Management consultant Miqdaad Versi complained to the Mail on Sunday, which responded with a letter saying it had “intended no disrespect to the Muslim religion”, but did not correct its story. Versi then took his complaint to Ipso, saying the article was based on conjecture and the religion of the gang was not relevant to the story.
Following the complaint, the Mail on Sunday agreed to rewrite the story to remove the references to Muslims and carry a correction both in the paper and online.
The correction said: “An article on July 26 said a gang of Muslim youths was responsible for damaging Home Office immigration enforcement vehicles in Shadwell, east London, in the week the prime minister appealed to Muslims to help combat extremism. Muslim readers have asked to point out that the youths’ religion was unclear and, in any case, irrelevant to the story. We apologise for any offence caused.”
Versi, who is assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain but brought the complaint in a personal capacity, welcomed the correction. “The coverage of Muslims in mainstream media continues to be very negative and there are too many sensationalist headlines that generalise about Muslims. This story in particular was both inaccurate and referred to Muslims when it was irrelevant to the story,” he told the Guardian.