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Daily Star Report Distorts Bullying Incident Involving Muslim Pupils

Daily Star Report Distorts Bullying Incident Involving Muslim Pupils

Categories: Latest News

Friday November 19 2010

    Several newspapers, including the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Star, the Metro and The Sun, yesterday reported of schoolboy Darius Gill having been the victim of bullying by six fellow pupils at his school reportedly for penning an online Remembrance Day tribute to fallen British troops.

As five of the children responsible for the bullying were Muslim, the Daily Star used the opportunity to spew yet more of its “us and them” rhetoric – something plainly obvious from the DS front page yesterday (image left). An editorial on this story on page six of the DS also carried the headline: “Leave our kids alone”, as if British Muslim children aren’t part of Britain.

It has to be pointed out to the Daily Star (again) that “British” and “Muslim” aren’t mutually exclusive labels. Those Muslim schoolchildren, foolish and dangerous as they are to make such threats, even if only an idle one, are British too. Furthermore, anyone reading this headline would be led to believe that there had been an actual knife attack on Darius. The threat of an attack is a reprehensible act and as with all such cases of bullying in schools deserves to be taken very seriously but it does not, however, excuse the Daily Star’s misleading headline. 

Although the Daily Mail article makes no such misleading statements, it does carry the curious headline of “Five Muslim boys and white girl, all 12, excluded over Facebook death threats to classmate who supported British troops.” (Emphasis added)

It may be helpful for the Daily Mail to know that Islam is a religion that encompasses all ethnicities and skin colours, including white Brits. To make a distinction between the two is unwarranted.

ENGAGE urges its readers to write to the Press Complaints Commission about the Daily Star’s inaccurate reporting, taking issue with the misleading headline’s probable breach of Section 1 of the Editor’s Code of Practice, which states:

(i) “The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.”

(ii) “A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published.”


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