The Daily Mail suffered a bruising take-down after it released its most ludicrous anti-Muslim story this year

The Daily Mail logo altered to read 'Daily Fail'
John McEvoy

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.

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:

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.

Get Involved!

– 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 need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed