I thought the the Daily Express “Veil should be banned say 98%” front page was among the lows of Biritish journalism when I posted my comment on Tuesday. But it seems that the Daily Star nearly sank much lower.
According to the Press Gazette a spoof “Daily Fatwa” page was only pulled after the NUJ members called an emergency chapel meeting. It had been signed off by senior executives working under the new deputy editor Ben Knowles, who joined the paper in September from Nuts.
It seems the page included “Page 3 burqa babes special” and a blank editorial stamped “censored”.
Both these newspapers are owned by Richard Desmond. This is the man who built his fortune by publishing a string of pornographic magazines. Wikipedia has a succinct biography of Desmond.
If the developing prejudice against Muslims in Britain came only from the Desmond papers it would be fairly easy to dismiss it. But it is wider, as Jonathan Freedland demonstrates in his article in the Guardian. His conclusion is chilling:
Right now, we’re getting it badly wrong – bombarding Muslims with pressure and prejudice, laying one social problem after another at their door. I try to imagine how I would feel if this rainstorm of headlines substituted the word “Jew” for “Muslim”: Jews creating apartheid, Jews whose strange customs and costume should be banned. I wouldn’t just feel frightened. I would be looking for my passport.
Earlier in the article he wrote of “a kind of drumbeat of hysteria in which both politicians and media have turned again and again on a single, small minority, first prodding them, then pounding them as if they represented the single biggest problem in national life.”