Here’s the STV headline:
‘Politicians tackle Islamophobia after increase in attacks’
The report goes on to say:
‘Politicians will consider further action to tackle an “abhorrent” anti-Muslim campaign as a community representative said it has already triggered Islamophobic incidents in Scotland. Police Scotland representatives will tell MSPs of action taken so for against social media and letter campaign urging people to “punish” a Muslim. A statement on behalf of Mr Sarwar said Glasgow’s ethnic minority communities have been alerted to give allegations of five serious hate crimes in the past 10 days. These are said to include an allegation that a schoolboy asked a young girl if he could pull her hijab off and film it to earn “points” for the campaign – which assigns these for crimes against Muslims.’
Is that a ‘serious’ hate crime? Is this hard evidence of any increase? Toward the end of the STV and the BBC reports we read:
‘No-one in Scotland is known to have received a copy, but Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said there has been a “spike” in racist and Islamophobic crimes in Glasgow.’
So, the headline is a lie.
BBC Scotland’s headline is at least not an outright fib:
‘MSPs to discuss concerns over ‘vile’ Islamophobic letters’
but it does go on to add unsourced rumours to the bonfire and to conflate the situation in Scotland with that in England:
‘There are fears the campaign may have led to physical attacks in Scotland. Concerns have also been raised about them in the House of Commons, with MPs describing the “abhorrent” letters as a “really urgent situation”.’
Is the above saying that concerns at Westminster are justifying fears in Scotland?
Again, there are one or two anecdotal reports of abuse but none of any arrests and almost at the end of the report:
‘Although there are no known recipients in Scotland, they have nonetheless caused considerable alarm and the community needs reassurance, especially since the letters have already triggered Islamophobic incidents here.’
If no one has received one of them, how could they have been alarmed?
OK, how about some real evidence of the kind a decent journalist might have reported:
‘There were 3,349 [hate crime] charges reported in 2016-17, 10 percent fewer than in 2015-16, and the lowest number reported since 2003-04.’
Remember these figures include anti-semitism (17), racism, Anglophobia, EastEuropeanphobia, Catholicphobia, and Proddyphobia.
Also, for context:
‘Hate crimes have rocketed by almost a third in the UK in the past year, with unprecedented spikes around the EU referendum and terror attacks recorded by police. New figures released by the Home Office confirm victims’ reports of a dramatic increase in incidents motivated by attackers’ hostility towards their race, nationality, religion or other factors. Data from police forces across England and Wales showed there were almost 80,400 hate crimes recorded in the 2016/17 financial year.’
I’m part-time, getting-on and have no research assistant. How can I offer context, clarity and accuracy when STV and BBC, with their resources, cannot?