We need an inquiry into anti-Islam press

Letter in the Guardian, 24 January 2012:

Over the past decade, a number of academic studies have indicated a worrying and disproportionate trend towards negative, distorted and even fabricated reports in media coverage of the Muslim community. Recent research at Cambridge University concludes that “a wider set of representations of Islam would signify a welcome change to reporting practices. Muslims deserve a better press than they have been given in the past decade.” And according to a recent ComRes poll, one in three people in Britain today believe that the media is responsible for “whipping up a climate of fear of Islam in the UK”.

The Leveson inquiry has so far failed to adequately address unfair media coverage as it relates to less prominent cases, including those relating to Muslims and Islam, focusing as it does on the impact of phone hacking on celebrities and other high-profile individuals.

An alternative inquiry is necessary to investigate what many regard as widespread and systematic discriminatory practices in reporting on Muslims and Islam in the British media. Victims – whether prominent or not – of alleged discriminatory media coverage have a right to have their testimonies catalogued and examined thoroughly by credible, independent assessors. Recommendations can then be made to improve ethical standards in the reporting of not solely the Muslim community but of all sections of society.

Imran Khan Human rights solicitor
Bianca Jagger Chair, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation 
Michael Rosen Writer
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Jemima Khan
Navnit Dholakia Deputy leader, Liberal Democrats, House of Lords
Mohamed Ali Harrath Islam Channel
Hajj Ahmad Thomson Barrister
Jenny Jones Assembly member (Green), London Assembly
Andrew Boff Assembly member (Conservative), London Assembly
Rabbi Janet Burden
Walter Wolfgang
Hugh Lanning Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Sanum Ghafoor, blogger
Jean Lambert, MEP, London
Peter Murray Former president, NUJ
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari Chair, East London Mosque
Dr Omer El-Hamdoon Muslim Association of Britain
Massoud Shadjareh Islamic Human Rights Commission
Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy
Ahmed J Versi The Muslim News
John Rees Counterfire
Vivien Lichtenstein
Anas Altikriti Cordoba Foundation
Miriam Margolyes
Farooq Murad Muslim Council of Britain
Sarah Colborne Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Dr Daud Abdullah Middle East Monitor
Moazzam Begg Cageprisoners
Phil Rees Out of Office Films
Nabil Ahmed Federation of Student Islamic Societies
Abdullah Faliq Islamic Forum of Europe
Rabbi Jeffrey Newman
Cllr Larry Sanders Oxfordshire county council
Diana Neslen
Shemiza Rashid Director, The Creative Muslim Network
Na’ima B Roberts Editor, Sisters Magazine
Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada
Richard Peppiatt Writer and former tabloid reporter
Shazia Arshad Human rights campaigner
Myriam Francois Cerrah Activist
Murtaza Shibli Journalist and author
Lindsey German Stop The War Coalition
Murad Qureshi Assembly member, London Assembly
Cat Smith Chair, Next Generation Labour (pc)
Robert Pitt Islamophobia Watch
Dr Alana Lentin University of Sussex
Robin Richardson Insted Consultancy
Cat Boyd Coalition of Resistance Glasgow
Baroness Pola Uddin
Sean Rillo Raczka University of London Union
Chris Nineham Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia
Mark McDonald Barrister
Dan Poulton Journalist
Yasmin Khatun Producer
Frances Legg Producer
Chris Bambery Journalist
Sadiya Chowdhury Journalist
Supporters of the The Alternative Leveson inquiry