One would have thought the death of an 11 year old girl in a tragic amusement park accident a relatively straightforward incident to report on: a short summary of what happened, the name and age of the victim followed by some comments from the park operators and friends and family of the deceased. And so, no doubt, it would have been had the victim not been Muslim.
Sadly it would appear some saw in the tragic demise of 11 year old Evha Jannath an opportunity to vent their disdain for the victim’s faith and community.
The Daily Mail reported: “Muslim Girl, 11, dies in front of ‘shocked and screaming’ youngsters after falling into the water on Splash Canyon rapid river ride while on a trip from her Islamic school to Drayton Manor theme park.” So not only was she a “Muslim girl” but furthermore part of an “Islamic school” no less. And we all know what those lot are about, don’t we? The Metro felt the compelling need to evince their readership that the girl’s school, Leicester’s Jameah Girls’ Academy, was “a fee paying Islamic school that faced controversy in 2010 for requiring pupils to wear the niqab to and from class”. LBC radio presenter/rent-a-gob, Katie Hopkins surpassed herself by blaming the tragedy on the girl’s school because they organised a fun day during term time. An absurd statement as well as a pretty transparent way of drawing attention to the girl’s faith – one for which she has made plain her unreserved contempt – a dog whistle to her thousands of rabid Muslim hating followers. Her subsequent tweets about “Western frippery” and “Western attire” only serving to confirm suspiscions.
When mainstream media outlets report the accidental death of an 11 year old girl in such an invidious manner is it any wonder individuals feel empowered to tweet bile such as “Ah well…one less Muslim in the world…” or “Oh well, could have been worse, she could have been English.” When a community has been demeaned and villified to such an extent that the death of one of its children results not in an outpouring of sympathy but rather in a surge of demagoguery one can only wonder how long before we witness the sun dawning on glass littered pavements.
May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon sayyidina Muhammad. Ameen.