The Daily Mail suffered a bruising take-down after it released its most ludicrous anti-Muslim story this year
After posting an article which claimed that as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants were living in the French city of Saint-Denis, the Daily Mail suffered a brutal take-down thanks to the former director of the Association against Islamophobia in France, Marwan Muhammad. Not only has the article’s author, Andrew Malone, since deleted his Twitter account (@katiba1171) – the Daily Mail has removed the article altogether.
In a 15-point Twitter schooling posted on 4 August, Muhammad picked the Daily Mail’s article to pieces. His first tweet, which has been liked over 29,000 times, reads:
We too in France have tabloids who couldn’t care less about the truth, but I really have to say: you’re in a league of your own. Everything in your paper is wrong.
Hello @MailOnline. I've read your "devastating" article on "illegal migrants in Saint Denis". We too in France have tabloïds who couldn't care less about the truth, but I really have to say: you're in a league of your own. Everything in your paper is wrong. A fact checking: 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/zWiqlffxsP
— Marwan Muhammad (@_MarwanMuhammad) August 4, 2018
And the quality of journalism in the article is, indeed, quite astonishing.
Here are some of the article’s worst clangers that Muhammad points out:
- The article’s central claim that “as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants” live in Saint-Denis is almost three times greater than the total population of Saint-Denis, which is roughly 110,733.
- Throughout the article, the author confuses the city of ‘Saint-Denis’ with the relatively massive department of ‘Seine-Saint-Denis’, which includes 40 cities. There is no evidence to support a claim that “as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants” live in either.
- The author claims that one Saint Denis resident’s personal items were “clearly stolen from tourists or Parisians”, without providing any evidence whatsoever.
- ‘The Muslims have cancelled Christmas’ argument appears within the article. No further comment is required here.
- French politician Jean-Louis Borloo, founder of the centre-right Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) party, is falsely described as a “left-winger”. This information could have been quickly found on Wikipedia – a platform that has incidentally banned the Daily Mail as an “unreliable” source.
One Twitter user mocked the story by sharing some recent “terrifying” images from Saint-Denis:
Random snaps from a recent afternoon in St. Denis. Terrifying. pic.twitter.com/QxU4w9GdJe
— HughSykes (@HughSykes) August 4, 2018
And the Stop Funding Hate campaign outed the advertisers attempting to score profits off the hate campaigns of the Daily Mail:
The story is reminiscent of Fox News’s 2015 report that Birmingham (UK) was a “no-go zone for non-Muslims”, which provoked similar international ridicule.
Not so funny
While the Daily Mail’s mediocrity is laughable, it reflects a not-so-funny side of the British press that prefers anti-immigrant sensationalism to factual evidence. And despite the inaccuracies, many Daily Mail readers will find their worldview affirmed by the tabloid’s depiction of immigrants.
And this article was far from the exception. In 2015, for example, the Daily Mail published a cartoon that likened immigrants to vermin. This was a tactic of dehumanisation used by the Nazis, who the Mail actually supported in the 1930s.
Given the Daily Mail‘s apparently minimal commitment to journalistic integrity, it is not surprising that the UK written press was ranked the least trusted of 33 European countries in 2016. Online news did not rank much better.
Muhammad’s take-down of the Daily Mail shows us the way to confront the rise of the anti-immigration right – with the truth.
– Challenge hateful media campaigns by supporting Stop Funding Hate.
– Support independent journalism by becoming a member of The Canary.
Featured image via Mikey/Flickr
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.