It wasn’t offensive for the Sunday Telegraph in Australia to publish a commentary article calling a woman named Yassmin Abdel-Magied a “silly Muslim woman,” “stupid,” “always bound to utter great inanities,” “a fool” and more, the Australian Press Council ruled.
The April 2017 column was headlined, “What genius gave this Islam idiot a soapbox?” The press council received a complaint concerned that the column was unfair or imbalanced, and was offensive without being in the public interest. Abdel-Magied is a Muslim activist, engineer writer, and TV personality.
iMediaEthics has contacted both the Telegraph and Abdel-Magied seeking their responses to the ruling.
The Sunday Telegraph defended the article as opinion, noting it was labeled as such and arguing Abdel-Magied’s religion is “relevant to the content of the article, to her public profile (which emphasized her identity and experiences as a Muslim woman in Australia) and to her position on the publicly-funded Council for Australian-Arab Relations.”
While the column is “likely to offend many,” it was opinion “based on explicit and implied opinions about multiculturalism,” the council said.
“The Council accepts that the article is, in its entirety, an expression of opinion in relation to multiculturalism and to Ms Abdel-Magied as exponent and exemplar of multiculturalism. The article attacked her suitability as a proponent of multiculturalism, a concept which it also attacks.”