CNN caused a flurry of outrage after it used a picture of an American-Muslim woman in a brief clipping about a super-jihadist of ISIS, Omar Omsen, in spite of the fact that the woman has no connection with the terrorist organization.
The Michigan woman, who appears for a brief moment halfway through the clipping, is a wife and mother.
The family, understandably, was shocked and outraged, according to the Daily Dot, after the husband saw a glimpse of his wife’s face in the footage. Though the clip only lasted for a few seconds, it caused enough alarm that the family decided to contact the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) for assistance.
Abed A. Ayoub, the policy director at ADC, said the woman, whose name has been withheld on request, was deeply upset by the shocking incident.
“Imagine seeing a video about ISIS recruitment, and suddenly, there’s your picture,” Ayoub said. “She was shocked at first, angry, and there’s a sense of disbelief by her husband as well.”
In a series of tweets, the advocate asked CNN to remove the clip immediately.
.@NimaCNN - You produced a story about France's Super Jihadist. One of the images used is that of my client, showing her as ISIS recruit...— Abed A. Ayoub (@aayoub) August 11, 2016
.@NimaCNN - Can we please have the story edited and my clients image removed. She is a mother and this is causing problems.— Abed A. Ayoub (@aayoub) August 11, 2016
So @cnn runs a story on ISIS recruits and uses image of my client indicating she's a terrorist. She's a mother and this is causing problems.— Abed A. Ayoub (@aayoub) August 11, 2016
His request was fulfilled and CNN has now removed the footage.
Good news - @CNN has taken down the video, and removed the image of our client. Thank you to the network for the explanation and response.— Abed A. Ayoub (@aayoub) August 11, 2016
The family was confused about how the clip, which was taken from a years-old video of the woman singing the national anthem at an event, was obtained by CNN. But their primary concern was their children.
“If somebody at school sees this or in their neighborhood sees this, and all of sudden they think, you know, that their mom is a terrorist,” said Ayoub. “These mistakes have consequences.”
In these times of rampant Islamophobia and racism, this concern is a very valid one.
It is not yet clear whether CNN had aired the footage live on TV or whether it was just published on the network’s website. However, CNN, a news channel known throughout the world for its credibility, should exercise some ethics in their reporting and not endanger the lives of innocent people by showing them in a false light.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters