Religion Relations And the Media: The Straw on The Camel's Back


There have been many a movement lately tending to this negative idea of Islamic tradition, slowly but steadily working its way through society to cure it of its phobia, but relations between Islam and Non-Islamic parties are still tenuous.  In this day and age of social justice, any attack against Islam, or any minority for that matter, is met with swift defensive fury, as people make attempt to defend Islam from misinformed and faulty criticisms. But… what happens when destruction comes from within?
When an 11-year old girl, who earlier this year, alleged that a man had attacked her on her way to school, cutting her hijab, had revealed that the story had in fact, not occured, many on Twitter and Facebook quickly flared up in jeering victory.  In Shree Paradkar’s opinion piece for the Toronto Star, she laments on the fact that this new information can very easily undermine the fight against Islamophobia, before coming down on the girls online attacker’s, reminding the reader that just because one event happens to not be like the others, the concept that Islamophobia isn’t real is sorely false.
This is what caught my attention. Just how badly can this misinformation effect the the public's opinion on Islam? Many claims against this new revelation is that it is just “fake news”, while Shree believes it is simply “false”. But what’s the difference between the two, and is it so much of a difference that it can negatively affect the public image of Islam? What is the current relationship between Islam and society exactly and how does news feeds and media affect our thought on it? And what exactly are these online “critics” looking for? Why so vehemently applaud when one girl is proven wrong? If it is simply happiness from so-called proof that Islamophobia isn’t real, and that everything is alright with the world, then what does that mean for the legitimacy of the truth, if one misinformed news article can spawn such a mess?
These are the questions I will be exploring in my podcast, as I discuss just what incorrect news could mean for our society.

Paradkar, Shree. “A girl’s hijab story isn’t true. But we’d be fools to believe anti-Muslim hatred doesn’t exist in Canada.”, 15 Jan. 2018,

Summary: This article is the focal point of my podcast. In this article, Paradkar gives her opinions on the recent revelation that an 11-year old girl, who accused a man of attacking her and cutting her hijab, had not been involved in such an event, according to police. She essentially expresses her dismay at the reveal, explaining that this one event can undermine all other actual Islamophobic occurrences, and allows society to once again close their eyes to Islamaphobia in Canada. 

Kurt, Shachi, and Ian Holliday. Faith and Religion in Public Life: Canadians deeply divided over the role of faith in the public square. Angus Reid Institute, 15 Nov. 2017,

Summary: This is a statistics page on the Canadian public's waning views on religion and its place in today's society Paradkar uses in her Article. Overall, while people are generally accepting of its existence, much of the Canadian population wishes to move away from its grasp, the overall majority wishing to move on from it. I intend to use this information as a way to further solidify the legitimacy of my point. 

Mugal, M. A. “Mass Media and Its influence on society.” Think Research Expose,

Summary: This article discusses how much of our lives are encircled by media and briefly talks about their effects (of advertisements) on children and young adults, explaining how the exposure of ads telling people how to look affects their thinking and sense of self. I wish to use this article more as a way to show how much of an effect media alone can have on people's lives.

Hunt, Elle. “What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 Dec. 2016,

Summary: Elle seems to answer basic but important questions about  the difference between the creation of fake and real news,  the importance of knowing the difference and how difficult telling said difference can actually be. The purpose of this article would be to give a definition of fake news, so that I may further explain how hurtful the events of my opinion piece can be.