Islamic Human Rights Commission
18 July 2006
URGENT ALERT: Ways to Protest Israeli war against Lebanon and Gaza (1)
1. Monitor and respond to media bias
(i) responding to biased reporting regarding civilian deaths
(ii) responding to Maureen Lipman’s comments on the BBC’s This Week programme on 13 July 2006
IHRC has received numerous calls regarding biased new coverage of the events in the Middle East over the last few weeks.
IHRC is encouraging campaigners to complain about misleading or biased reporting as soon as it happens. The following is a suggested form of ongoing monitoring.
Some new programmes e.g. the 10.30pm ITN news bulletin yesterday evening, stated that Lebanese civilians had ‘lost their lives’ but that Israeli civilians had been ‘killed’. This subtly suggests that the killing of Israelis is different and indeed worse than the killing of the Lebanese in this instance. This is a common form of bias that has been documented and commented upon in reporting on the Israel / Palestine issue by Greg Philo and Mike Berry in their book ‘Bad News from Israel’.
IHRC encourages campaigners to note such reporting and to complain after watching / listening to the news piece. They may also wish to complain to newspaper editors if they find similar reporting in print media. Some useful contacts follow (please copy IHRC in to any correspondence and let us know of any responses you receive):
viewer_liaisonC3@itn.co.uk for ITV News programmes
viewer_liaisonC4@itn.co.uk for Channel 4 News programmes
firstname.lastname@example.org for ITN radio programmes
Please fill in the form on http://www.sky.com/skynews/feedback/enquiry/0,,,00.html
Or email email@example.com
For all BBC news, including TV, Radio and On-line
Please make an official complaint via their form at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/
(ii) Complain about Maureen Lipman’s comments on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ programme on 13 July 2006
Veteran comedy actress Maureen Lipman appeared as a guest on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ programme hosted by Andrew Neill last Thursday (13 July). When questioned about the disproportionate use of force by Israeli forces, Lipman stated:
\”What\’s proportion got to do with it. It\’s not about proportion, is it? Human life is not cheap to the Israelis. And human life on the other side is quite cheap actually because they strap bombs to people and send them to blow themselves up.\”
To suggest that Arabs value life less than Israelis is offensive and is a clearly racist assertion. Lipman was not challenged on this by the show’s host Andrew Neill. Please email the BBC to question why such a comment was allowed to go unchallenged, and ask for an apology to be issued.
Please go to the official complaints page on the BBC website:
The programme can still be viewed (until this Thursday evening) by clicking on the video link on the ‘This Week’ homepage:
Please let us know of any responses you receive firstname.lastname@example.org.
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\”And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.\”
Holy Qur\’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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