While the Daily Mail thinks of itself as a newspaper, for many horrified Muslims in the United Kingdom it has been nothing more than a pamphlet of anti-Muslim sentiment. What is the purpose of the Daily Mail?
It would be naive to think that the Daily Mail's purpose is to bring the news to the people in an objective manner. One would think that the purpose of a newspaper would be to uphold journalistic standards and ethically report on stories that are confirmed and proven true through in depth reporting and the checking of facts. The truth is that this has nothing to do with the purpose of the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail does not exist to bring the news or to do anything relating to journalist; the Daily Mail exists to sell itself. This newspaper is a business and its highest purpose is to find a market and sell papers and advertising space, simple as that.
It is unfortunate for Muslims that the niche that the Daily Mail has carved out for itself involves pandering to the ultra-conservatives, that sector of British society that has always been uncomfortable with brown-colored men entering their country. The truly worrying aspect of the Daily Mail's practices is the fact that they continually throw journalistic ethics out the window. They either report on absurd and untrue stories (like Muslim bus drivers disallowing seeing-eye dogs for the blind or Muslims being offended by the smell of bacon,) or they take a cynically anti-Muslim view of current events, like their apparent disgust when the hijab was not banned in the United Kingdom. It is often the first kind of absurd little stories that prove the most damaging to Muslims in Britain.
Most people dismiss these kinds of short snippets in the paper as trivial, as unimportant while worrying most about the big controversies in the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in Britain. The fact is that these absurd and unconfirmed stories (which would certainly not be newsworthy if the word “Muslim” were not added to them) cause the most damage, since they dehumanize Muslims and paint them as an alien intrusion in British society.
The first step towards violence and widespread, institutionalized prejudice and discrimination against a sector of society is the dehumanization of said people. It has always been the case that when a community is ravaged and violated, whether they are Jews, Bosnians, Tutsis, or African Americans, that shift in the aggressors mind needs to happen. That little adjustment that justifies to oneself the violence, the little voice that says “these aren't people, these aren't like us, they're something else.” What the Daily Mail is doing today is continually feeding this attitude in those people that are already predisposed to it, turning xenophobia and mild discomfort at people of other cultures into violence and outright hatred. It is tragically, profoundly sad that there are people that choose to do this in order to sell newspapers. It is unfortunate that British society has chosen to condone and tolerate it, instead of making sure that people know that the Daily Mail is not a newspaper, or even a tabloid; the Daily Mail is nothing better than a political pamphlet and should be categorized as such.
-- Al Arabiya Digital