Friday, 31 May 2019 06:55

BELGIUM – News site provides megaphone to anti-Muslim election advert

The DH.be news website spreads Islamophobic narratives promoted by the “Liste Destexhe” party by uncritically republishing their hateful campaign material. This is Belgium’s media monitoring highlight for May.

This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights for May, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

image2 3Date of publication: 22 May 2019

Media Outlet: DH.be, La Dernière Heure, a French-language daily newspaper published in Belgium

Link: https://bit.ly/2XeLhnf 

Headline: “Listes Destexhe’s campaign ads on burqini provokes new outcry”

Description of the anti-Muslim content: This article reacts to the inflammatory message and image used by the “Listes Destexhe” party in their electoral campaign. The photo, republished by DH.be, visually compares the policies of the green party “Ecolo” to the policies of the right-wing “Listes Destexhe” regarding the usage of the burqini, a swimsuit for women which covers the whole body except the face. The image promotes anti-Muslim hatred as it shows three women, who are all running in the elections within the party, looking sad when wearing the burqini and happy when wearing a bikini.  

Myth debunked: The article reports on the Ecolo party’s reaction to Islamophobic campaign material by Listes Destexhe. However, the magnified republication of the election advert on the top of the page actually propagates and spreads the same Islamophobic narrative. Additionally, the article does not provide enough contextual information or critical reporting about the campaign. Journalists should not be megaphones of hate-mongering politicians, but rather scrutinise their messages. A professional and ethical article would have provided an analysis of the xenophobic campaign by Alan Destexhe and would have used several images to illustrate the story, rather than reuse an Islamophobic poster as a clickbait. 

More to read:

Why voting in European elections can be your concrete step in tackling Islamophobia

France’s burkini ban exposes the hypocrisy of its secularist state

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