Organisers of an anti-Isis march in London have spoken of their frustration after mainstream media outlets failed to cover the demonstration.
Although Shia Muslims take part in the march each year to mark the Arbaeen, or mourning, anniversary of Imam Husain – a seventh-century leader who fought for social justice – this year organisers decided to use the event as a platform to denounce terrorism following the recent Isis attacks in Paris, Beirut and elsewhere.
Organiser Waqar Haider said: “This year we had hundreds of placards which were basically saying ‘no’ to terrorism and ‘no’ to Isis. A very direct message.
“For us it was a controversial move to go political. Normally we don’t mix politics with mourning. However with what’s happened recently, we thought we had to make sure we as a community totally disassociate ourselves with what’s happening elsewhere in the world.”
Despite this, Mr Haider said the demonstration still failed to garner attention in the mainstream media because of “stereotyping”.
“It is the oldest annual Muslim event in London but unfortunately it is very difficult to get any media coverage,” he said.
“I think it’s because of stereotyping. People see the entire Muslim community as one community.