The Independent Press Standards Organisation has published its ruling on the complaint from Muslim Engagement & Development (MEND) relating to an article published by The Sun on Monday 23 November 2015.
The article, which generated more than 3,000 complaints, was headlined “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis”. IPSO’s policy when dealing with a large number of complaints about a particular issue is to select a lead complaint. In this case, IPSO selected MEND as the lead complainant.
In assessing the accuracy of the newspaper’s interpretation of the poll results, the Complaints Committee considered the entirety of the coverage. The newspaper had provided various interpretations of the poll result which conflated important distinctions between those travelling to Syria and those already fighting in Syria; between “sympathy” for these individuals and “support” for their actions; and between individuals attracted by the ideology of IS, and the ideology of IS itself.
The Complaints Committee deemed that 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 breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy).