“The Sunday Times completely changes its article authored by Andrew Gilligan et al on British Muslims following my complaint.This story was the basis of a number of false headlines in the Sun, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online and Express – all of which have been retracted. It was also used shared by far-right groups such as the EDL”, says Miqdaad Versi.
The first piece published was about a survey, The Sunday Times, “journalist” Andrew Gilligan claimed that “Enclaves of Islam see UK as 75% Muslims”. This piece was then picked up by right-wing media outlets. This is what was reported before:
“Some Muslims lead such separate lives that they believe Britain is an Islamic country where the majority of people share their faith, according to a report to be published this week.
A source who has read the report said: ‘Certain Muslims, because they are in these communities and go to Muslim schools, think Britain is a Muslim country. They think 75% of country is Muslim.’
The correct figure, according to the 2011 census, is 4.8% of the population in England and Wales, Christians account for 59.3.”
After Miqdaad Versi put his complaint against The Sunday Times, they made three corrections to be more reflective of the original report.
The original survey that was conducted was in relation to what percentage of the British population were Asian. The new edited article is titled
“Britain is 50-90% Asian, say schoolchildren”.
Here is an extract of the new article from The Sunday Times:
“Some British Asian schoolchildren are so isolated that they believe Britain is largely Asian country, according to a report to be published this week.
Casey reports: ‘When children being educated in segregated schools are also growing up in an area where all of their neighbours are from the same ethnic and/or faith background, it vastly reduces opportunities for them to mix with others from different backgrounds. It deprives them of the benefits – individually and to society as a whole – that are known to derive from mixing with people from different backgrounds.
We were particularly struck by the result of a survey of pupils in a non-faith secondary school with a high Asian population which were told about once review visit. Pupils had been asked to identify the percentage Asian population of British and their estimates ranged from 50% to 90% (the actual figure is 75%), presumably reflecting their experience in the local community, and a relative lack of knowledge about the country as a whole.’”
Miqdaad versi, has also made sure that The Sunday Times make an unambiguous acknowledgement of the error and a apology will be coming online and in the print edition on the 1st January 2017.
The Express.co.uk misrepresented what a report said about British Muslims on 4th December 2016 claiming:
“Some Muslims so isolated in UK they believe country is 75% ISLAMIC, says shock report”
After Miqdaad Versi’s complaint, Express retracted the entire article after finding no way to amend the fundamentally flawed piece that misrepresented a report:
We explained in our previous article on this matter, that the survey that was done, referred to some Asian pupils in one school who believed that 50 to 90% of Britain was “Asian”. The survey had nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. The students were asked a simple question of what percentage of the British population were Asian in Britain, and the right-wing media news sites ran misleading headline(s) that “75% of Muslims Believe Britain is Islamic”. Then many far-right online bloggers and media outlets picked this sham headline up and ran Islamophobic articles against Muslims.
This should be a reminder to people not to believe everything newspapers write. Wait a while, investigate the matter and then make a judgement based on the evidence you have gathered.
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(1) – “White Britons Least Likely To Socialise With People From Different Racial Backgrounds” http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/racial-integration-getting-worse-white-britons-least-likely-to-have-friends-from-other-ethnicities-british-integration-survey-the-challenge_uk_585b9894e4b0f24da6e6b4e4
(2) – “Only one in 10 Britons has best friend of different race” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/only-one-in-10-britons-has-best-friend-of-different-race-8750993.html
(3) – “Whites ‘leaving cities as migrants move in’” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1483196/Whites-leaving-cities-as-migrants-move-in.html
(4) – “White people must play a role in integration too” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/05/white-people-integration-louise-casey-review-muslims
(5) – “Europeans greatly overestimate Muslim population, poll shows” 13th December 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/society/datablog/2016/dec/13/europeans-massively-overestimate-muslim-population-poll-shows?CMP=share_btn_tw
(6) – “The media stoke up racism on purpose. It’s our duty to point that out” by Phil McDuff
(7) – “When a Asian Muslim family do move into a white area they were are harassed and bullied, eventually, they leave the area for their own safety” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/01/segregation-blackburn-whalley-range