With the rise of ISIS and recent terror attacks in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, hatred and discrimination against Muslim people have been at its peak since 9/11. Following an election full of beliefs behind "radical Islam" and attacks by self-proclaimed ISIS members, there has been an overall increase in the amount of hate crimes committed against Muslim people. And while the media is quick to tell the story of ISIS or "radical Islam," stories on Aleppo or overall Islamophobia are not getting the crucial attention they deserve.
Last Wednesday, Arab American Youtube star and prankster, Adam Saleh, videotaped himself being removed from a Delta Airlines flight departing to JFK International Airport after passengers complained they felt "uncomfortable" after overhearing Saleh speak to his mother in Arabic prior to taking off. In the video, Saleh, clearly upset, films himself being escorted and removed from his Delta flight. "We spoke a different language on a plane and now were getting kicked out," says Saleh. "This is 2016 and Delta Airlines is kicking us out because we spoke a different language," Saleh continues. In the background, several white passengers antagonize and mock Saleh and his travel companion as they wave to the pair yelling "Bye!" "I cannot believe my eyes. I spoke a different language and because of that, you feel uncomfortable," Saleh says in disbelief.
Delta defends their actions against Saleh stating that they removed two passengers who "sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting. What is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our passengers and employees. It is clear that these individuals sought to violate that priority." While critics claim that this incident is just another one of Saleh's hoaxes, as he is known for publishing prank videos exploiting Muslim stereotypes; Saleh claims that this was not a hoax because he would not film it using his cell phone camera.
The dispute between Saleh and Delta has gotten much attention through social media, as supporters of Saleh created the #boycottdelta that's trended worldwide. Although the altercation has received a large social media following, there has yet to be any major media reports. Aside from two short stories from The New York Times and CBS News, the story is seemingly invisible to the national spotlight. This is because the mainstream media is too afraid and corrupt to fairly report Muslim stories.
It's not that the media is shy to report on racial tension; this past year, Black Lives Matter had a massive national spotlight and was even one of the trending topics for the 2016 Election. And while mainstream media was quick to report on ISIS and other terrorist attacks, stories on Muslim discrimination and hate crimes at home or the international atrocities committed at Aleppo have not gotten the attention they properly deserve. This is because news and media outlets have evolved from telling their audiences every story, to telling audiences only the stories they want to hear. This creates a biased and limited press and leads to an uneducated audience.
So how do we solve the issue of a biased media? While news companies are not going to change their stories for the greater good, they will report on subjects that they feel will capture their audience's attention. Therefore, it is up to us as the audience to trend and show our interest in these stories in order for a larger media source to report on it. While the change isn't easier, with enough support, we can make sure that everyone's story is getting the proper attention they deserve.