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The Muslim Council of Britain today (23rd November ) criticised the Sun newspaper for sensationalising poll findings claiming that 1 in 5 British Muslims supposedly had ‘sympathy for jihadis’. This is at variance with the belief held by the Muslim Council of Britain and the majority of British Muslims who have spoken out loudly and clearly against the terrorist murders in Paris.

The Sun headline states: ‘Nearly one in five British Muslims has some sympathy with those who have fled the UK to fight for IS in Syria.’ But the Survation poll commissioned by the newspaper asks respondents whether they had ‘sympathy with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria’. Tellingly, the question asked by Survation is about foreign fighters generally, not the murderous death cult of Daesh or ISIS specifically, or indeed ‘jihadis’ in general. As we know, foreign fighters belong to various backgrounds, fighting the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad and some are supported by the UK. Nevertheless, the Muslim Council of Britain has and will continue to warn against everyone going to Syria, a view backed by more than 71% of the respondents. We question why The Sun chose instead to lead with the minority view instead, which in itself is far from clear.

The incendiary newspaper headline comes a week after the horrific attacks in Paris by Daesh terrorists, an atrocity that has been unanimously condemned by Muslims everywhere; where the majority of mosques in the UK have stood up and said unanimously ‘not in our name’; and where the Muslim Council of Britain itself took out adverts in the national press to speak out against the murders.

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