The British tabloid newspaper The Sun faced scathing criticism after it ran a report alleging that 1 in 5 British Muslims had sympathy for young Muslims leaving the UK to join ISIS. The Sun had based its reporting on a survey among 1,000 Muslims. But the pollsters’ question did not even mention ISIS, instead asking those surveyed whether they had sympathy for young Muslims who left to fight in Syria (this is important because there are several other groups fighting there besides ISIS).
And as some pointed out, another study among British non-Muslims had yielded similar results earlier this year. Other media also questioned the polling firm’s methodology, and reported that the pollsters themselves had criticized the way The Sun used their data for the sensationalist headline.
Britain’s media standards watchdog, IPSO, has received some 1,200 complaints about The Sun’s front page, its highest number ever. A Change.org petition calling on The Sun to retract its headline gathered over 3,000 signatures
The Sun, a newspaper notorious for its conservative political bias and sensationalism, has faced accusations of contributing to a political climate that is increasingly hostile towards Muslims after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. In the week after the attacks, 115 Islamophobic incidents were reported in Britain, a 300% spike compared to normal levels.
Oh and if you’re now asking yourself who the hell is that The Sun newspaper? Well, it belongs to the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, the guy who also owns the Fox News Channel here in the US. Surprise !