“The immediate media response on numerous fronts has been to demonise Islam and bring out of the closet so-called experts and those on the fringes of Islam’s middle path, with their extreme views. Opinions from some media commentators are being conceded as legitimate interpretations of Islam, although many of them have no scholarly background on Islam and unanimously offend almost the entire Muslim world.
“Ironically, the universally respected scholars such as Tariq Ramadan are being targeted as extremists although merely scratching the surface of the accusations against him reveal their acute flaws. By creating a villain out of the voices of reason and reconciliation, Muslims are being deprived of their most eloquent spokespeople and subsequently the ability to adequately defend against false accusations.
“The mainstream media needs to take responsibility for its actions and seriously consider the incitement that misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims in Britain can set in motion. By sensationalising this tragedy, our communities are being torn apart.”
Rajnaara Akhtar in the Independent, 16 July 2005