More examples of PressTV misinformation

by omouggos

As I daily go on the PressTV website to gets news on the Middle East and from the Iranian perspective, I have come across and posted about numerous cases of what can be best described as misinformation attempts by PressTV.[1] Here are some more recent examples of such misinformation by PressTV that I have come across over the last few weeks.

On January 17 a PressTV article reported on three US citizens who were abducted in Baghdad.[2] Subsequent PressTV articles reported that the kidnappers were apart of “criminal gangs” as claimed by Iraqi officials such as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi.[3] Then recently when the three abductees were released, PressTV made no mention of who was responsible stating “There was no claim of responsibility for the abduction.[4]

Never once did any of these articles mention that it was even possible that the three Americans were kidnapped by a Shiite militia, as had been reported by numerous credible news outlets.[5] The reason why such, seemingly pertinent, information was not reported on by PressTV is simple. Most Shiite militias are backed by Iran, and mentioning their potential involvement would paint Iran in a bad light during a time when the nuclear deal had been put into effect.

On February 21, PressTV reported on the decapitation in Bangladesh of Hindu priest Jogeshwar Roy.[6] The article said, “No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the killing” and that “Over the past few months, Muslims, Hindus and Christians in the South Asian state have been targeted in several militant attacks, including ones claimed by Takfiri Daesh terrorists.” It also mentions that “a number of Bangladeshi writers, bloggers and intellectuals have also been killed in attacks in recent months.

Basically we are led to believe that we are just dealing with run-of-the-mill sectarian violence of an unspecified nature, but what the article fails to emphasize is that much of this violence is carried out by Islamic groups such as ISIL, Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team. In fairness to PressTV they did mention that Takfiri groups (i.e. Sunni extremists) in Bangladesh did attack a Shiite site that killed one and wounded many others.

But when it comes to violence against non-Muslims like the Hindu Jogeshwar Roy or atheist bloggers[7], they are coy on who the perpetrators are (i.e. Muslims, albeit of the Sunni variety). It has been reported that ISIL claimed responsibility for the assassination of Roy.[8]

On February 27, PressTV reported that in the UK a man had been arrested in connection with the recent murder of Jalal Uddin, a Muslim Imam.[9] The name of the accused was not given but it was stated that “Muslim leaders have called for calm until police provide a firm motive for the attack. They’ve also advised mosques in the UK to consider extra security. Anti-Muslim sentiment has been on the rise across the UK, following last year’s terrorist attacks in neighboring France.

Based on this quotation one could easily believe that the murderer was possibly motivated by anti-Muslim sentiments and that the crime was an act of a racist and islamophobic Englishman. However, according to the BBC the accused was one Mohammed Hussain Syeedy.[9] Maybe I am being a tad presumptuous but this doesn’t sound like the name of a racist English hooligan, but that of a Muslim.

Ultimately, Mr. Syeedy may be innocent, or even if he is guilty, his crime may have nothing to due with religion nor be motivated by his Islamic beliefs, if he is in fact a devote Muslim. However, the point is that PressTV egregiously misrepresented the story. They did not even provide the name of the accused and even provided a slight suggestion that the crime may have something to due with British anti-Muslim sentiment, which appears to not be the case.

At best all the examples I have adduced may simply be the result of poor journalistic practices, or at worst examples of conscious misinformation, which seeks to portray Iran and Islam in a favorable and non-culpable light. Either way always have your critical thinking skills on the ready when perusing PressTV.

O Mouggos


[1] Being Skeptical of All Sources of Media InformationPressTV Omits American Involvement in the Hawija RaidPressTV reports on Philadelphia cop chot by jihahi but omits a pertinent detailPressTV reports ISIL executes 12 people, but did it tell the whole story?


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