Reader Lachie of SA writes:
Always identity politics and Always the victim card.
Wait for the ultra vague story of a fake attack on a scarf.
Recent media reporting is creating “division, hatred and fear” and has unfairly laid the blame for Melbourne’s coronavirus spike on Muslims, according to the Islamic Council of Victoria.
Herald Sun newspaper columnist Andrew Bolt and Sky News commentator Peta Credlin have been among those in the media over the past few days to lay blame for the rise in cases at the feet of multicultural communities.
ICV vice president Adel Salman said there was no evidence that Muslims were responsible for causing the surge in cases but that hasn’t stopped some media outlets from focusing on the community.
“It plays to a narrative and it’s picked up by those who believe that narrative, that ‘here we go again, Muslims are a threat, they are either trying to harm us with guns and bombs and cars, or now through the virus',” he told SBS News.“It’s completely unfair, there is no evidence for it and it doesn’t help. It doesn’t help make us safer, it doesn’t tackle the problem. It stigmatises the community and creates division, hatred and fear - and that ultimately hurts us all."
Several of Victoria’s recent coronavirus clusters have been based in the north and north-western suburbs, areas with high multicultural populations and with large Muslim communities.
These areas have been designated as community transmission hotspots by the state government, and testing has been ramped up there.
SBS extract ends
Here's the Islamic Council of Victoria's statement.
The ICV is concerned and disappointed with recent media reporting which supports unfounded speculation that the spike and resurgence of COVID-19 in recent weeks can be traced back to Eid which was over a month ago.
Government and health authorities have not confirmed the source of the outbreak. So, any connection to Eid and by implication the Muslim community is grossly unfair and represents barely concealed Islamophobia at a time when it is more important than ever to remain united in our fight against this pandemic.
ICV President Mohamed Mohideen, stated: “Its clear that this virus does not discriminate. It could be members in some areas today and other suburbs tomorrow, and as such we all have a responsibility to heed the guidelines and advice provided by the State Health Authorities and make sure it does not spread”.
The ICV along with all multicultural and multifaith organisations in Victoria have played a key role in disseminating important public health messages to their respective communities and continue to do so today. As Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews states, “we are all in this together” and we need to support each other and work towards keeping our community safe.
It is vital during these times of heightened emotions and stress that the media reports events accurately and responsibly. Sensationalist and inflammatory targeting of particular communities creates division and anger and undermines efforts to maintain community harmony. We all suffer as a result.
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And here are a couple of the factual and measured reports which have upset the perpetually upset ICV.