Source: The Independent
Less than 0.5 per cent of journalists in the UK are Muslim. No wonders so many misleading stories make the cut
Once again, a newspaper’s integrity has been found wanting as the press regulator, IPSO, judged the Daily Star Sunday’s headline, “UK mosques fundraising for terror”, to be “significantly misleading” following a complaint lodged by myself. The paper clarified its error on page 2, noting that UK mosques were actually “not involved in any way”. This came just a week after The Sun was forced to acknowledge that its headline “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis” was similarly misleading.
Such inaccuracies are not restricted to the tabloid press. The Times, for example, claimed Muslims were “silent on terror”. This allegation has since been unequivocally rebuffed not only by Home Secretary Theresa May but also by senior counter-terror officers such as Neil Basu and Scotland Yard’s former anti-terror chief Richard Walton.
It’s not just misleading stories which are the problem – we also consistently see articles conflating the faith of Islam with criminality, such as the headlines “Muslim sex grooming” or“Imam beaten to death in sex grooming town” – the latter of which resulted in the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police being “appalled” and writing an open letter criticising the paper.
Sensationalism and scaremongering about the apparent threat posed by Muslims is also widespread. Just look at headlines such as: “BBC puts Muslims before you” (Daily Star); “Halal secret of Pizza Express” (The Sun); “Muslim vote could decide 25 per cent of seats” (Daily Mail).