Book Review: 18 Days Al Jazeera English and the Egyptian Revolution

18_jazeera_feature-770x47218 days from 25 January to 11 February 2011 had not changed the Arab streets due to revolution but also changed the way the world judged and saw how Al Jazeera English was not just an ordinary news channel. The network channel known by some right wing commentators as “Terror TV” was part of the wider Al Jazeera Media Network where once in 2003 the Arabic channel was famously remarked by Hosni Mubarak as a “tiny matchbox,” had overnight become a trusted and reliable news source which controlled the news agenda for the best part of 2011.

18 Days: Al Jazeera English and the Egyptian Revolution studies the account of the channel during the 18 days of the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Authored by Scott Bridges who had worked at the channel on two occasions the book gives a blow by blow account of the relationship between the newsroom, the journalists reporting in Egypt and the lives of the people they were reporting on from the streets of Egypt as change was sweeping the Arab world’s most populous country.  Bridges uses his own experience from working for the cosmopolitian newsroom providing abehind the scene account portraying a deep analysis of how this news channel based in the desert city of Doha became the most sought news source both on TV and online. Bridges highlights the powress during that time of the channel’s  unlimited resources of newsgathering, risk taking journalism and sharp editorial judgement in leadership which transformed the media landscape. However Bridges also uses the opportunity to examine Al Jazeera English and its relationship with its Qatari benefactors, its role within the world and the challenges the channel now faces after its ‘CNN moment’ in 2011.

The book is a day to day journey of what really took place at the channel trying to report the facts as correspondents Sherine Tadros, Ayman Mohyedin and Rawya Rageh along with their colleagues were beaming the revolution into the homes of millions of people, to the behind the scene conversations in the gallery when presenters Adrian Finigan or Kamahl Santamaria were guiding the audience to the plethora of events.

As an individual who watched Al Jazeera during that period as an audience member rather than as a journalist the book offers a great narrative during the events ranging the last minute heated tensions off air or problems with the B-Gan’ which forced correspondent Jamal ElShayyal to look at alternatives to get his content beamed from Alexandra to Doha.

Salah Negm, the channel’s Director of News was quoted by Bridges as saying: “Once you have a big news story, you focus on it, you own it, concentrate on it; make yourself the point of interest,” during the 18 days of the revolution Al Jazeera did exactly that. As editorial staff by default were focusing on the Tunisian revolution, management decided to send correspondent Rawya Rageh to capture the mood in Cairo outside the Tunisian embassy where a dozen protesters had gathered. Even though Raweh along with many colleagues were not convinced anything may blow into a full blown revolution, her closing lines in the package was: ” Whike it’s not clear if these limited protests could gain enough traction to replicate what happened in Tunisia, the sentiment is clear; change is coming, Tunisia is the inspiration,” yet as Rageh told Bridges in her mind she was not convinced that anything remotely on the scale of what to come was about to happen. Rawya didn’t believe that change would come, but then like her colleagues her sentiments were that nobody had an inkling of what was to come.

Bridges goes into detail on how events on the 25th January changed the the editorial debates in Doha which prompted Mohammed Nanabhay the head of online at the time to take the call to place Egypt ahead of the Palestine Papers story, which was scheduled for the day of the protests, even though Al Jazeera had one eye of the 25th January protests it didn’t mean Al Jazeera were not prepared, Bridges shows with examples how during the day on the 25th the wheels started in motion to focus more on Egypt with staff, news gathering and resources.

Despite TV having the resources and were leading the content discourse, Nanabhay and his online team played a central role in the development of the story from the streets of Egypt with the use of social media and constant updates on the site together with the live streaming of the news. The importance of the online character was demonstrated when during the course of the 18 days there was a 2500% increase on website traffic which placed above the New York Times as a news source.

Bridges uses anecdotal examples of failing equipment, rolling news and near death experiences draws the reader to not just understand the editorial nuances but the emotional and physical dealings journalists had to endure as history was being made.

Bridges offers a perspective on why Al Jazeera the new kid on the block shook the media landscape and brought into journalism the “Al Jazeera DNA,” something Al Anstey the Managing Director always refer to. Despite the constant scrutiny and challenges the channel is currently facing, 18 Days shows how the channel answers their critics not by rhetoric but by its content. Even though the channel has dispelled the myths of being a “Terror TV” station, the channel has new challenges, most notably to campaign for the release of its three arrested journalists in Egypt and the constant questions on editorial independence and bias. Yet the enormity of the channel’s reputation which it has itself cultivated had brought goodwill support from competitors, world governments and human rights group in their calls to free their colleagues, while the integrity and respect for good honest journalism through its news and programmes has won many plaudits from their peers and beyond. Bridges in the words of the blogger Grayson Hamilton highlights the network’s philosophy: “Deliver the facts, give them context, and serve the public,” something which has served the channel well for the past nine years and not just 18 days in the early days of 2011.

France’s media as undecided as its voters

Al jazeera – Something I wrote before the First French election.

With the first round of the French presidential election less than 24 hours away, there has seemingly yet to be any great wave of public excitement over any of the candidates or their policies.

The French media, along with the general public, often unanimously agree that the “real election” comes during the second round, in which the top two runners fight it out for the key to the Elysee Palace.

Ten candidates will compete in Sunday’s first round – and if, as expected, none wins 50 per cent of the votes cast, there will be a second, run-off round.

n a country where all candidates are given equal coverage and where televised political advertisements are banned, the frontrunners have to share the media stage with their less popular candidates. Nevertheless, editorial analysis and judgement plays an important role in getting politicians’ message across.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has recently been trailing in the polls to his rival, the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande.

Sarkozy has been blamed for the country’s economic difficulties, and – for someone who was elected in 2007 for his personality and policies – he is now someone who appears to have lost his charm and popularity.


Hollande, on the other hand, has been called “the president in waiting”. He is seen as an affable moderate, whose quiet manner and corporate tax-raising economic policy differ sharply from Sarkozy’s glamour and free market ideals.

The campaign of centrist François Bayrou – who in 2007 took nearly a fifth of the first round vote – has become somewhat marginalised, over-shadowed by the more extreme right and left wing candidates. He does, however, remain influential in terms of where his votes will go in round two.

The far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen has been polling at 15 per cent with her policies against the “tsunami” of illegal immigration, and the “Islamisation” of France, but she hasn’t managed to make as much of an impact as once predicted.

The far-left candidate Jean Luc Melenchon, who has attracted voters with radical ideas – such as a “citizens’ revolution” based on the ideals of the 1871 Paris Commune – is also polling at 15 per cent, in close competition with Le Pen for third place.

n the final stretch before Sunday’s vote, Sarkozy is under pressure, with most opinion polls showing him trailing behind Hollande, who is expected by many observers to beat the incumbent in the second round of polling on May 6.

In the 2007 election, Sarkozy was much more popular in the media, talked up as a potential “hope and change” for France, ushering the country into a new era. 

But after five years as president, where he has presided over an economic lull, the media have become much more critical and sceptical of the man dubbed the “bling bling president”.

Nevertheless, Sarkozy has always found an ally in the right-leaning daily newspaper Le Figaro, which is an exception to the rule, firmly supporting the incumbent – calling a major campaign speech “rich, lyrical, and forward-looking” in an editorial comment.

Usual lines

Yet, even as the polls swing against him, Sarkozy told [Fr] Le Figaro that if Hollande were to win it would be “catastrophic” for the French economy – which has been the long-running argument from the right.

Le Figaro maintained a Hollande victory would mean Mélenchon and his far-left support base would hold the new president hostage with “suicidal economic policies … to the detriment of France”.

But the left-leaning Le Monde said the Sarkozy presidency had “egregious shortcomings, due to his ubiquity, his exhibitionism, his endless capacity to contradict himself, his fascination with the rich, and his tendency to blame all shortcomings on the unemployed, immigrants, Muslims and civil servants”.

Liberation, another left-leaning newspaper, said the financial markets “were not scared by the left” and had anticipated a Socialist win in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.

This acceptance – that if opinion polls are correct – means that on May 7, President Hollande will be the first Socialist president since 1995.

Throughout the campaign, a key component of debate and scrutiny has been the economy, with both leading candidates promising to balance the budget. Hollande, however has emphasised growth, in comparison with attempts to cut deficits through the “austerity” measures of Sarkozy’s administration.

The economy has dominated the election, even though there was a brief moment when it looked like the debate was about to be shifted to immigration and Islam following the Toulouse shootings.

It is the economy

Anne-Gaëlle Besse, a French journalist in the northern town of Denain – often dubbed “the poorest city in France”, said the election had forced people there to “take an interest”, given the dependence of their future on the outcome of the vote.

Besse said general media coverage had been based on “economics being the main issue, not security. And all those anti-Muslim declarations haven’t really worked”.

Liberation, days after the Toulouse shootings criticised Sarkozy initially for how he had “played the Muslim card on terror, halal meat and Hijabs” to appeal to Le Pen supporters.

“As we approach the 2012 presidential election, relations between Nicolas Sarkozy and the Muslim community continue to deteriorate, as Sarkozy aims to use ‘the Muslim issue’ as a vote grabbing exercise,” said Gaelle.

Sarkozy’s reported attempts to pick up far-right voters did not go unnoticed and attracted strong international criticism, with The Wall Street Journal calling him “Nicolas Le Pen“. Yet Sarkozy has not be allowed to steer the debate far from the economy, and that is where he hopes he can take on Hollande in the second round.

There seems to be a general consensus coming from French media that, unlike previous elections, there are many voters who still haven’t made up their mind who to vote for, or have confessed they simply won’t be coming out to vote in the first round.

Shaima Elbialy, a French journalist living in London, said the media and the candidates failed to attract people’s attention simply because real issues had hardly been tackled.

“Even the debates between candidates on TV have attracted fewer people … and in particular, young people,” said Elbialy.

Marianne, a weekly French news magazine, implied that none of the candidates had announced any solution to “real problems” that fuel so much anger among voters – hence a potential low first-round turnout.

A study carried out by polling agency IFOP for the education magazine L’Etudiant reported 59 per cent of voters aged 18 to 22 were still unsure of their choice, compared with 32 per cent of the French population at large.

An IFOP opinion poll for the Journal de Dimanche weekly newspaper also predicted some 32 per cent of eligible voters would abstain from voting in this round.

According to writer Eric Le Boucher in the financial newspaper Les Echos, it is “an election of illusions,” calling the campaign “an overwhelming disappointment”.

Even though Le Figaro is rooting for Sarkozy, it has also stated that undecided voters were hesitating between “the vote from the heart” for Mélenchon or Le-Pen and the “vote from reason” for Hollande or Sarkozy.

But it is difficult to see how Sarkozy can overturn the odds and defeat Hollande, despite tough talk on the economy and immigration. The Toulouse shootings briefly played in his favour as the security-conscious incumbent, but recent polls have again seen Hollande rise above him in first-round voting.

As a run-off between Hollande and Sarkozy looks likely in next month’s second round, it is expected that the French media, along with the rest of the nation, will have to take a deeper role in scrutinising, analysing and commenting on who they really want to govern them.

Follow Hasan Patel on Twitter: @hasanpatel




‘Pasty tax’ row heats up British PM

Al Jazeera

A British culinary staple finds itself at the centre of an unsavoury political row.

The prime minister claims to love them; his finance minister cannot remember the last time he had one, and the leader of the opposition prefers a sausage roll.

The hot snack in question is the pasty, a typically meat-filled pastry usually from the southwestern county of Cornwall, which has become an unlikely motif of popular dissent against budget proposals cooked up last week by George Osborne, the finance minister.

The introduction in last week’s budget of a 20 per cent sales tax on pasties and other hot foods sold by bakeries and supermarkets, now known as the, “pasty tax”, has prompted observations that proletarian foodstuffs have been targeted, while luxury edibles remain untouched.

“We now live in a country where caviar is untaxed and a hot pasty is .. go figure,” tweeted influential blogger Guido Fawkes.

Adding fuel to the fire, “Pastygate” is causing problems for David Cameron after the prime minister’s efforts to show how much he loved the pasty by recalling a large one he had eaten at Leeds railway station proved somewhat flaky.

When asked when he last had a pasty, Cameron said: “I think the last one I bought was from the West Cornwall Pasty Company.

“I seem to remember I was in Leeds station at the time and the choice was whether to have one of their small ones or one of their large ones. I have got a feeling I opted for the large one, and very good it was too.”

But the Daily Telegraph ran with the headline “Oh crumbs” after it emerged that the shop where Cameron claimed to have bought the pasty had closed in 2007.

‘Pork pie probe’

The Sun ran with the headline “PM pasty ‘pork pie’ probe,” and compared Osborne with Marie Antoinette, of “Let them eat cake” fame. The populist tabloid also offered readers a free pie, pasty or sausage roll, and urged them to protest at 1400 GMT by eating their pasty in public.

Even the Times could not resist a pun by running with a sketch headed: “Dave tries to play catch-up but it’s all pie in the sky as Mr Pasty tells a porky”, while the Guardian joined in as well asking “Who ate all the pies?”

“Pasty gate” blew up when Osborne, facing a grilling by a parliamentary committee on the decision to tax hot snacks, was asked when he had last visited Greggs, a popular high street bakery.

Osborne, who usually answers questions on fiscal stimuls or deficit reduction, looked out of his depth and said he could not recall.

Ken McMeikan, Greggs’ chief executive, warned that in current economic circumstances his company could be forced to cut jobs if pasty prices rise by 20 per cent, and attacked Osborne for being out of touch.

One tweet suggested that Osborne was probably subjected to a Treasury presentation where he was told that pasties were “similar to mini boeufs en croute,” referring to his priviliged background.

With petrol prices on the rise, causing last minute panic-buys at petrol forecourts in the UK, the Daily Mail attacked the government with the headline: “Petrol, pasties and the politics of panic.”

It said both Cameron and Osborne had conspired to plunge the government into a combination of high farce and panic.

As Cameron has been caught with a pasty in his mouth, the internet has gone viral with various humourous anecdotes to his love affair with the pasty.

The website has created various pictures of Cameron holding, eating or even stroking a pasty.

Cornish backlash

In Cornwall, the Western Morning News, a regional newspaper, ran with the headline “Pasty battle,” and said the fight over Value Added Tax on its local product had turned personal.

Andrew George, a local member of parliament whose Liberal Democrat party is in coalition with Cameron’s Conservatives, said that Cornish people would “fight them on the beaches”.

“Pasties are not luxury food. It’s not like caviar or lobster sandwiches, which would be zero rated,” he said.

“For the chancellor to tell working Cornish folk that they can ‘eat their pasties cold’ fails to recognise the long tradition and how important this humble square meal is to working people in our country.”

Alex Folkes, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Launceston Central, used social media tools by organising a Facebook campaign, called Stop the Pasty Tax, which already has 5,000 members.

“I’m not saying that the tax means nobody will ever buy a pasty again,” says Folkes. “It would mean some people buying hot pasties less often and that could lead to job losses.”

Ann Muller, a pasty shop owner, said the tax was “basically a tax on the working man of Britain”.

“My hot pasties would go up by 50 pence ($0.79) for some people, that will make a big difference. I’m planning to put a sign up in the window: ‘Hot for the rich, and cold for the poor.'”

Not be outdone by the public mood, Ed Miliband, the opposition Labour leader, showed his allegiance to heated pastry products by visiting a Greggs bakers in Redditch, Worcestershire, and buying eight sausage rolls.

Follow Hasan Patel on Twitter: @hasanpatel

Tareq Ayoub: a ‘martyr to the truth’

(Al Jazeera)  As American troops pull out of Iraq, Dima Tahboub, widow of Al Jazeera reporter killed in Baghdad, talks about her loss.

Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayoub was killed in Iraq when a United States air strike slammed into Al Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau on April 8, 2003. He had given a live report just moments before he died.

The 35-year-old Jordanian became the twelfth media worker to be killed in the Iraq conflict. He had been working for Al Jazeera for three years, normally as permanent correspondent in Amman, and had only been in Iraq for three days.

His wife Dima, with whom he had a one-year-old daughter named Fatima, was interviewed by Al Jazeera on the day Ayoub was killed. Dima, who lives in Jordan and teaches at the Arab Open University in Amman, said at the time: “Eventually everyone will forget him, but we will never forget him. He is with God now.”

She spoke to Al Jazeera’s Hasan Patel about how the war in Iraq meant the end of her young family.

Al Jazeera: Tareq was killed in Baghdad. Eight years on, what has his death meant for you?

Dima Tahboub: Tareq was killed on April 8, 2003, nine years next April. His death came as a shock for us all.

I understood Tareq was reporting a war. He had previously been to Iraq after the post-Gulf war siege and he had covered a lot of demonstrations against the war in Jordan, [he was] even arrested and taken to jail.

Iraq was just another phase in his career. I personally thought journalists and reporters came in and out of Iraq. In a conflict [I thought] nobody in their right mind would think of harming journalists. I was wrong, nobody but the USA harms or kill journalists.

Tareq’s death meant an end to our young family. We were married for three years and had Fatima, our daughter. I became a widow at the age of 27; Fatima, an orphan at the age of one year and four months. A most beloved husband, father and son had been lost for good.

AJ: How did his death impact his family and friends?

DT: As soon as the news of his death came, the concern for the family was to bring his body home. We were to see him for the last time before his burial and to rest him near us in his country where we could visit his grave regularly.

It has now been eight years since Tareq was killed, and, to be honest, the extended family has not been the same.

Both his parents mourn their son. Their health [has] deteriorated tremendously, mainly due to the sadness and [the] void Tareq’s death has left in their lives. My mother-in-law has lost all stamina and motivation for life.

My daughter has had to create an image of a father she barely remembers out of pictures and videos. For a short duration, I even left Jordan for Britain, to take up further studies, but the truth of it was I had fled in the hope to [end] my grief instead.

AJ: On the day of Tareq’s death, some media outlets described the attack on the Al Jazeera offices in Baghdad as intentional. Have you received any official explanation about what happened that day?


DT: Officially, nothing was told to me. I have just had to rely on accounts from eyewitnesses and from Al Jazeera staff who gave recollections to me and proved that the attack was intentional.

[The] truth came out through information being presented to me from stories published in the media.

In terms of bringing those responsible to justice, a lawyer was appointed to work with myself and some Iraqi families who had lost people in the war.

We looked at options to bring those responsible to justice. Our lawyers had researched how, in Belgium, there was a law which allowed victims of unjust killings in war to lodge a prosecution [against] anyone who gave orders which resulted in the death of innocent people.

No sooner did we try and raise a case through the Belgian courts, [but] the law was amended to prevent the prosecution of heads of states and officials who then gave immunity to soldiers and army personnel who had acted upon orders.

In Jordan, there is no hope at all to gain justice from international criminals. The legal system doesn’t function properly to even attempt an international case.

AJ: What does the loss of Tareq’s life mean for you in the context of the war in Iraq?

DT: The day Tareq died was another nail in the coffin of the catastrophe for the Arabs with the fall and occupation of Iraq.

Baghdad was once a beacon of Arab civilisation and history, but in the past hundred years, things had changed from bad to worse.

Iraq [after] being enslaved by Saddam’s tyranny, had become enslaved by [the] international tyranny, mastered by the USA and sustained by the spread of terror, fear, sectarian violence and the ongoing theft of Iraq’s natural resources.

Tareq’s death was one of many losses, but his death received international attention because of his job. Yet, let us not forget the death of the thousands of Iraqis who also were killed; nobody remembers them. As the occupation ends, the rising death toll of Iraqis isn’t ending.

AJ: What do you tell people about Tareq’s contribution to the coverage of Iraq?

DT: Thankfully, I don’t have to remind anyone anything about what Tareq did.


He had spent three days in Iraq, preparing four reports and countless live coverage [spots], he even gave a live report moments before he was killed.

People will always remember Tareq as a martyr to truth, but I still would have had him remain alive, reporting the truth.

AJ: Was Tareq, in your eyes, a victim of the war in Iraq?

DT: Yes, but he is one of many, as all of Iraq has been victimised by this war.

AJ: What do you tell your daughter Fatima when she asks about her father?

DT: Raising Fatima is a labour of love; a continuous regeneration of Tareq’s memory, in my life and hers.

She was very young when her father was killed, so she doesn’t remember him. We’ve had to construct his image, personality and life from the beginning to the end.

Through pictures, videos and images, we have created an impression for Fatima to know her father. But nothing would compensate for the actual presence of her father in her everyday life.

Tareq was not there to accompany Fatima to her first day at school. Sadly, he will not be there to attend her birthdays, graduation ceremonies, or give her hand away in marriage.

I am raising my daughter to follow in the footsteps of her father in the way he would have wanted, and to allow her the opportunities to achieve her ambitions and dreams.

I also want to ensure Fatima grows up to never forget or forgive those who had deprived her of her right of having a father. Tareq was killed in an unjust way, whose death sadly, eight years on, still lingers in my mind – because his killers are still not brought to justice.

The hatred for the ‘other’ is now towards ‘our own’.

A picture of Breivik taken from his manifesto posted just a few hours before he went on a killing spree in Norway

Europe’s worst terrorist activity in modern times, young innocent lives lost who were the future of the liberal society of Norway who embraced the values of tolerance, respect and understanding.

A man who’s convictions led him to hate and then kill the very society he was part of, has shook the foundations of the Scandinavian society which was shown to be a model to the rest of Europe.

The 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik cites his hatred for ‘Cultural Marxists and multicultural apologists for his rationale to set of a bomb that killed eight people and also gun down 84 innocent people in a spree which lasted 90 minutes. Breivik intended to “radically change Norwegian society” with his attacks. Breivik, who is still alleged to have carried out the attacks, wanted to give a “warning” to the ruling Labour Party that “doomsday would be imminent,” said Geir Lippestad, Breivik’s lawyer.

Now say for example Breivik had converted to Islam and he’s rationale for mass-murder was directed by his conviction of a greater Jihad and his hatred from everything the West stood for, then the US security experts, the UK terrorist advisors and European sociologists all would have concluded that Islam has a problem with Europe.

The usual mouthpiece of right-tabloid analysis in the UK jumped straight into the bandwagon by proclaiming the attack was an “al-Qaeda” delivering Norway’s own 9/11. Even the much ‘loved’ Quilliam Foundation known for their analysis of anyone aspiring to have an Islamic tendency could be a possible extremist must have considered booking the first flight to Oslo to deliver a crash course of de-radicalisation.

As Inayet Bunglawala noted on his blogsite, the Quilliam Foundation tweeted on the Friday night of the attacks “@ThankUAndGnite We also cover far-right extremism but in our opinion Oslo is probably a jihadist attack. Do u disagree?”

The irony is that theories of a Somali cell in Norway, a possible Norwegian revert or even a European Jihadi cell starting the next wave of attacks in middle ranking cities across the continent were all explored.

But as the capture and arrest of a blonde blue eyed Nordic white supremacist these experts haven’t managed to digest and conclude what the causes were. Surely the Quilliam Foundation should offer courses on de-radicalisation of White, blue-eyed Aryans. Europe’s threat.

Equate terror with Europe and one would assume it would be a Muslim clad in a robe proclaiming Jihad slogans, but according to the European Union, Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2010, out of 294 foiled, executed or successful terror plots in Europe, only the solitary figure of one was connected to a Muslim plot. The vast majority of the attacks were carried out by separatist groups such as the Basque ETA. The one Muslim attack (which should be condemned) is the same number of attacks was committed by the Comite d’Action Viticole, a French groups that wanted to stop the importation of foreign wine.

Al Jazeera’s Dorothy Parvaz in her article titled “Blaming Muslims” was told by Ibrahim Hooper from the American Civil Liberties Group, CAIR, and “unless it has been committed by a Muslim, it’s not terrorism. If a non-Muslim commits an act of terrorism, they don’t call him a terrorist. They say he was ‘a madman.’” But how can someone who has been labelled as a madman when his rhetoric of the world ending is in the same league as a paid up member of Al-Qaeda, as after all they both have the ultimate aim of destroying the other.

Anders Behring Breivik, Timothy McVeigh Mohammed Siddique Khan and Baruch Goldstein all share the same rotten ideal that destroys society. But as blue eyed blonde Scandinavians aren’t being held to account, or being asked to hold peace vigils and put out adverts in the national broadsheets, so one can see why liberal organisations, academics and Muslim groups are crying foul play.

Exerted pressure now needs to be made to make Europe stand up to the rise of far-right extremism. The English Defence League in the UK are courting publicity with their monthly tours across the county, the French right-wing party of Le-Pen are making preparations for the 2012 French presidential elections – these are just two of many right-wing organisations creating small inroads within their society.

Right-wing extremism is the poison which could show its ugly face across Europe, the act by Breivik has turned him into a martyr for some right-wing neo-Nazi groups who will put his status up there with Hitler and Milosevic.

Rather than use this moment to assess why it wasn’t a Muslim this time, we should reflect on why there is a rise of this hatred not just towards the other, but to our own.