UK tabloid: story on British Muslims supporting ISIS was ‘misleading’

The Independent Press Standards Organiztion (IPSO) had received over 3,000 complaints about the article

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A UK tabloid has said that a front page story stating that one in five British Muslim had sympathies with ISIS.

A press standards watchdog ruled this week that the story, published by The Sun in November, was “significantly misleading.”

The Independent Press Standards Organiztion (IPSO) had received over 3,000 complaints about the article, which was based off a poll asking British Muslims if they sympathized with people who travelled to “join fighters in Syria.” The poll did not specify ISIS.

“Ipso upheld the complaint and has required The Sun to publish this decision as a remedy to the breach,” the tabloid said in a correction published on its website.

The poll, which was conducted by Survation, had around the same time carried out a similar survey for Sky News, with British non-Muslims as participants. According to the results - a higher rate - almost one in three - British non-Muslims sympathized with people leaving to join fighters in Syria.


IPSO had investigated after a local group, the Muslim Engagement and Development, complained that The Sun had breached IPSO’s accuracy clauses.

“The complainant said that the presentation of the poll was misleading,” according to a statement published in The Sun. “Those surveyed had not been asked about the ideals of IS, and to express sympathy with those leaving the UK to fight in Syria could indicate that those surveyed empathized with the weakness of mind of the individuals fighting, and regretted their misguidance,” the statement added, using another name for ISIS.

“The newspaper had failed to take appropriate care in its presentation of the poll results, and as a result the coverage was significantly misleading.”

In IPSO’s summary, the watchdog said that The Sun did not accept that the meaning of “those who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria” was ambiguous.

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