Taliban's Open Letter To Australia
Christian Mc Karthy | On 30, Sep 2021
Recently an ‘Open-Letter’ was directed at the Australian media. The letter calls upon the media to adhere to the journalistic principles of clarity, fairness, accuracy, and balance in reporting on the Afghan troubles. The signatories on the open letter range from respected Afghan academics, journalists, and community figureheads. Through the letter, they claim that the Australian media have failed to abide by these principles and urge them to reflect going forward.
Signatories ask that Australian media abandon Western perspectives on the war and instead lead any news coverage with their own narratives and accounts. It also asks that the Australian press include the historical and political context of the US-led coalition occupation, emphasising the real losers in the war – the Afghani citizens. Further, the letter suggests that Australian media misrepresents and dehumanises the Afghanis by their biased Western narrative and that the uncensored images of death portray the Islam faith as violent. This is supposedly exasperated by only reporting the loss of Australian, British, and American soldiers’ lives. What about the loss of Afghani lives.
The letter concludes by saying that the cumulative effect of de-contextualised narratives within the media only fuels xenophobia and racism towards Muslims and Afghans. This sentiment was echoed by the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, who said we should refocus on the traumas within Afghanistan, mainly how its citizens lived the experiences. Perhaps this represents a poignant request in the week that marks the catalyst for the war, namely, the 9/11 attacks.