The moral outrage is as thick as Devon cream. But this story is about much more than corrupt police and a media culture run amok. It’s about power, hypocrisy and revenge. It’s about opportunism and political calculation. And most of all, it’s about payback. In Britain, Rupert Murdoch is widely reviled as an evil genius who’s been clobbering the competition and terrorizing the political class for decades. And now, he’s getting his comeuppance.
In addition to all this, News Corp, its newspapers and TV stations (including Sun and Fox) and Rupert Murdoch himself, were the biggest tarnishers of Muslim identity in the world. While the Islamophobia in the Western media will not be significantly reduced by these events, it is heartening to see that lies and hypocrisy are based on negative forces that eventually, and automatically, dismantle their purveyors.
By changing public perception at the expense of vulnerable groups like Muslims living in the West, the News Corp media outlets developed a Teflon skin as their demographics and political connections made them invulnerable. Now, the same politicians that they had bullied for so long are smelling blood. However, changing public perceptions is not that easy, and that will take a generation, perhaps more.
This is where Muslims can contribute, and the following actions come to mind:
- Recognise the threats to their identity and educate each other about the consequences of not being aware.
- Minimise internal conflict or keep it within appropriate fora.
- Publicly and cleanly tackle interest groups within the Muslim community that have their own agenda.
- Increase public profile and take control of the narrative in the media.
- Blessed with a faith that is not racist and is international, always project an inclusive image.
For the moment, let us just relish this sweet co-incidence where a global bully has been humbled.