Daily Express says sorry for false ‘half of Muslims support ISIS’ story

The paper says it 'incorrectly interpreted' poll data and misquoted an expert


The Daily Express has apologised for publishing a story claiming up to half of UK Muslims ‘could support ISIS’.

The story, which the paper quickly removed from its website, was based on an ‘incorrect’ reading of an opinion poll commissioned by another newspaper.

The Express story also misquoted Haras Rafiq, managing director of the anti-Islamist group Quilliam and a Left Foot Forward contributor.

Yesterday they published an article by him respecting his right of reply.

The Express said:

“Earlier this week Express.co.uk ran a story which incorrectly claimed up to half of British Muslims ‘could support ISIS’.

This article was based on a national poll commissioned by a rival newspaper, the results of which both publications interpreted incorrectly.

Within a few hours we realised our error and quickly removed the article, but it should never have been published and we apologise unreservedly for any upset caused.”

Speaking to MediaWatch, Haras Rafiq said:

“When I was told of the piece, I contacted the Express and they were very keen to rectify a mistake that was made. Hence they admitted and apologised for the error and gave me a right to reply.

But mistakes such as these can have consequences. Especially if the press don’t act quickly to correct what has happened.

They should be more careful about such claims.

You can read the rest of the apology and Haras Rafiq’s article in response here.

Note: We have been unable to find a copy of the original story. If any readers can find one, please get in touch via Twitter or by emailing [email protected]

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Independent runs story about Muslim lobby group CAGE… written by its spokesman!

The path towards peace in South Asia- Haras Rafiq

Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.