KL NEWS NETWORK
Imagine Kashmir Media reporting about Hindutva terrorism and using images of Kashmiri Pandits praying inside a temple! That is exactly what international media has been doing off late.
Recently some of the leading newspapers carried photographs of Kashmiri Muslims in the stories on ISIS and ISIL.
In one of the stories by London based The Guardian titled “Isis will fail to emulate Islam’s great conquests”, an image of people supplicating in the lawns of Hazratbal Shrine.
In another story by the New York Times titled “ISIS’ War on Christmas” another image of people supplicating in Hazratbal shrine was used.
This has made Kashmiris aghast and some netizens have started a movement on social networking sites to report such stories as spam and to the organisations concerned.
“The use of image from Hazratbal shrine to discuss ISIS and Christmas is akin to using some image from Japan when discussing Brazil-Argentina relations – completely irrelevant”, wrote a Kashmiri Facebook user.
“If we use Muslim symbols along with stories about terrorism, it conflates the two and melds into the same narrative which invariably sees Muslims as extremists,” said a senior journalist based in Srinagar, “It is a part of perception engineering to cement this very belief.”
“It implies Kashmiri Muslims believe in the ideology of ISIS. It creates a wrong perception about Kashmiri Muslims, though police and security agencies have ruled out the presence in Kashmir,” the journalist added.
Other than these two leading dailies many other international media organisations like The Independent and Huffington Post, in the past, have misrepresented images from Kashmir in their stories on ISIS and Terrorism.