The Times has issued a correction and sought to clarify a disputed poll splashed across the front page of its stablemate The Sun on Monday, which claimed that a fifth of British Muslims sympathised with Syrian jihadis.
Following a record number of complaints The Times has been forced to acknowledge that the poll did not distinguish between the differing warring factions in Syria, simply labelling them all as ‘fighters’ in its question.
Despite this the tabloid chose to focus on ‘jihadis’ in its subsequent coverage a discrepancy which the paper now acknowledges. The Times wrote: "We reported the findings of a Survation poll of 1,000 British Muslims (News, Nov 24). Asked 'How do you feel about young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria?' 14 per cent of respondents expressed 'some sympathy' and 5 per cent 'a lot of sympathy'.
"The survey did not distinguish between those who go to fight for Islamic State and those who join other factions in Syria, and it did not ask about attitudes towards Isis itself. Our headline, 'One in five British Muslims has sympathy for Isis', was misleading in failing to reflect this.”
The Sun did later acknowledge that a ‘clear’ majority of Britain’s 2.7m Muslims are moderate.