The Islamophobia Observatory in the Media is available at www.observatorioislamofobia.org
The Observatory of Islamophobia in the Media, a project led by the Al Fanar Foundation and the IEMed with the support of the Tres Culturas Foundation, Casa Árabe and the EuroÁrabe Foundation, is already a reality. From today, you can visit the website www.observatorioislamofobia.org where journalistic information that stigmatises all Muslims is identified, and recommendations and good practices are issued for a more inclusive and precise journalistic narrative.
In its founding declaration, signed by more than a dozen organisations such as the Media Diversity Institute (London), European Association for Viewers Interests (Brussels) or the Citizens’ Platform against Islamophobia, the Observatory states:
“We believe in a journalism that reports responsibly, that promotes interculturality and avoids the generalisations that stigmatise the entire Muslim community and that can end up laying the foundations of a social fracture that only benefits violent extremists. The signatories of this statement defend the role that good journalism, precise, balanced and aware of its role as opinion maker and fixer of imaginaries, can play in promoting an inclusive society”.
The Observatory has been monitoring since January 2017 the newspapers; La Vanguardia, El Mundo, La Razón, 20 Minutos, El País and Diario.es. As stated in its methodology:
“The Observatory should not be understood as an “attack “on the media but as a contribution to provide tools that facilitate the representation of a diverse society”.
But the initiative wants to go beyond simply identifying examples of Islamophobia and articles that do not stigmatise Islam in these media. In this sense, it also draws on existing initiatives and good practices in Spain and Europe. It includes a glossary on Islam developed by Luz Gómez, a professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid and author of the Dictionary of Islam and Islamism, and as well offers articles about the theme elaborates ad hoc for the observatory. In one of them, the writer and philosopher Santiago Alba Rico, claims that the media are largely responsible for the rise of Islamophobia and therefore considers that “a purely informational commitment should be demanded and, in that sense educational commitment (…) If we allow – or fuel – the construction of a Muslim “internal enemy”, the rule of law will be in serious danger and with it all vulnerable minorities and, in general, individual rights and democratic freedoms won in the last decades”.