New guide published to reduce tensions between British Muslims and the media

A new media guide has been published aimed at giving the mainstream media an insight into the history and culture of British Muslims.

The guide claims there is a perception that media coverage of Muslims predominantly focuses on bad news and conflict following 9/11, the Iraq war and the London bombings.

British Muslims: Media Guide, by Ehsan Masood, is published by Counterpoint, the British Council's thinktank on cultural relations.

It claims: "The tensions that exist between Britain's Muslims and the mainstream media are in many ways greater than between the media and other groups in public life."

BBC London presenter Asad Ahmad, speaking at the launch, said that British Muslims made up a diverse community speaking 50 different languages. "You cannot paint these people with one brush," he said.

"Most journalists would agree that their understanding of the topic is not as good as it should be."

The guide contains chapters on politics, history, culture and the media, and is designed to be used as a reference source, with lists of contacts, and as a training tool for young journalists.

British Muslims is available via bookshops and Counterpoint, priced £5. Press copies can be obtained by emailing counterpoint@britishcouncil.org.

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