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Senior Lecturer launches new book in Parliament

A male wearing a white shirt and navy blue blazer sits in a chair holding a book.

A Liverpool Hope University lecturer was invited to present the findings of his new edited book examining Islamophobia in the media at a launch event in Parliament.

Dr Salman Al-Azami, Senior Lecturer in Language, Media and Communication, launched Media Language on Islam and Muslims: Terminologies and Their Effects at a panel discussion held at Portcullis House on Wednesday 22 May 2024.

Hosted by Afzal Khan MP and Naz Shah MP of the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, the event was attended by politicians, senior news and broadcast journalists and Muslim community leaders.

Dr Al-Azami’s book provides guidance on how the media’s choice of language can affect the general public’s perceptions of Islam, highlighting how the misuse of key terms negatively impacts the lives of British Muslims.

It was launched alongside the Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) Centre for Media Monitoring’s (CfMM) Terminology Style Guide, which Dr Al-Azami contributed to and which is intended to provide guidance to newsrooms on the correct use of terminology relating to Islam and Muslims.

The event saw Dr Al-Azami take part in a panel discussion chaired by the Director of CfMM, Rizwana Hamid.

He was joined by Miqdaad Versi, founder of the CfMM and the official spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB); Simon London, Author of News UK’s Terminology Guide; Humza Chaudhry, ITN Head of Strategic Partnerships; and Dr Michael Munnick, Centre for the Study of Islam, Cardiff University.

The panellists underscored the importance for the media to be more responsible in using language while representing Muslims.

MP’s Khan and Shah congratulated Dr Al-Azami and the CfMM on their important contributions, reiterating their hope that the book and the style guide would bring positive changes in the way language is used by both politicians and the media.

Commenting on the event, Dr Al-Azami said: “I was honoured to be invited to present my new book in Parliament.

“I am hopeful that this collaborative effort with the Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre for Media Monitoring will foster a more accurate and respectful portrayal of Muslims in the media, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive society.

“Politicians and journalists both have a big role to play in that, particularly when selecting the language they use while discussing Islam and Muslims, so I am delighted so many senior figures have taken the opportunity to engage with this event.”

Naz Shah, Labour MP for Bradford West, said: “It is an absolute honour to be part of the launch of this very important book.

“It is really important to have this resource available for the media to access to understand the terminology because language is power and the use of language has the ability to affect people in their everyday lives.

“We know the terminology used by the media is problematic and to change that, this book goes a long way.”

Published on 29/05/2024