The UK Mail on Sunday apologized for claiming a “Muslim gang slashes tyres of immigration-raid van.”
In fact, there was a dispute about the Mail‘s evidence that the alleged “gang” was Muslim, not that it mattered to the story. The Mail‘s Muslim claim cited an unnamed person saying in part, “I think they were local Muslim hoodies.”
The apology and correction came after a complaint to UK print regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation, according to the Guardian.
BuzzFeed compared the original article from July with the re-written version, which shows the original article heavily emphasized the Muslim claims. The first sentence of the article reads: “A gang of Muslim youths launched an astonishing attack on vans being used for an immigration raid — in the week David Cameron called upon the Muslim community to ‘support the British way of life.'”
The headline read: “Welcome to East London: Muslim gang slashes tyres of immigration-raid van before officers showered with eggs from high-rise.” Two of the four bullet points below the headline include “Muslim.”
In a Sept. 19 correction, the Mail 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. “
The newspaper originally defended the article’s Muslim references in a July 30 letter from Mail on Sunday managing editor John Wellington to the complainant pointing to its interview with an eyewitness and social media comments, BuzzFeed noted.
“Of course we intended no disrespect to the Muslim religion and apologise if you were offended by the article,” he wrote, adding that the Mail saw “pictures and an account of the event” from the Twitter handle @MuslimPrisoners, and its eyewitness said the group were “Muslim hoodies.”
UPDATED: 9/28/2015 2:25 PM EST