Robert Spencer Scrubs Muslim “Provocation” Story

Robert Spencer reports on a Muslim outrage on a flight from London to Malta:

Alas, the Malta Independent Online has further details:

The story that made the rounds of the world that a Muslim man was apprehended on an Air Malta plane when he persisted in praying out aloud in the aisle just as the plane was taxying to take off at London’s Heathrow Airport, now has to be revised.

It was a Caribbean Christian man, Maria Busuttil who was on the plane with him, told The Times. And the prayer he was chanting was the ‘Our Father’…

Of course, it would be unfair to blame Spencer simply for taking a news report at face value. Most of us who blog on news matters have probably at some point disseminated a story which has turned out to be problematic or even erroneous – this happened to me in 2006, when I blogged on reports from Canada that some native rock art had been damaged by local neo-Pentecostals.

What distinguishes a responsible blogger from a ideologue hack out to manipulate is how one deals with such mistakes. In my case, it seemed obvious that natural decency demanded that I should follow-up with a corrective blog entry and a note on my original posting. Anything less would be disrespectful to the truth, to my readers, and to those under discussion.

Spencer, however, has a different approach. He sees no need for a correction, or even for an acknowledgement that the story may be disputed (the Malta Independent report contains the detail that “Brian Grech who had a hand in restraining the man, still insisted the man was an Arab Muslim”). Instead, there’s just this:

Not a huge surprise – in August 2009 Spencer did the same thing after disseminating the story of a mass paedophile wedding in Gaza.

(H/T: Eats, Shoots ‘n Leaves and United Shades of Britain)