1) ‘Islamic’ Honour Killing
Last May, 34-year-old Saima Khan was found dead in a pool of blood at a house in Overstone Road, Luton.
Police said they were investigating the possibility she was killed in “honour-based violence” but were keeping an open mind over the motive.
Kahn’s sister, Sabah, was later charged with her murder.
An article in The Sun reported she may have been the victim of an “Islamic honour attack”, prompting a complaint that it incorrectly asserted honour-killings have a basis in Islam.
After mediation The Sun offered a clarification stating: “We are happy to make clear Islam as a religion does no support so-called ‘honour killings.”
A similar correction was also issued by the Mail Online over their coverage of the story.
2) 1 In 5 Muslims Have Sympathy For Jihadis
In November 2015, The Sun ran the results of a “shock poll” which claimed one in five British Muslims sympathised with so-called Islamic State (Isis).
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) received an unprecedented number of complaints (anti-Islamophobia think tank MEND was lead complainant) following the front page article and ruled in March 2016 that the publication misrepresented the results of a poll.
The question in the poll only asked if Muslims sympathised with those who travelled to “join fighters in Syria”. It did not specify Isis.
The Times was also found to have breached Clause 1 of the Editors’ Code after it published The Sun’s claims the following day. But as The Times had already published a clarification, IPSO said that no further action was required.
3) ‘Anti-British’ Prison Imams
A March report in The Sunday Times detailed a government adviser on Islam who faced losing his job after he authorised the “recruitment of 140 prison imams who hold anti-British views”.
The article claimed the Deobandi Islam followed by these imams was “a hardline Sunni interpretation of Islamic scripture contrary to British value and human rights”.
A complaint by Dr Rafaqut Rashi argued that many followers of this strand of the religion do not hold such views and Deobandi scholars had in fact:
... endorsed fatwas condemning hate speech, violence, radicalisation and involvement in terrorism; promoted British values such as democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs; and were against sentiments that are not conducive “to integration and community cohesion”.
IPSO ruled the article breached accuracy guidelines by not making clear that the views of Deobandi Islam in the article were those of a newspaper source and were instead presented as fact.
The Sunday Times correction read: “Our report ‘Jails adviser may lose job over hiring hardline imams’ (News, March 6) should have stated that prison imams ‘are suspected of’ holding anti-British values and attributed to ‘security sources and other critics’ the description of Deobandi Islam as ‘contrary to British values and human rights’.”
4) Jeremy Corbyn And The Mosque Leader Who Blames The UK For Isil
A story in the Telegraph in March detailed visits between Jeremy Corbyn and a mosque leader, Mohammed Kozbar, who “blames the UK for Isil” and “wants to destroy Israel”.
Kozbar himself complained about the article, prompting the following correction.
An article of 13 March 2016 portrayed Mr Kozbar, the Chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, as someone who ‘blamed the UK for ISIL’, and appeared to support the use of violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In fact, Mr Kozbar has never ‘blamed the UK for ISIL’ and abhors and condemns the use of violence under any circumstances. Mr Kozbar also disputes a number of other accusations contained in the article, and regrets that he was denied a right of reply. We are happy to set the record straight.
5) Mosques Fundraising For Terror
A 2015 article in the Daily Star claimed UK mosques were institutionally raising money for terrorism.
The story was deemed by IPSO to be “significantly misleading” as it was based solely on the single text message conversation of one individual.
In April 2016, The Daily Star issued the following correction:
The headline of an article, published on 22 November 2015, stated ‘UK mosques give cash for terror’. We would like to clarify that the headline was based on the claims of radical Isa Amriki that funding for terrorism came from collections at mosques, not by or on behalf of UK mosques, which were not involved in any way.
6) Enclaves Of Islam
In December The Sunday Times ran a story claiming “enclaves of Islam see UK as 75% Muslim” which was also covered by The Sun, Daily Express and the Mail on Sunday
It was based a report by government integration tsar Dame Louise Casey that had not yet been published and claimed thousands of Muslims in the UK were so cut off from mainstream society that they over-estimated the country’s Islamic population by a factor of 10.
It later transpired the survey quoted was based on one school who were asked about Asians, not Muslims.
The full correction read:
We reported in ‘Enclaves of Islam see UK as 75% Muslim’ that the Casey review of integration would say that some segregated Muslims believe Britain is 75% Islamic.
7) The Fasting Train Driver
In June 2016 an article in The Sun implied officials had determined a train crash had been caused by a fasting Muslim train driver.
After a complaint the paper clarified that the fasting of the driver had not been implicated as a cause of the crash.
In a story ‘Ramadan Train Driver in Crash’ (20 Aug) we implied that Rail Accident Investigation Branch said the cause of the derailment at Paddington was that the driver had been fasting during Ramadan.
In fact they were unable to conclude that fasting was a factor in the crash on evidence available, although they observed that there is research showing that fasting can affect people’s concentration levels.
It was also stated that the driver of a derailed train ran through TWO red lights at London’s Paddington Station.
In fact the two red lights were on the same signal. We are happy to clarify.