The Lewisham Islamic Centre condemns yet again the latest appalling editorial of the villainous The Sun tabloid targeting the England cricket World Cup and Ashes hero Ben Stokes. Exploiting a decades old deeply tragic event in the family of Ben Stokes represents more of the same endless catalogue of vile and scandalous editorials that is the raison d’être of the likes of The Sun to cast false shadows, doubts and suspicion on an otherwise brilliant personality with great sporting talent to boot.
As England still celebrated a maiden World Cup win and continued to laud one of her own as the greatest solo batting performance in Ashes history vis-à-vis Ben Stokes vs. Australia, another team of scandalmongers were hell bent on tainting these beautiful memories with scurrilous attacks.
Lewisham Islamic Centre and the Muslim community empathise with Ben Stokes as victims of the same immoral press whose gutter journalism and downright lies tarnishes upstanding reputations and destroys lives and whole communities – “Hillsborough and the people of Liverpool”… “1 in 5 Muslims sympathised with Jihadis”… In fact, in a dossier of 20 inaccurate UK news stories about Muslims which was reported on by the Press Gazette in January 2017, seven of these were from the Murdoch press: The Sun, Times and Sunday Times.
Whilst genuine journalism plays a vital role in society, with many journalists even risking their lives as truth tellers and fact checkers, it is clear that a section revel only in sowing misinformation, hatred and division in contempt of society.
We on the other hand will continue to remember and celebrate the sterling achievements and successes of Ben Stokes and an England Cricket Team which for the first time in its history represents modern, diverse Britain and includes Muslim players such as Moeen Ali and Adil Rasheed.
Lewisham Islamic Centre stands in solidarity with Ben Stokes and his family, and we would like to extend a warm invitation to Ben to visit our proud and confident Muslim Community of the London Borough of Lewisham.