IranOctober 9 2022, 12:52 pm

EU-Funded Report Accuses European Media of Structural Islamophobia; Author Producer on Iranian Press TV

On 22 Sep­tem­ber 2022, the Islam­ic Human Rights Com­mis­sion (IHRC) host­ed a vir­tu­al launch event for an EU-fund­ed report by the con­tro­ver­sial British inves­tiga­tive non-prof­it Spin­watch. The report ana­lyzes the role of influ­en­tial Euro­pean media con­glom­er­ates in dis­sem­i­nat­ing what it calls “Islam­o­pho­bic” view­points. Accord­ing to an IHRC post

This report […] offers an analy­sis of the role and sig­nif­i­cance of the news media, detail­ing the polit­i­cal net­works of which these organ­i­sa­tions are part and analysing their rela­tion­ship with polit­i­cal elites and social movements.

Read the rest here.

The title page of the report states, “Co-fund­ed by the Euro­pean Union.”

The report launch event fea­tured speak­ing appear­ances by the report author and Spin­watch spon­sor David Miller and for­mer Islam­ic Human Rights Com­mis­sion (IHRC) Research Direc­tor Arzu Mer­ali. The IHRC is a UK-based NGO found­ed in 1997 and has had Spe­cial Con­sul­ta­tive Sta­tus with the Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil (ECOSOC) of the Unit­ed Nations since 2007. The IHRC is con­sid­ered sup­port­ive of the Iran­ian regime and has been cen­tral to orga­niz­ing the annu­al Inter­na­tion­al Quds Day events. In August 2022, the GIOR report­ed that the IHRC chair­man had praised the fat­wa on author Salman Rushdie less than a year before an August 2022 stab­bing attack in which Rushdie received life-threat­en­ing injuries. Also invit­ed to speak at the event but not pic­tured in the event video was Ms. Fion­nu­ala D. Ní Aoláin, UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Counter-Ter­ror­ism and Human Rights.

Draw­ing from pub­lic data, the 56-page report titled “Islam­o­pho­bia and Euro­pean media: The role of the state as ‘pri­ma­ry defin­er’ accus­es influ­en­tial Euro­pean media out­lets of enabling anti-Mus­lim hatred. It also argues that changes in the nature of anti-Mus­lim report­ing are often relat­ed to pri­or changes in gov­ern­ment counter-ter­ror­ism pol­i­cy, sug­gest­ing an “active struc­tur­al rela­tion­ship “between the state and the media. The report was co-authored by Spin­watch Direc­tor David Miller, a for­mer pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal soci­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol who, in 2021, was dis­missed after mak­ing com­ments, such as say­ing Israel want­ed to “impose [its] will all over the world.” Miller, known for his harsh crit­i­cism of Zion­ism and the “Israel lob­by,” claimed that he was “entire­ly cleared of com­plaints of anti-Semi­tism” but was not allowed to men­tion it because of the report’s con­fi­den­tial­i­ty. How­ev­er, the UK All-Par­ty Par­lia­men­tary Group Against Anti-Semi­tism accused Miller of “incit­ing hatred against Jew­ish stu­dents.” Miller pro­duces a show on Pales­tine for Press TV, an Iran­ian state-fund­ed broad­cast­er and influ­ence oper­a­tion aimed at West­ern audi­ences. In recent years, Miller has been described by a UK aca­d­e­m­ic as hav­ing become a “con­spir­a­cy theorist.”

Spin­watch was found­ed in 2005 and main­tains the open-source inves­tiga­tive plat­form Power­base. It is gen­er­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the British left, with its report­ing almost exclu­sive­ly cen­ter­ing around top­ics such as Big Phar­ma or the finan­cial indus­try; it also has a his­to­ry of anti-Israeli activism. In 2014, the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch, our pre­de­ces­sor pub­li­ca­tion, report­ed that Spin­watch had received fund­ing from the Cor­do­ba Foun­da­tion, an orga­ni­za­tion head­ed by British GMB leader Anas Altkri­ti. Accord­ing to its web­site, Spin­watch also received fund­ing from addi­tion­al GMB and Hamas sup­port orga­ni­za­tions, including:

  • Mus­lim Engage­ment and Devel­op­ment, a UK Islam­ic NGO close to the GMB in Britain
  • Friends of Al-Aqsa, a Leices­ter-based ‘human rights’ NGO tied to the GMB and Hamas.
  • Mid­dle East Mon­i­tor, a UK-based Islamist news por­tal close to the GMB and Hamas

For part two in this series, go here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.