Should journalists mention facts that will play up racism, even though the source seems impeccable?
I did a story yesterday about insurance fraud on Daily Finance. In the course of interviewing the lawyer, she made the statement that the defendants refused to testify in court because they would have had to swear on the Qur’an.
They would not have been able to maintain their lies once under that sort of religious oath.
More than a text
The Qur’an plays a much wider part in Islam than just being a holy text. The Qur’an is, like the bible, scripture, but it also much more that the bible is not. This makes it much more powerful and more revered by Muslims.
The impact of the lawyers’ comments on a racist audience would be to play up the fact that the defendants were Muslims.
Racists would then have misconstrued the reason for police inaction against the fraudsters as “political correctness gone mad”. Realistically it is lack of manpower and a view that fraud against insurers is not as important as fraud against individuals.
Oh and police had prosecuted two of the fraudsters a similar offence earlier and will probably arrest them again for this crime.
I decided the important issues to get across were the scale of the crime, the fact that (and how) the fraudsters had been brought to book and the lack of police action. The race of the defendants would only distract from that.
Was I right? Did I self-censor? Is my decision political correctness gone mad?