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US Wingnuts Accuse UK Daily Mail of Being “In Bed with Islamic Supremicists”

Jihad Watch puts forward the unlikely suggestion that the notoriously right-wing Daily Mail has chosen to censor a story in order to avoid “offending” Muslims. The piece concerns Sabina Akhtar, who was murdered by her husband Malik Mannan after a campaign of threats and violence. According to the original Mail article, on one occasion:

…Using both hands to squeeze her windpipe he told her to read her Koran adding: ‘Read whatever other stuff you need to read now. This is your final hour.’ The arrival of his brother stopped the attack but Mannan left shouting: ‘I’m going to get a knife and when I return I’m going to slaughter you.’

This has now been changed to:

In the early hours of the following morning he attacked her again, telling her ‘This is your final hour’, but left after she made a desperate call for help to his brother, threatening to return with a knife and ‘slaughter’ her.

Inevitably, this revision has been seized on by right-wing bloggers as British appeasement of Islam; Jihad Watch even offers a trophy screenshot of the original wording as evidence of the sinister cover-up.  Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs, with typical nuance, screams that:

THE DAILY MAIL, DHIMMI PRESS IN BED WITH THE ISLAMIC SUPREMACISTS, REMOVES REFERENCE TO MUSLIM HUSBAND TELLING HIS  WIFE TO READ THE QUR’AN AS HE STRANGLED HER

But if this is all part of a PC plot to appease Muslims, how come that the Koranic reference which the Mail dare not name appears in…the liberal Guardian?

The court heard that Akhtar, 26, reported her husband to police last year, telling them he had battered her 25 times and made threats on her life. On one occasion, in July, he told her to prepare for death by reading passages from the Qur’an, adding: “I am going to get a knife and when I return I am going to slaughter you.”

And in…the BBC?

He would squeeze her windpipe when they were arguing and made at least three threats to kill her…

In July last year he told her to prepare for her final hour by reading passages from the Koran and said: “I am going to get a knife and when I return I am going to slaughter you.”

And in…the Mirror?

The next morning, Mannan attacked again. Using both hands to squeeze her windpipe he told her to read her Koran warning: “This is your final hour.” The attack stopped when Mannan’s brother arrived, but he left shouting: “I’m going to get a knife and when I return I’m going to slaughter you.”

However, an earlier report in the Manchester Evening News put it like this:

The court heard he grabbed Sabina’s throat and ordered her to read passages from the Koran. “This is your final hour’,” he is alleged to have told her.

The jury was also told he said to Sabina: “I am going to get a knife and when I return I am going to slaughter you.”

It should also be noted that there is a significant difference between (a) “he…ordered her to read passages from the Koran” and (b) “he told her to prepare for her final hour by reading passages from the Koran”, adding this would be her last chance to read “whatever other stuff you need to read” – (a) suggesting some kind of bizarre religious ritual and (b) more of a generic “say your prayers” type of threat. When Sabina was finally murdered, in September, it was by being stabbed in the chest; there is no indication of any “ritual” or “honour” aspect to the killing. Perhaps, at some point, the Mail realised the details were ambiguous and amended its wording – unaware that thousands of American readers were slavering over the Koran detail.

Incidentally, I don’t chase after these things in order to “defend Islam”, despite what some others have suggested. What I will defend, though, is the need for careful reporting and sensible evaluation over rumour, hysteria, and scaremongering.

(slightly updated)

5 Responses

  1. What frustrating reporting. I’d like to know at what point the police became aware of the campaign of threats and violence, and how they reacted to it.

  2. “Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs, with typical nuance, screams that …”

    You’re missing an “is” in there:

    “Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs, with typical nuisance, screams that …”

    All fixed.

    As daft as Ayn Rand was, she would doubtless be spinning in her grave at the theft of her novel’s name by someone so ill-equipped, in a literary and intellectual sense, to follow her.

  3. the daily mail and the mirror have both made up parts of this tragic killig which i think is rather discusting just to boost their sales

  4. […] spat with LGF. Geller has not made any comment on last weekend’s violence. She did, however, recently opine that the Mail (a conservative paper) is the “DHIMMI PRESS IN BED WITH THE ISLAMIC […]

  5. […] The Mail’s headline recalls the notorious 2005 Evening Standard headline “Children Sacrificed in London Churches, Say Police“; I blogged on this here. The Daily Mail also stoked fears of an Islamic ritual killing last year, as I blogged here. […]

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