Labour MP to lock horns with editor of The Sun
The Sun newspaper editor, Tony Gallagher, has agreed to meet MP Shabana Mahmood following the publication at the end of last year of The Sun newspaper’s front page which claimed: ‘one in five Brit Muslims’ have sympathy for jihadis’.
The story, which was published on 23rd November, led to thousands of complaints to the UK Press Regulator and condemnation from a number of public organisations across the country.
On Twitter, the hashtag #1in5Muslims was quickly created with many mocking the survey with jokes and made-up facts.
The hashtag was used more than 74,000 times in the UK and around the world.
Ms Mahmood wrote on behalf of a number of MPs to ask for a meeting with Mr Gallagher and highlighted a number of concerns about the article.
In particular, she wants answers as to why the editorial decision was focusing so heavily on the one snapshot from November, rather than focussing on the ‘significant fall in sympathy’ revealed by two polls conducted by Survation - from March and November 2015.
Shabana also wants to know why it was decided that only Muslim views would be focussed on, when data for the British population ‘more widely is publicly available’.
This data suggested that the views of Muslims and non-Muslims are not that different.
Figures showed that four per cent of non-Muslims had a lot of sympathy with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria, compared to the five per cent of Muslim participants in the Survation poll. Meanwhile nine per cent of non-Muslims also had ‘some sympathy’ compared to 15 per cent of Muslims.
Ms Mahmood added that she wanted to know why the editorial decision was taken to state that one in five British Muslims had ‘some sympathy with those who have fled the UK to fight for Daesh in Syria.’
The questions asked by Survation did not mention Daesh. The question talks of joining ‘fighters in Syria’. The situation in Syria is complex, argues Ms Mahmood, and Daesh is just one of the fighting forces.
Ms Mahmood has since written a second time to The Sun following their response to her in which they agreed to meet.
Shabana is asking people for her views about this issue. The poll can be found here: https://actionsprout.io/E04796/