I am encouraged though, that they are offering a Muslim man as a positive role model for a change, rather than the usual demonisation.
The Mail can be nice about people of colour as long as they fit into a narrative of decent innocent victims suffering at the hands of yobs / gangs / feral youth (see especially Stephen Lawrence). And by emphasising the peaceful nature of this father at the same time as his Asian-ness, the Mail is underlining his unusualness
. 'You wouldn't expect this from a Muslim, would you?' is the connotation. The Mail is demonising Muslims even as it applauds one.
The front page also allows the Mail to differentiate itself from 'racists', who in the Mail's eyes are people that commit bodily violence against, or some kind of sustained virulent persecution of, individuals who are not white. The 'symbolic racism' that appears in the Mail every day is indisputably not the same thing; the Mail (and many of its readers) don't acknowledge the link.
Are we going to see a change in the Mail's targets? From worrying their readers about explodey Muslims to telling them all about law breaking black people?
No. It will carry on doing both.
Interesting. I should have phrased that 'offering an Asian
man as a role model', as the only reason I knew he that he is Muslim was from the television news. Whether it's mentioned in the article, I couldn't say, because I can't locate its online version.
Re. the Mail being decent towards people of colour, I direct you to Flat Earth News
(again), which validates your point:
"...black people can, in fact, make it into the paper, providing they fit into a Mail-friendly stereotype." (p372)
The book also refers to the Lawrence case, saying that the Mail
was initially going to run a hostile article attacking the groups who wanted a new enquiry. Then Paul Dacre realised that Lawrence's father had done some work on his house a few years earlier, and the order 'Do something sympathetic' came from the news desk.