Home COLUMNS Cathy Newman – No place to hide

Cathy Newman – No place to hide


The Cathy Newman debacle is something that refuses to go away. Emails are constantly in my inbox since it was first published in the Huffington Post that the Channel 4  journalist had actually lied during the Muslim Council of Britains visit a mosque day initiative…writes YZ Patel

People say to me.. Your columns carry a constant thread. I said do they? What’s that then? The thread of victimhood they say. In all your pieces you’re always saying your kind are being oppressed not listened to, you always proclaim malfeasance in most if not all of your pieces.

You are always at the forefront to advocate atrocities made in the name of your religion. Really? Where? You always pull out the race card at a nano second. Do I? You never blame your faith or your culture for treating women unequally as second class citizens? Really?

This column is to voice and address the injustices the miscarriages of those,  the misreporting, the bias, the inequalities, the discrimination not the victimhood but the victimisation that occurs incessantly against followers of the Islamic faith daily unequivocally in all sections of the media.

Besides publications like this we do not have a voice, we need more like this so we can right the constant wrongs. Some will say what about the Guardian? The Independent? Observer? All these on the left of the political scale?

Well I didn’t go to Oxbridge or the Russell Group of education institutions, the fact I can write something down on paper interesting or otherwise (depending on the opine of who is reading) better or as good as those doesn’t hold water as maybe I don’t come from the background of privilege that would allow me to get into the back pocket of Rusbridger (Guardian editor).

The fact remains and no more so than this week how important it is for everyone of us to support organisations like this one that gives a voice and readdresses the balance. I have not seen any commentator giving opinion on this yet in any of the aforementioned national organisations.

The Cathy Newman debacle is something that refuses to go away. Emails are constantly in my inbox since it was first published in the Huffington Post that the Channel 4  journalist had actually lied during the Muslim Council of Britains visit a mosque day initiative.

Her tweets of being ‘ushered’ out of a mosque were completely fabricated and none of this had actually happened, she however until exposed later maintained this stance, refuting any claims to the contrary that this simply did not happen.

The Huffington Post (most would say an act of god ) did some proper investigative journalism and went to further probe what really happened at the alleged mosque. They were shown the CCTV of her visit and saw neither was she ushered out by anyone rather after being directed she left all alone quite normally.

However to stigmatise our religion she pretended something totally contradictory occurred. That she was ‘ushered’ away despite wearing a ‘headscarf’ and as soon as these untruths were espoused,  the anti Islamic ammunition was loaded in the vast media arsenal and they fired.

And how they fired each hitting their target,  all the media agencies within minutes of Newman’s tweets had this as their top story. The ‘backward religion’ the anti woman doctrine. Look what happens when a female  wants to visit a mosque. It’s full of misogyny the faith, this proves it.

All I was waiting for was a piece by Yasmin Alibhai Brown in a unadulterated defence of Newman and womens’ rights and a rebuke of the faith she claims to symbolise.

The thing that disappoints most is we expect lies, fabrication and the sullying of our religion from Murdoch Rothermere or Desmond all those from the right they make it abundantly clear it is their agenda, their currency,  but this to come out from one section that we thought could delineate and give us balance leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth.

To appropriate this in a religious context especially a Islamic one, the actions of Cathy Newman are those of the Munafiqeen, the arabic term used to describe a religious hypocrite, who outwardly practices Islam, while inwardly concealing his or in this instance her disbelief, perhaps even unknowingly. They are the worst of created beings, for they pretend to, but do not believe.

We think she represents us but really she is harbouring the same disdain and virulence for us as the rest, and through our religion her true beliefs and thoughts on our faith have been exposed and laid bare. She has been found out, she has no integrity as a journalist or a person, she cannot be employed by any reputable news organisation to report on any news story as no one knows whether she has made it up or not. The attempt by Channel 4 to limit the damage caused is sadly irreparable.

The statement given by the South London Mosque told its own story how these falsehoods tweeted by Newman gave license for ‘islamphobes’ to threaten violence and much more against their attendees and the establishment itself and tarnished the religion and the institutions standing within the community for over 35 years.

Their continued work with the synagogue and the church nearby, running interfaith initiatives and food bank programmes and is a community hub with three floors for women is completely at odds with Newman’s duplicitous and pernicious description of the institution.

In those ill thought out tweets she  made sure thirty five years of good work in building community cohesiveness were totally tossed away and with it went any of the Muslim community trusting anything ever reported or written by anyone in the media from whatever political direction they come from.

The wounds are deep and not likely to heal soon. We, as we have always done take every report with a pinch of salt and in isolation and further from what is written we should now be analysing who it is written by. As the old adage goes more than ever ‘trust no one’.