.

    Oxford, May, 2013: “Oxford Grooming Gang” — The Guardian (reference is also made to ‘Asian’ ethnicity), The Independent, The Telegraph. The Mirror makes note of the males Asian Ethnicity. The Times uses the phrases “sex groomer & sex grooming trial”.

    Rochdale, May, 2012: “Sex Grooming Gang”- Daily Mail, “Sex Grooming Scandal”- Telegraph, “Grooming Gang” “grooming trial” — BBC.

    Chelmsford, January, 2017: “groomed 13-year-old girl” — Daily Mirror Headline, “Iranian ‘sex gang” — (Iran mentioned 5 times) Daily Mail, “Convicted of Grooming” — Evening Standard.

    In these articles, almost uniformly, the word ‘Grooming’ or the phrase ‘Grooming Gang’ takes centre stage. On the occasions that it does not, a report will instead almost always mention the nationality/ethnicity/religion of the offenders. When it comes to describing CSE offenders, shockingly, it appears that ‘grooming’ or ‘grooming gangs’ is exclusively reserved for Asians/Muslims, whereas white offenders are routinely described as ‘paedophiles’.

    Different words of course, have very subtle differences. A standard Wikipedia definition of paedophilia reads:

    “a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children”

    Framing white culprits as paedophiles rather than the predatory sounding ‘grooming gang’, infers that potential mental illnesses within white offenders bear some responsibility for their behavior, partly absolving them of agency. This in turn can imply that Asian offenders are a unique type of threat, the logical conclusion of which is that they require an equally unique response. The way groups of white men are far more often represented as flawed, deficent and mentally sick, i.e. non-representative of their culture, whilst Asian men committing the same crimes are a product of theirs, is nothing but highly divisive, institutionalised racism.

    Although tongue-in-cheek, the above provides a perfect guide for understanding media reporting on group based CSE offenders. Care of 2MAX REPORT.

    Comedian and Journalist, Ava Vidal, has astutely highlighted this same phenomenon at play in the current Haiti-Oxfam worker scandal:

    Such racially-based themes in media discourse will come as no surprise to those who have observed this same hypocritical dynamic in terror attacks and mass-shootings by white non-Muslims.

    . . .
    A Busy News Day

    As mentioned, The Times chose to release their investigation on Wednesday the 5th of January, 2011, coinciding roughly with the completion of the latest in a sequence of high profile court cases involving multiple offenders convicted of CSE offences against British children. Whilst this was an astute way to help buttress their dogged campaign to formalise ‘on-street grooming’, there may also have been something more sinister at play in this choice of date. For on January 5th, 2011, Rupert Murdoch was in dire need of a distraction.

    This day, shockwaves were set to reverberate through Fleet Street with or without The Times’ bombshell. The Guardian were set to splash on further phone hacking scandals, which now embroiled Prime Minister David Cameron. Ian Edmondson, News Of The World (NOTW) editor was being suspended for his role in the affair. This implicated the former News International editor Andy Coulson who had just been appointed as Cameron’s Director of Communications.This Guardian exclusive would change the face of News International permanently:

    “The suspension of Ian Edmondson by the News of the World raises obvious questions for the paper’s ultimate owner, Rupert Murdoch, for the prime minister and, perhaps most of all, for the Met police. Edmondson was hired, initially as associate news editor, by its then editor Andy Coulson — a man who now sits at David Cameron’s side.”

    The tenacity and ruthless scrutiny towards these revelations by the Guardian was matched only by that of The Times in their own relentless ‘on-street grooming’ campaign. The Guardian’s rigorous investigations were to be the catalyst that set off a series of chain reactions; each more spectacular than the last. The phone-hacking investigation was reopened; followed by Coulson’s swift resignation from Government. An increasingly aware public were demanding answers and this pressure led to the establishment of the Leveson Enquiry. News International employees, including Coulson, were being arrested and charged.

    As more truths were laid bare, the collusion between Cameron’s office and News International’s was becoming more apparent by the day. The vultures were circling the once seemingly untouchable Cameron and Murdoch. They would have to ultimately settle for feeding on the carcass of the NOTW — the billionaire media mogul cut his losses and closed the paper in July that year. Reflecting on the chain of events that brought about the end of the tabloid, The Guardian reported in 2012:

    The Camerons have known for months that the intimacy of their pre-2011 relationship with News Corporation was a time bomb that could explode under Downing Street at any time. That explains the neurotic response when the Guardian first began inquiring about that Christmas dinner as well as the farcical outrage over the Telegraph’s close interest in whether Cameron had ever ridden a retired police horse. The symbolic power of the old horse was all too clear: the physical embodiment of the corrupt relationship between Murdoch, police and the Tories.

    The Guardian relentlessly and ruthlessly reported on the News of the World hacking investigation. This coverage re-started after new revelations were published by them on January the 5th, 2011.

    The January 5th Guardian exclusive brought about the fall of the NOTW, jail for Murdoch employees and potentially almost implicated Cameron himself. The Times undoubtedly had a vested interest in trying to shield its News International sibling. The editor at The Times was then James Harding, a close ally of George Osborne who was also heavily implicated in the scandal for his hiring of Coulson. In a Guardian interview with the journalist who launched the Grooming Gang investigation, Andrew Norfolk, it was revealed that around the same time corruption engulfed News International, Harding was “unprecedented” in his support for further ‘Grooming’ material:

    “After that initial splash, Norfolk thought it was a “job well done” and he would move on. But his then editor James Harding, now director of BBC News, insisted that he work on the story full-time and continued to encourage him, as does the present Times editor John Witherow. The support was “unprecedented”, he says…”

    Was the ‘on-street’ grooming investigation exclusive on the very same day as the News Of The World revelations pure coincidence? Was the public hysteria whipped up by The Times over the following weeks just a case of useful timing? Or was this a purposeful and deliberate tactic designed to act as a type of damage control — a distraction technique to deflect attention away from News International and their close allies in the PM’s office? At first glance it appears unlikely, but it is most definitely worth noting — a rather curious case of timing. Regardless of whether this busy news day was born out of a cynically timed sleight-of-hand, designed to pit the emotionally charged many against the few or not, the societal fissure remains and the long-term repercussions the same.

    . . .
    ‘Grooming Gang’: Fake Label, Real Consequences

    When The Times launched its January 2011 investigation it further cemented the ‘on-street’ grooming racial stereotype into public discourse and, like its media counterparts, facilitated its evolution into ‘Grooming Gangs’ as a strictly Asian offence. Only by looking at the origins and evolution of the term can we understand what it really refers to and thus how potentially harmful it is. Stereotyping the committers of heinous crimes as uniquely (or especially particular) to a specific immigrant group creates many innocent victims suffering many consequences. Critically, the greatest victims of this over-simplified narrative are the groomed CSE victims who fall outside the narrow parameters required by The Times to misrepresent these crimes as alien to white British culture. These include the many male victims of CSE, individuals operating outside groups, ethnic minority victims and the victims of non Asian/Muslim groups.

    Co-authors of their government-funded 2017 report titled “Working Effectively to Address Child Sexual Exploitation”, researchers Jessica Eaton and Dez Holmes write:

    “The recent media attention around CSE has implications both for contemporary understanding of CSE and responses to it. When amplified by media representation, public outrage, however understandable, has the potential to do harm….Another impact of widespread media coverage of CSE is the development of stereotypes — the more times a story is reported or told in a specific way, the more likely it is that the general public and professionals will absorb a stereotype of offenders, victims and abuse typologies (Flowe et al, 2009; Shaw et al, 2009). An example is the significant public misconception that CSE offenders are Pakistani males, which overlooks the complex picture of child sexual abuse…Careful attention must be paid to the way any kind of media reporting, awareness raising, resources and films are developed so these stereotypes do not continue to lead to blind spots and gaps in responses.”

    Having successfully created their racialised crime profile, The Times became pied-piper. Rather than critiquing The Times’ definitions and statistics, the tabloid press and the UK media at-large adopted their concocted terminology and as a result ‘grooming gang’ has infiltrated the public lexicon. This naivete is inexcusable, as The Times has habitually shown itself to be antagonistic towards immigrants and British Muslims.

    Race-baiting within public discourse, such as the “grooming gang” narrative has undoubtedly fueled the nativist fires in the bellies of those most prone to provocation. A recently published Birmingham City University study, which focused on dissecting online Islamophobia and social media hate speech, looked at the types of abuse and hatred directed at Muslims via the medium of Twitter. Its author, Imran Awan, reportedly notes:

    “much of the hate speech seemed to be related to news of grooming rings in the UK that appeared to be run by men of Asian origin.”

    Predictably, hate speech leads to hate crimes. Reporting from the trial of Finsbury Park Killer Darren Osborne, the Daily Mirror observed:

    “Osborne had become “obsessed” with Muslims in the weeks leading up to the incident after watching the BBC drama Three Girls, which was based on the true stories of victims of the Rochdale grooming gangs, the court heard.”

    Finsbury Park Mosque Terrorist’s partner said that his “attitude changed after he watched Three Girls, a BBC TV drama about the Rochdale grooming scandal“.

    Rupert Murdoch has a long history of working with Governments to produce their propaganda as well as using his power to pressure Governments to do his bidding. The Times, proudly conservative, has motive not only to appease their loyal readership but to also spread their own self-serving ideology, of which, xenophobia is a central component. On a personal level, Murdoch himself houses motive to further demonise Muslims, having been previously described by those closest to him as fostering an “open dislike” of them. Warping the realities of British child sex abuse serves nobody but special interests with agendas. In successfully making a monster of Asian CSE offenders by placing them on their own unique pedestal of evil, The Times has all but ensured the accelerated persecution of Britain’s most of persecuted minority.

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    BBC Caught Staging FAKE News Chemical Attack To Drag Britain into Syrian War

    4th December 2016

    By Graham Vanbergen - Most people should be aware that mainstream news has been the conduit government's around the world use to fabricate circumstances through fake news and convince a largely reluctant population to follow it into war. National conscription in 1916-18 was brought about because there were not enough volunteers to fight a war. To the working man, conscription was yet another theft of their rights by rich capitalists. The only telling counterargument the government could offer was absolute necessity. Workers must be convinced that there were too few volunteers to meet the need, so they would lose the war, which would mean the end of Britain. To that end, a huge propaganda exercise took place followed up with no choice - fight or go to prison.

    Mainstream media have ever since been routinely creating fake news reports to convince citizens to support politicians desire for the en-masse killing of people in other places around the world, usually on 'humanitarian' grounds.

    Tony Blair's misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and fake news campaign to attack Iraq has been a huge blot on Britain's foriegn policy choices. But it was supported by a mainstream media who did not question the legitimacy of the counterfeit information fed to parliament and its people. The result is over one million dead innocent civilians and a region under siege by terrorists, thugs and gangsters. David Cameron's lies did the same in Libya - again supported by a media that questioned nothing. The result - death and destruction.

    The West was warned by Gaddafi - Libya was the cork to the African immigration bottle. Cameron, ignorant of reason, bereft of logic and dismissal of facts, desperate for US recognition (and no doubt future personal wealth) attacked a sovereign nation without provocation. What resulted was mass immigration to Europe, which caused his own downfall and the probable breakup of the United Kingdom and quite possibly the European Union.

    Cameron went on to convince parliament that Britain had to attack Syria after failing first time around in 2013. George Osborne lied through his teeth saying the campaign would cost in the 'lows tens of millions.' Even the BBC reported the cost a few months later at £100million whilst imposing austerity at home driving poverty to new highs. Hundreds of millions would now be closer to truth.

    You may well have seen this video and various accompanying articles from the non establishment media. If not, it is well worth watching. VIDEO - BBC News caught staging FAKE chemical attack news.

    To get the public and more importantly, parliament on side, the BBC reported on a chemical attack by Syrian forces on its people that was proven to be fake news. The report, even though on RT and includes a showing of George Galloway may make you think this is all Russian propaganda, it isn't.

    A "world changing atrocity happens when the BBC is invited to a remote hospital" says the report. Two doctors were being filmed when victims from a school playground were brought to the hospital. A British doctor was quite openly being interviewed when the dead and dying arrived. The BBC shows exact same footage of two separate incidents but, according to the report
    digitally alters the words, one a napalm attack and the other a chemical weapons attack - to suit the situation.

    BBC's Panorama programme "Saving Syria's Children" is attacked as
    disinformation and propaganda from another source - "Analysis of the 30 September 2013 BBC Panorama documentary 'Saving Syria's Children' and related BBC News reports, contending that sequences filmed by BBC personnel and others at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013 purporting to show the aftermath of an incendiary bomb attack on a school in Urm Al-Kubra are largely, if not entirely, staged."

    The doctor in the BBC report so concerned for these injured teenagers turns out to be the daughter Syrian rebel Mousa al Kurdi.

    Craig Murray, ex-British Ambassador sacked by the government for reporting that torture was being used to gain intelligence for the 'war-on-terror" said of the
    BBC fake news video:

    "The disturbing thing is the footage of the doctor talking is precisely the same each time. It is edited so as to give the impression the medic is talking in real time in her natural voice - there are none of the accepted devices used to indicate a voiceover translation. But it must be true that in at least one, and possibly both, the clips she is not talking in real time in her own voice. It is very hard to judge as her mouth and lips are fully covered throughout. Perhaps neither of the above is what she actually said.

    Terrible things are happening all the time in Syria's civil war, between Assad's disparate forces and still more disparate opposition forces, and innocent people are suffering. There are dreadful crimes against civilians on all sides. I have no desire at all to downplay or mitigate that. But once you realise the indisputable fact of the
    fake interview the BBC has put out, some of the images in this video begin to be less than convincing on close inspection too."

    In September 2015 the BBC reported that "The BBC has won a case against Russian TV channel RT, which claimed the corporation faked a report on Syria. The station said the BBC had "staged" a chemical weapons attack for a news report, and digitally altered the words spoken by an interviewee. The BBC complained to Ofcom, saying the "incredibly serious" allegations struck "at the heart" of its obligations to accuracy and impartiality. Ofcom ruled that elements of the programme were "materially misleading". It also said the BBC had been treated "unfairly" by programme, called The Truthseeker, as it was not given a opportunity to address the allegations before the programme was broadcast."

    The same Ofcom also
    found the BBC of a much wider propaganda campaign. The regulators claim BBC World News has breached sponsorship rules 20 times by airing 'propaganda films' promoting charities, NGO's and foreign governments. A 112-page report from media regulator Ofcom censures the broadcaster for what has been called a "blatant breach" of broadcast rules.

    Of recent times the
    BBC has been accused of peddling distorted news countless times on all manner of subject matter.

    Craig Murray again - "Richard Bilton of the BBC today exposed himself as the most corrupt and bankrupt of state media shills - while pretending to be fronting an expose of corruption. There could not be a more perfect example of the western state and corporate media pretending to reveal the Panama leak data while actually engaging in pure misdirection."

    In August 2016, the BBC undertook its own investigation into its coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. It found: "The Scottish public's opinion of the BBC's TV news coverage has barely improved since the country's independence referendum, according to research by the corporation's governing body. During the referendum BBC was repeatedly accused of bias, with those in favour of independence targeting specific journalists including then BBC politics editor Nick Robinson."

    "Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this. So glad I'm out of there" These are the words of the former economics editor of the BBC's Newsnight show, Paul Mason, relating to the BBC's coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. He went on to say: "the BBC has been blatantly warping, misrepresenting and omitting pertinent facts and narratives on numerous issues, from its coverage on Israel to its distortion on Ukraine."
    In 2014, Demonstrators marched outside the BBC's London headquarters in protest over the broadcaster's pro-Israel bias, condemning their news reports on Tel Aviv's latest onslaught on Gaza as being "entirely devoid of context and background".

    In a 2012 article titled: 'As Gaza is savaged again, understanding the BBC's historic role is vital', John Pilger, one of TruePublica's most notable contributors illustrates how the BBC's reporting can often give a fully distorted picture of the situation in Gaza to its viewers:

    "This is notably true in the Middle East where the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable "conflict" between equals. Standing in the rubble from an Israeli attack, one BBC journalist went further and referred to "Gaza's strong culture of martyrdom".
    So great is this distortion that young viewers of BBC News have told Glasgow University researchers they are left with the impression that Palestinians are the illegal colonisers of their own country."

    I could go on. The point is that the mandatory annual license fee is not paid to the BBC for producing propaganda to convince citizens to go to war. The failed campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq has cost the country nearly £30billion with 75,000 seriously injured servicemen and women returning. We should not forget the mental scars that now leads to a suicide every two weeks - 400 additional families in mourning.

    As Rori Donaghy from The Independent reported six months ago "Going to war is one of the most important decisions a country can take. The British people deserve to know where our Government is sending our troops, what the danger is, and what it is they hope to achieve by sending them into battle on our behalf." His report was that British SAS troops may be fighting in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Libya - but Parliament hasn't been told about any of these deployments, let alone been given the chance to debate them. The BBC should be reporting that not creating fake news and distributing propaganda.

    In the meantime, the British government has just boosted the BBC World Service by £289million for the purposes of pushing its global agenda. Fran Unsworth, the BBC's World Service director, said: "Through war, revolution and global change, people around the world have relied on the World Service for independent, trusted, impartial news. As an independent broadcaster, we remain as relevant as ever in the 21st Century, when in many places there is not more free expression, but less." Having just been given nearly £300million by the state, the term 'independent broadcaster' hardly seems honest.

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    Fake Nigerian Christians Burnt Alive Photo Resurfaces on Facebook

    It looks like the myth that Geller was pushing some months ago about Muslim hordes incinerating Nigerian Christians is resurfacing once again, this time on Facebook.

    A blog by the name of Waffles at Noon covers the re-emergence of the photo:

    A horrifying photo has surfaced on Facebook, one that
    claims the dead, charred bodies in the photo are Christians burnt alive by Muslims in Nigera. A common caption reads reads:

    Christians burnt alive by Sunni Muslims in NIGERIA…(Posted by Jillian Becker in Africa, Arab States, Christianity, Christians burnt alive by Sunni Muslims, Islam, Muslims, jihad)…..PLEASE SHARE IT OR JUST UPLOAD YOUR OWN…BUT SOMEHOW SPREAD IT IF YOU’RE EVEN 1% CHRISTIAN — It is still not over yet! —

    Waffles goes on to cite our piece from April that points out the fact that the picture is a fake.

    Below is our post exposing the absurd falsity of attempting to pass the
    Congo gas tanker explosion as an example of Nigerian sectarianism.

    Fake news - Raid on local mosque

    By Lee Williams - Feb 15, 2017

    The headline was ... well ... a "bombshell."

    "BOMBSHELL - Feds Raid Mosque and Uncover HORRIFYING Plans for Americans."

    The non-bylined story appeared on the teaparty.org website yesterday, categorized under "TERRORISM."

    It popped up in Facebook feeds all across Sarasota. Four people sent me links. One asked, "How could you have missed this?"

    How indeed ...

    The "story" alleged that when federal agents raided the mosque in Sarasota, they found a "gun training program connected to CAIR - the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations organization - was going on inside Islamic centers statewide."

    This "news" was somewhat disconcerting. I'd been to the mosque, you see. I went with a photographer to cover their open house. I **** near ate my body weight in Moroccan shish kabob. If there was a paramilitary training operation going on, I'd missed it. Our hosts had been gracious and friendly. I've encountered far more hate and discontent at family reunions, which, by the way, are far more paramilitary than anything going on at the mosque.

    I immediately reached out to a senior official I know at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. If there was a raid, he'd know all about it. Hell, he might have breached the door.

    The sheriff's official had seen the story, but assured me that there had been no raid.

    Just to be on the safe side, the official checked with the FBI. The Hoover boys almost always contact local law enforcement before they conduct a raid - as it involves real police work - but there was a slim chance the feds could have done something on their own.

    The FBI had also seen the story, but they too hadn't conducted any raids.

    The "story" claims that Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Nezar Hamze - a Muslim and CAIR official - has "gone into mosques to teach the Islam worshipers how to properly use guns and how to get security surveillance system grants from the United States government."

    I managed to track down a member of Sarasota's mosque who'd actually taken Deputy Hamze's training.

    There were no firearms involved, he said. Instead, Hamze spoke about what to do if an active shooter entered the mosque - basic "run, hide or fight" stuff.

    At that point, having wasted half a day trying to verify the unverifiable, I gave up.

    I have a few problems with this "story" - actually more than a few.

    First, there's no byline. That's a huge red flag.

    When I write a story, I put my name on it. That means I alone am responsible for the content. If you don't like what I've written, you can let me know.

    Secondly, there's no need for this kind of crap.

    Things are looking pretty good for gun owners nowadays. We don't need to distort the facts, and we certainly don't need fake news, and to be clear, that's exactly what this story is - fake news.

    then there's the photo - two AKs - a Romanian WASR and a Hungarian AMD.

    I guess the reader is supposed to infer that the AKs were seized from the mosque during the raid, even though there was no raid, much less a weapon seizure.

    I've never liked the AMD. It's always been my least-favorite AK platform. Somehow, I guess, as it pertains to this
    fake news story, it's fitting.


    If these officials saw the news story and knew it was fake then why were they silent about it?! instead making a statement about it not being true.

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    The persistent myth that Islam was banned in Angola

    False reports that Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam have re-emerged. The BBC's Clare Spencer asks if this is linked to the US presidential election.

    18 October 2016

    Some believe the photograph of a mosque being destroyed was actually from Nigeria

    "Muslims are super mad right now," writes Frank Lea in Freedom Daily.

    "Angolan authorities to ban Islam, which they consider a cult, NOT a religion," continues the website Liberty Is Viral.

    The story gives details of a mosque being knocked down in the Zango neighbourhood of Angola's capital, Luanda.

    "They see what Muslims are doing to non-Muslims, particularly in Africa, and are taking steps to prevent it from happening in Angola," the story published by ReaganCoalition.com says.

    "Maybe the USA could learn a thing or two from Angola," adds the site America First Patriots, which says 80 mosques have been bulldozed.

    the original story isn't true.

    A contact in Luanda took
    this photograph last month of a mosque that was still functioning:

    One Angolan Muslim, Adam Campos, told the BBC that
    in fact the Muslim community is "growing every day".

    But Mr Campos says his own
    mosque was closed by the government a few years ago and, in the same period, some were destroyed. This is where the misunderstanding that Islam had been banned appears to have come from. He explains that mosques were destroyed because the government said they did not have permission to be built.

    He adds that not all of them were closed, and he went to other ones to pray, although sometimes people chose to worship outside his closed mosque.

    Then, after a few months, and lawyers had got involved, his three-floor mosque in the Hoji-ya-Henda area of Luanda was re-opened.

    "Islam is not banned in Angola, we face some difficulty like other minority religious groups, because we are not recognised by the government."

    Now "things are calm, and I hope they continue this way" he says.

    But back in 2013
    news of a supposed ban spread from French-language Beninese newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune to the UK's Daily Mail and as far as India Today.

    A group in London was so outraged that they held a protest outside the Angolan embassy, which photographer Peter Marshall documented.

    The South Africa newspaper the Daily Maverick
    busted the myth shortly after it first emerged.

    "No" it said "Angola has not 'banned Islam'. It's a little more complicated than that".

    Many, including the Daily Mail, quoted Angola's Culture Minister Rosa Cruz e Silva as saying that mosques would be closed until further notice.

    One detail, which gave the story more credence, was that the government had denied a Muslim group's applications for legal recognition.

    This does appear to be correct.

    It is what Mr Campos was referring to when he said that Islam was not recognised by the government.

    However, it does not appear to be specifically anti-Muslim as
    a lot of other religious groups are also not recognised.

    The US State Department's 2013 report into global religious freedom counted 194 different religious groups that were denied legal recognition, the
    large majority of which were Christian organisations.

    Last year's US report on religious freedom updates the situation, saying that despite a lack of official recognition, the Angolan government generally permitted these organisations to exist, function, and grow.

    The US report does say a mosque was destroyed - including one in Luanda's Zango neighbourhood.

    Again, this doesn't seem to be an act targeted at Muslims - while it says two mosques were shut down, 52 churches were closed in the same year.

    But the Daily Maverick says
    the mosques in question were not the ones in the photographs. They were not even in Angola, it says.

    Yet, the same photographs are being used three years later.

    It is clear that one publication at least, US site Conservative Daily Post, is reporting on it now because of the November's US presidential election.

    "You may not have ever heard about this because Obama refuses to admit that Radical Islam is seeking to destroy America and he wants everyone to believe that Islam is welcome in the United States. Hillary Clinton believes that, too," it says.

    Just in case you aren't clear which side of the US presidential election these sites come from, they also invite you to like Donald Trump fan pages on Facebook.

    Mr Trump has millions of mainstream supporters who embrace his candidacy because he's anti-establishment or appears to care about working-class Americans who have suffered through hard economic times, explains the BBC's North America reporter Anthony Zurcher.

    There is also, however, a segment of his base that can be characterised as
    white nationalist or white supremacist.

    They're backing Mr Trump largely because of his hardline immigration stance and anti-Muslim rhetoric, our reporter explains.

    The websites that have been perpetuating the myth of the Angolan Muslim ban are ones within this movement, and they're probably doing it because it re-enforces their belief that Islam itself is a threat that Christian nations should confront and defeat.

    In their view, what Angola is supposedly doing is a natural extension of Mr Trump's policy proposals - a next step for the US that would come after Mr Trump is elected, our reporter says.

    Back in 2013 Daily Maverick's conclusion as to
    why this false story spread was because it picked up by those "who seemed to wish the ban inspires a global trend".

    This appears to still be the case today.

    Angola denies it has banned Islam

    Government statement says there is "no war" against religion following allegations authorities had destroyed mosques.

    27 Nov 2013

    Angola's government has denied it had banned Islam and closed mosques in the country, after media speculation that sparked outrage among Muslims worldwide.

    "There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion," said Manuel Fernando, director of the National Institute for Religious Affairs, part of the ministry of culture, onTuesday.

    "There is no official position that targets the destruction or closure of places of worship, whichever they are." Fernando told AFP news agency.

    David Ja, a spokesman for local Muslims, challenged the government's account and said that a number of mosques had already been closed.

    But according to the ministry of culture, those
    closures were related to a lack of necessary land titles, building licenses or other official documents.

    A witness in the province of Uige (Carmona) told Al Jazeera that the
    closed mosques were hastility built by expatriate communities from west and north Africa who needed a place to perform Friday prayers.

    “It’s true that several mosques have been destroyed and others simply shut down in the last few months. Most of the mosques that were destroyed were built without government permission. Two authorised mosques in Luanda are still operating without a problem. I have not heard of any official decision to ban Islam or prohibit Muslim prayers in mosques.” Ahmed ould Taher told Al Jazeera.

    Worldwide media coverage

    Reports that Angola, a traditionally devout
    Catholic nation, would crack down on Muslims had drawn condemnation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and others.

    In Egypt, mufti Shawqi Allam said such a move would be "a provocation not only to Angolan Muslims but to more than 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world".

    The issue, which was first reported late last week, attracted huge media coverage worldwide and generated strong reactions on social media.

    The controversy was further fueled by the government's poor communication on the issue.

    The oil-rich southern African
    nation has a population of about 18 million people, several hundred thousand of whom are Muslims.

    Religious organisations are required to apply for accreditation in Angola, which currently recognises 83, all of them Christian.

    In October the justice ministry rejected the applications of 194 organisations, including one from an umbrella Islamic community group.

    Angola's oil boom has attracted large expatriate communities from across the world.

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    Alex Jones Sued By Chobani After Yogurt Maker Says Radio Host Posted Fake Stories

    Apr 25 2017

    Greek yogurt giant Chobani filed a lawsuit Monday against right-wing radio host Alex Jones, accusing the conspiracy theorist of publishing false information about the company.

    Chobani says that
    Jones and his Infowars website posted fabricated stories earlier this month that linked Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children. The company filed the lawsuit in Idaho District Court in Twin Falls, where it operates the largest yogurt plant in the world.

    "(Jones) is no stranger to spurious statements. He has claimed that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut," Chobani's attorneys wrote. "Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community."

    The complaint says Infowars released a video on April 11 describing Chobani's practice of hiring refugees and a sexual assault case that did not involve the yogurt company.

    During the video, an
    Infowars reporter republished statements that claimed the Chobani plant brought crime and tuberculosis since it opened the plant five years ago while also pointing out previous reports of its willingness to hire refugees in Twin Falls.

    Twin Falls is one of the two cities in Idaho with a refugee resettlement center.

    The video was promoted using the headline "Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Important Migrant Rapists," even though the lawsuit points out that Infowars didn't mention or prove that statement in the report. The story was tweeted out by Jones and other outlets.

    Infowars didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The report was critical of Ulukaya's support of hiring refugees while reporters then reacted to a separate issue involving three Twin Falls refugee boys who admitted to charges involved in the assault of a 5-year-old girl at an apartment complex.

    The 2016 assault sparked months of turmoil in Twin Falls after the story about the incident was spun by far-right blogs and anti-immigration groups into accounts that exaggerated and falsified many of the details.

    "The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani's products," the lawsuit stated.

    Chobani's attorneys say
    Jones has ignored requests to remove the inaccurate coverage. It's seeking at least $10,000 in damages.

    Alex Jones Retracts Chobani Claims to Resolve Lawsuit

    by Christine Hauser - MAY 17, 2017

    Alex Jones, a high-profile conspiracy theorist and the host of a right-wing radio show, said Wednesday that he had “mischaracterized” the yogurt company Chobani in statements on social media that led to a lawsuit.

    In a statement at the end of one of his broadcasts, Mr.
    Jones said: “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the InfoWars Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani L.L.C. that I now understand to be wrong.

    “The tweets and video have now been retracted and will not be reposted. On behalf of InfoWars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

    Chobani had filed a lawsuit against Mr. Jones on April 24, claiming that he had posted “false” and “defamatory” news reports about the company and its founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant of Kurdish descent. The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Twin Falls County, Idaho, where the company has a factory, named Mr. Jones and the media companies InfoWars and Free Speech Systems as defendants.

    The reports — published on April 11 on InfoWars.com, Mr.
    Jones’s website, and on the Alex Jones Channel on YouTube — said the factory in Idaho, which employs refugees, was connected to the 2016 sexual assault of a child and a rise in tuberculosis cases.The reports were promoted on Twitter under the headline “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists” and were spread widely online.

    On Wednesday, a Chobani spokesman, Michael Gonda, said in an email, “The case has been resolved.”

    Lawyers for Mr. Jones did not immediately reply to emails on Wednesday. In a video statement last month after the lawsuit was filed, Mr. Jones said his organization was reporting on the assault case and tuberculosis rates from material that “has been all over mainstream news.”

    Chobani started as a yogurt business in upstate New York and expanded to Twin Falls, a city of about 46,500 south of Boise. Mr. Ulukaya became the target of anti-immigrant ire after he stepped up his advocacy for refugees, employing more than 300 of them in his factories and starting a foundation to help migrants.

    The lawsuit filed by Chobani said Mr.
    Jones and his companies had declined to remove the reports or publish a retraction despite multiple written demands and noted that Mr. Jones was “no stranger to spurious statements.”

    It cited his previous contentions that the Sept. 11 attacks were orchestrated by the United States government and that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax concocted by those hostile to the Second Amendment.

    It was not the first time that Mr. Jones has apologized for his remarks. In March, he apologized for his role in spreading the hoax known as Pizzagate, which featured false claims that top Democratic officials were involved in a child abuse ring centered on Comet Ping Pong, a restaurant in Washington.

    The restaurant was besieged by threats, and in December, a man drove to the pizzeria from North Carolina and fired a rifle inside. The man, Edgar M. Welch, 28, has pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon and interstate transportation of a firearm and will be sentenced in June.


    This is a standard tactic used by Islamophobes using media (blogs, radio, websites) as a medium to mislead people. They take different stories or events and present them together to implicate Muslims they're targeting. Holding them accountable is the best way to teach them a lesson and make them stop.

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    Islamophobes Claim Muslims Raped and Killed Pro-Muslim Hitchhiker in Middle East

    An article published in 2016 reporting that a hitchhiking woman was raped and murdered by Muslims is inaccurate and based on an incident from 2008.


    A woman was raped and murdered in Turkey during a trek for "world peace." See Example.

    RATING: Mixture


    On 19 February 2016, the web site Yes I’m Right shared a story about a woman who had been raped and murdered while hitchhiking in the Middle East:

    This Facebook post (and blatantly clickbaiting headline) linked to an article (riddled with inconsistencies, bad information, and misspellings) about the death of
    Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, better known as Pippa Bacca, a performing artist who was killed during a world peace effort known as “Brides on Tour”:

    { Woman hitchhiked through the middle east to prove muslims are peaceful. What they did next… OMG!

    We as conservatives get a bad rap when we say Muslims and Islam don’t operate under peaceful ideologies. Liberals would argue they do. Well once again, the liberals are proven wrong and unfortunately, what it took was for someone to die in the worst way imaginable.

    That may be a bit morbid, but I think it’s important to show bleeding heart liberals everything possible to get them to understand.

    Here’s a shocking and sad story that should be shared everywhere to get the word out. An Italian woman who was hitch hiking from Italy to Israel to promote world peace was raped and murdered by Muslims in Turkey. }

    While the Yes I’m Right story was based on a New York Times article published in April 2008, the web site made no attempt to inform its readers that the incident had taken place over eight years earlier and that they were republishing a years-old story with no clarification about when it occurred.

    In addition to misleading their readers about the time frame of the incident, Yes I’m Right also falsely claimed that the “mainstream media” were “ignoring” the story. While it’s true that most mainstream media outlets did not write about Pippa Bacca in February 2016, it is because the incident, shocking and tragic as it was, was an eight-year-old story by then.

    Yes I’m Right also emphasized that Bacca was on a mission to prove that Muslims were peaceful. But in her description of the “Brides on Tour” project, Bacca and her traveling partner Silvia Moro made no mention of Muslims. Instead, Morro described their project in an interview as simply a way to promote peace in a general sense:

    { Ultimately this long performance, this hitchhiking trip through the countries devastated by war, was aimed at spreading a message of peace and trust in the people that we met along our route. }

    The Yes I’m Right article also alleged that Bacca’s death was directly attributable to religious views in the Middle East:

    { This is what happens with a religion that rapes and kills if you don’t abide by their law and worship their god. This is absolutely disgusting. }

    Yet shortly after Bacca’s death, officials emphasized that her murder was not motivated by religion:

    { After reports of Ms. Bacca’s death circulated, Ms. Bacca’s family and Italian and Turkish government officials immediately emphasized that the killing had been a cruel act by a possibly deranged person and could have happened almost anywhere.

    “Just read any newspaper — people get killed for playing music too loudly, and women get raped in the subway; there are fiends everywhere,” (Rosalia Pasqualino, a sister of Ms. Bacca) said. “This was not a question of Turkey or of religion.” }

    As the incident occurred eight years ago and Turkey is an officially secular country, it’s not clear how Yes I’m Right concluded (despite the statements from law enforcement and her own family) that Bacca had been killed over religion.

    While it is true that Pippa Bacca was murdered while hitchhiking in Turkey during a world peace effort known as “Brides on Tour,” this incident occurred in 2008 (not 2016), and her death was not tied to any religious motives.

    'World peace' hitcher is murdered

    12 April 2008

    Ms di Marineo (L) was hitch-hiking to the Middle East with a fellow artist

    An Italian woman artist who was hitch-hiking to the Middle East dressed as a bride to promote world peace has been found murdered in Turkey.

    The naked body of Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, 33, known as Pippa Bacca, was found in bushes near the northern city of Gebze on Friday.

    She had said she wanted to show that she could put her trust in the kindness of local people.

    Turkish police say they have detained a man in connection with the killing.

    Reports say the man led the police to the body.


    Ms di Marineo was hitch-hiking from Milan to Israel and the Palestinian Territories with a fellow artist on their "Brides on Tour" project.

    They had separated in Istanbul, planning to reunite in Beirut.

    An Italian embassy official told the Associated Press news agency police tracked the man when he put a new SIM card into Ms di Marineo's mobile phone.

    Local media identified the suspect only by the initials MK and said he had a previous conviction for theft.

    Ms di Marineo's sister, who had gone to Turkey to look for her, identified the body. An autopsy is being conducted in Istanbul.

    "Her travels were for an artistic performance and to give a message of peace and of trust, but not everyone deserves trust," another sister, Maria, told the Italian news agency, Ansa.


    As usual these Islamophobes accuse Muslims of what they themselves do, as the below articles show.

    White Christian Kept Hitchhiker As Sex Slave For Seven Years

    He kept her as sex slave for seven years as 'Girl in the Box' under captors' bed

    by Mara Bovsun - March 9, 2014

    In the spring of 1977, Colleen Stan was an attractive young woman and well aware of the dangers of hitchhiking.

    The practice seemed particularly risky those days, just a few years after the arrest of a serial killer in Santa Cruz who preyed on young female hitchers.

    But Stan, young and high-spirited, had been hitching for years and nothing had gone wrong. She was also broke, so when she decided it might be fun to make a surprise birthday visit to a friend living more than 400 miles south in Westwood, Calif., hitchhiking seemed the best option for making the trip from Eugene, Ore.

    on May 19, 1977, Stan, 20, stepped onto the shoulder of the highway and stuck out her thumb.

    Seven years later, she would reach the end of that terrifying trip, becoming known along the way as the "Girl in the Box."

    Stan was less than 100 miles from her destination when
    Cameron Hooker, a 23-year-old lumber mill worker, pulled up and offered her a ride. He seemed harmless enough, especially since he was traveling with his wife, Janice, 19, who cradled a baby in her arms.

    Still, despite their normal appearance, Stan started to feel a growing sense of dread. After a few miles, Hooker stopped for gas and Stan used the restroom. That's when
    she said she heard a voice. "Jump out the window, run, and never look back."

    It soon became clear that she should have listened. At another stop, this one in a secluded wooded area, Hooker pulled out a butcher knife and held it to Stan's throat. He blindfolded and gagged her and fastened a 20-pound hinged wooden box around her head, blocking the outside world.

    When the car stopped, her captors led her into a house and down into a cellar. Thus began her long nightmare.

    Hooker devised all kinds of torments. He starved her, whipped her, burned and shocked her, dangled her from the ceiling by her wrists, and forced her to go without baths. He left her for days, naked, in the head box, and sometimes in another box - a coffin-like creation - or tied to a rack.

    Eight months into the ordeal, Hooker
    forced her to sign a "slavery contract." Her name was to now be "K" and she was to wear a slave collar and do whatever he wanted, from household chores to kinky sex. If she said no or tried to escape, Hooker told her that a powerful organization, known as The Company, would come and get her. He told her they had bugged her family's home, and were watching at all times.

    For about a year, Stan was a fixture in the Hooker home, caring for their two children, taking odd jobs, and even going out socially with Janice. To the outside, the arrangement looked like a couple with a live-in housekeeper. No one suspected that the girl was
    forced to sleep in a box under the couple's waterbed, or that she was raped on a regular basis.

    As time went on, she had more liberties. In March 1981, he took her for a brief visit with her parents, but she was too afraid of Hooker and The Company to even try to convey what was going on.

    Soon after the visit, Hooker locked his prisoner back into her box. For three years, she had limited access to the outside world. Hooker would let her out to work,
    helping him build bigger accommodations - like an underground dungeon - for more slaves.

    It went on like this until 1984, when Janice helped Stan escape. It was a simple matter of getting her to a bus station, where she called her father for money for a ticket home.

    Janice, intent upon trying to rehabilitate her husband by bringing him to
    church, begged Stan to say nothing about her seven years of torment.

    Stan kept her promise and told no one.

    Eventually, Janice realized neither prayer nor counseling could help Cameron Hooker. She told her pastor and then police about Stan's abduction, as well as one of Hooker's earlier stabs at finding a slave.

    Marie Elizabeth Spannhake, 19, had been walking along a road in 1976 when she accepted a ride from the couple. No one had a clue what happened to her after that, until Jan told police that the girl had died at Hooker's hands.

    Soon, police were knocking on Stan's door. Her first-person account of the nightmare was the same as Jan's story. Police investigations turned up evidence supporting the wild tales, such as the head box, and soon Hooker was in handcuffs.

    Hooker's attorney tried to make it appear as if Stan had been a willing participant, pointing out she had opportunities to escape but did not take them.

    Sicko Cameron Hooker was sentenced to 104 years in prison and is eligible for parole in 2022. (PAUL SAKUMA/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

    It took the jury two and a half days to find him guilty of kidnapping, sodomy and rape, and on Nov. 22, 1985, he was sentenced to 104 years. But there was not enough evidence to try Hooker for Spannhake's death.

    He is eligible for parole in 2022.

    After the trial, Stan tried to move on to a normal life, but misery followed her - a string of failed marriages and a troubled child, now in jail. In 2009, she wrote a book, "The Simple Gifts of Life," in which she describes her ordeal and what she learned from it. No. 1 in her list of lessons: "Don't hitchhike."

    Santa Rosa hitchhiker murders

    Between 1972 and 1973 Santa Rosa, California experienced the killings of seven women whose murders have never been solved. An eighth probable victim disappeared and her body has never been located. All of the victims were known to hitchhike, a popular mode of transportation during that time. These murders became known as the SANTA ROSA HITCHHIKER MURDERS.


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    Indian Hindus Circulate A Video From Bangladesh As Kashmiri Students Killing Hindu Soldier

    By Pratik Sinha - 29th May 2017

    The same fake video has been made viral a third time, each time with a different narrative. Alt News had previous written about how a video was circulated as a Hindu man being killed by Muslims in Nawada, Bihar. The same video was then made viral as a Hindu man being killed by Muslims in West Bengal. The same video is now being circulated a third time as a CRPF Jawan being killed by Kashmiri students.

    The image above shows how this message was circulated on WhatsApp and made its way to Facebook. Just this one post has been shared more than 35,000 times on Facebook. The text of the WhatsApp message says:

    अभीअभीमरेएकमित्रनेवीडियोसेंडकीहैजोश्रीनगरमेंपड़ताहै।येहआजकीवीडियोहै।कृपयाइसेकिसीन्यूज़चैनलतकपहुंचआदे।कश्मीरीस्टूडेंट CRPF जवानकोमाररहेहै।दोस्तोंईनसानीयतकेनातेआपसेहाथजोड़करविनतीहैकीयहविड़ीयोज्यादासेज्यादागृपोमेंभेजनाहै।कलशामतकहरएकनयुजचैनलपेआनाचाहीऐ।
    Translation: Just a little while ago, a friend of mine who studies in Srinagar sent this video. This is today’s video. Please make sure that it reaches news channels. Kashmiri Students are beating up a CRPF Jawan. Friends, for the sake of humanity, I plead before you to send this video to as many groups as possible so that every news channel covers this video by this evening.

    Many other people shared this video on their personal timelines.

    The video also made its way to YouTube with same narration as seen on Facebook/WhatsApp posts.

    What is the truth? On April 1, 2017, unknown assailants killed Abu Syed and seriously injured Md Ali, two men who were wanted for the murder of Awami League leader Monir Hossain Sarkar. This incident happened in Titas subdivision of Coomilla district in Bangladesh. The issue was also covered by the local news website called Coomilla-r-Kagoj which translates to “Coomilla’s Newspaper”.

    The video of the incident was uploaded by a Bangladeshi resident to Youtube on April 2nd.

    One might ask, how is that the same video becomes viral over and over again with different narratives? The reason is that there is no one to reach the truth to the people. There's a raging epidemic of fake videos but no one wants to do anything about it. Those who own big newspapers and big TV channels do not consider it their responsibility to inform their viewers about these fake videos. Facebook Inc that owns both Facebook and WhatsApp platforms doesn't want to take up the responsibility either. And the Government? Well, less said, the better.

    If its news against Muslims then you can be pretty sure that it’s fake.

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    A Brazilian bank robber's beheading video viral as Indian Army Jawan being beheaded

    By Pratik Sinha - 14th May 2017

    A beheading video is currently viral on Indian social media accounts including Facebook and Whatsapp. It is being circulated with a message suggesting that it was the video of an Indian Army Jawan being beheaded with the reference of the recent beheading carried out by the Pakistan Army of 2 Indian Jawans on 1 May, 2017. The beheading video was actually shot in Brazil and the victim in this case is 47 year old Orides Telles Da Silveria. He was beheaded using an axe and then the people who beheaded him posed with the severed head as a trophy.

    On Facebook, the first instance of this video that we could find was by an account called "
    हिमांशुजोशीहिंदू (Himanshu Joshi Hindu) on May 10th. The video has many shared tens of thousands of times ever since. The text along the video is as follows:

    However, as reported by multiple Brazilian websites, this incident actually happened around 4th May. Body parts of Orides Telles Da Silveria were found along a highway in Canaos, Brazil. The victim was recognized by his severed head. Read more here => http://bit.ly/2qj8BQZ.

    Another site (http://bit.ly/2qjcgON) reported that the man being beheaded was part of a faction who were involved in bank robberies and that he was kidnapped from his residence on the 2nd of May.

    The video that is being shared is available on multiple sites. THE VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GORY AND DISTURBING. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO. (http://bit.ly/2rdXXdB). It you see any video on WhatsApp or Facebook with above message, please let them know that it is not a video of Indian Army Jawan being beheaded.

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    BJP IT Cell Secretary Arrested for Spreading Fake News in Bengal

    July 12, 2017

    Police in Bengal have arrested a senior functionary of the BJP for spreading fake news related to communal violence in the state.

    Tarun Sengupta, Secretary BJP IT Cell, Asansol, WB, was arrested today for spreading fake news and creating communal disharmony, tweeted the CID.

    Sengupta had allegedly uploaded a video of an IPS officer mercilessly beating a man. He passed the video off as one having been shot during Hanuman Jayanti, celebrated this year in April.

    This came just two days after Nupur Sharma, the saffron party's national spokesperson was booked under non-bailable sections for posting a fake photo of Gujarat genocide passing it off as from Bengal's communal violence.

    The BJP's IT cell has come under huge condemnation for repeatedly using fake and photoshopped digital materials to polarise communities along the religious lines allegedly to extract the much-needed electoral mileage.

    Parts of Bengal have recently witnessed sporadic communal riots after a 17-year-boy posted a photoshopped photo of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on Facebook.

    A BJP MLA from Telnagana had also given a call for repeating the genocide of Gujarat in 2002, when more than 4,000 Muslims were massacred with Narendra Modi as the state's chief minister.


    Indian Hindus pass off a Guatemalan mob lynching video as a woman being burnt alive by Muslims

    By Pratik Sinha - 5th March 2017

    For the past few months, we have repeatedly come across a video posted by many on social media in which a young girl is beaten up by a mob and then set to fire. Almost every instance of this video is accompanied with an identical piece of text which claims that the young girl is a Marwadi girl who was married to a Muslim guy in Andhra Pradesh and that the girl is beaten up and burnt because she refused to wear a Burkha.

    We have created a video to put forward the facts and to show how a
    2 year old mob lynching video from Guatemala is being passed off as a Marwadi woman being murdered by a Muslim mob. Please watch the video below to see how the right-wing fake news scum hatred industry works and how scarily effective it is. For those who are not comfortable with Hindi, please read on.

    video: http://viewpure.com/h8OoJkvd6U4?start=0&end=0

    The following piece of text accompanies almost every instance of the video that is posted either on Facebook or WhatsApp.

    Andhra pradesh की एक हिंदू मारवाड़ी लड़की जिसकी शादी एक मुस्लिम लड़के के साथ शादी हुई थी ।
    आज कुछ मुस्लिम लोगों नें मिलकर बुरीतरह मारा फिर जिंदा जला दिया ।
    बुर्का ना पहनने के लिये – -देखिये दिल दहला देने वाली video

    An approximate English translation of the Hindi text would be as follows:
    { A Hindu Marwardi girl Andhra Pradesh was married to a Muslim guy.

    Today, a few people belonging to the Muslim community beat her up and then burnt her alive.

    Because she refused to wear the Burkha – Please watch this heart-cuddling video.

    All group members are requested that this video should be shared so extensively via WhatsApp that the video reaches Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi so that he can take some instant action regarding this issue and today’s the day when WhatsApp needs to be used effectively for this purpose.

    plz plz plz..

    Do send this video }

    A screenshot of one such instance of the video can be seen below:

    The below collage shows a sampling of these posts.

    So, what’s the truth?
    The truth is that this video is from Guetemala and is that of a girl who’s accused of having murdered a Taxi Driver along with two other male accomplices. She is being beaten up and burnt alive by a lynch mob while the the two other guys managed to escape. This was covered extensively in international media in May 2015 when the incident occurred.

    You can click on the following Google Search link to view the news articles which covered this issue in May 2015 and the youtube links to the video. I should warn you that the video is extremely barbaric and difficult to stomach, so avoid seeing the video if you can.


    Indian media outlets also covered this issue. The following is a snapshot from the website of Daily Bhaskar.

    So, that’s that.
    A fake video to invoke extreme hatred is being shared extensively by the right-wing ecosystem. But how effective is it? To guage that, I tried backtracking in order to find the earliest instance of this video. The one that I found was posted by a page with calledफेसबुकमिडिया (Facebook Media)’ with a username @HinduRashtraSena on February 22nd, 2016.

    This would suggest that this
    video has been viral on social media for over a year now and it continues to be viral. This video with an identical piece of text has been circulated tens of thousands of times and has reached the WhatsApp account of lakhs of people. That is how scarily effective this fake news hatred industry is. If you listen to the video, it can be easily made out that the language spoken is not an Indian language. Those who shared the video must have seen the video. That is the other scary aspect. There’s so much hatred in people that a video which screams fake is accepted as truth and shared so many times. There is an urgent need for citizens who are against this fake news industry of the Sangh to be aware of their ways and actively work against this. That is the only way forward.

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    BJP Supporters are Passing Off a Mexican Stabbing Video as One of RSS Member Getting Killed in Kerala

    By Pratik Sinha - 4th March 2017

    Puneet Sharma, who is followed by PM Modi on Twitter, posted a video of one person being tied up and stabbed repeatedly. In this video that he posted at 3:47 PM on 3rd March 2017, Puneet claimed that the video is that of a RSS member getting killed in Kerala. Considering that he has over 31.8k followers on Twitter, the video got massively retweeted. He wrote “After watching this video of torture on RSS Karyakarta in Kerala, those Hindu whose blood doesn't boil, their blood is not blood but water”. The link to the video is at the bottom of the post.

    Puneet Sharma's twitter video was embedded in a blog post by a site called 'hindutva.info' with a title "VIDEO : A horrifying instance of the torture on RSS/BJP workers in Kerala”. This post, in turn, has been shared close to 10k times on different social media networks.

    The video was uploaded multiple times on various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp with thousands and thousands of shares. Others in the Hindutva brigade gave it a further spin and claimed that it is Muslims murdering RSS/BJP members in Kerala and there's a need to give up casteism to fight this evil. For eg, the following Facebook account called "Kattar Hindu" wrote:

    जागो हिन्दुओ जागो
    आखिर कब तक जातिवाद करते रहोगे देख लो कैरला मे कैसे हिन्दु लोगो को मौत के घाट उतार रहे है मुसलमान
    अगर अब भी आप सभी जातिवाद छोड़कर एक नही हुए तो कल आपको भी ऐसे ही मौत के घाट उतारेगें मुसलमान हिन्दुस्तान में हिंदुऔ को RSS और BJP कार्यकर्ताओं को यह विडियो में देखलो जरा अब तो संभल जाऔ जात पात छोड़कर सभी हिंदू ऐक हो जाओ नही तो ईसी तरह से मरने के लिए तैयार हौ जाऔ

    So, what's the truth? The truth is that this video first went viral on Mexican social media around January 15-17th, 2017.

    According to a website called Crime Junkie, the video if of one Antonia being stabbed to death and was uploaded from an unidentified location in Mexico:

    { In a video that's gone viral on Mexican social media, an alleged gang member identified only as Antonio is brutally stabbed to death.

    According to reports, the victim admitted to carrying out various crimes on behalf of a gang known as "El Cholo".

    Included footage shows an unidentified man repeatedly stabbing the victim to death.

    This video went viral on January 15, 2017, out of an unidentified location in Mexico. }

    Further, there are posts on Facebook around the same date which also make the same claim.

    The video was also posted on youtube around the same data.

    So, after the right-wing made viral a fake video of Gurmehar Kaur, now they have taken a video from Mexico and are claiming it to be an RSS member being murdered in Kerala. Good going!


    These Hindus are learning from western Islamophobes who also take a video/image of some crime and try to pass it off as Muslims doing the crime to them.


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