UK

Mail Online And Metro Criticised For 'Photoshopped' Muslim Foster Story Picture

'Pushing an agenda. No surprises really.'

02/09/2017 15:36 BST

Two publishers have drawn criticism for the way they illustrated the controversial story, originally reported by The Times, of a “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care”.

As pointed out by BuzzFeed’s Tom Gara, the Metro and the Mail Online appear to have taken a stock image of a family in Dubai and added a face covering to the woman featured.

The Metro’s verion

Metro

The Mail Online’s version of the story appears to have been updated since so that the woman’s face in the picture is pixelated.

Mail Online

The original image is a stock photo from Getty and shows neither a face covering or pixelation.

franckreporter via Getty Images

The apparent photoshopping drew criticism for a number of reasons.

Social services bosses have since defended the way they handled the case of a five-year-old girl from an English speaking Christian family who was placed with mixed-race foster parents.

Tower Hamlets Council faced criticism after the young girl’s case hit the headlines this week with reports saying she had been “forced to live with a niqab-wearing foster carer in a home where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic”

Coverage of the case, as well as the subject itself, prompted disbelief and outrage.

A family court judge re-analysed the case on Tuesday at a private family court hearing in London and said the youngster should move to live with a relative.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said there had been “inaccuracies” in the reporting of the case and said the child was fostered in a temporary placement by an “English speaking family of mixed race”.

The spokesperson said the council was unable to go into details of a case that would identify a child in foster care, adding: “We would like to give more details but we are legally restricted to do so.”

In a statement the council continued: “Tower Hamlets Council has the welfare of children at the heart of what we do.

“The decision to choose foster carers for a child is based on a number of factors including cultural background and proximity to promote contact with the child’s family and the child’s school in order to give them as much stability as possible.

“We have always been working towards the child being looked after by a family member and we continue to do so.”

A spokesman for the Judicial Office, which represents judges, said Judge Khatun Sapnara had re-examined the case at a family court hearing on Tuesday.

He said the judge had decided the girl should leave her foster placement and move to live with a grandmother.

The child has not been identified.

The Metro and Mail Online have been contacted for comment.