British tabloid The Sun came under severe criticism after running a front page story based on a poll that concluded one in five British Muslims sympathizes with the actions of jihadis.
Here's tomorrow's front page... pic.twitter.com/dyr1EHD1cY— The Sun (@TheSun) November 22, 2015
The tabloid’s claim, in a front page headline, was based on a dubious survey of Muslim and non-Muslim opinions in the wake of the Paris attacks. It found that 19 percent of Muslims expressed at least “some sympathy” with young Muslims who had left the U.K. to join fighters in Syria.
One of Britain’s largest Islamic organizations, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), accused the newspaper of sensationalizing the poll findings.
“Many Muslims will find this poll hard to believe,” said Dr. Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the MCB, who added the vast majority of British Muslims abhor terrorism.
The poll was conducted by contacting people with Muslim surnames over the phone in order to gather their opinions — in the week following the Paris terror attacks — with misleading questions.
Adil Ray, the creator and star of the BBC 1 sitcom Citizen Khan, said he was also called for the survey and emphasized that every question was open to misinterpretation.
“The Sun has a great responsibility to do what it can to create a better understanding between us all. Not to further divide us. Surely The Sun, with its recent past, would do well to demonstrate some humanity in these difficult times,” he said.
The mind-boggling poll results and the headline started a really interesting trend on Twitter, #1in5Muslims, mocking the tabloid’s front page.
#1in5Muslims are sick of apologizing for terrorist attacks they've never done while Muslim majority countries are being bombed.— Mohsin Zia (@MohsinXia) November 24, 2015
#1in5Muslims agree that Selena should give Justin a second chance.— Mayflower (@myzhrdn) November 24, 2015
#1in5Muslims uses Comic Sans font for work emails— Maabad Said (@anghellic_soul) November 24, 2015
#1in5Muslims may actually find their name on a key ring at Alton Towers— Rohima Tickle (@roro9388) November 24, 2015
This is yet another example of how the media is distorting the truth in order to stir up a controversy. In the aftermath of the recent terror attacks in Paris and the backlash against Muslims that followed, this poll is the last thing the world needs right now. Surveys with forced outcomes like these will only fuel the anti-Islamic sentiment already surging in the west.
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