Friday, 2 April 2010

Express papers clarify religious reporting

First up, a five-months-later apology to the Unification Church over an article that, according to the complainant:

made a number of inaccurate claims about the organisation.

In particular, he pointed out that a government investigation had concluded that allegations of brainwashing were unfounded, that Reverend Moon had not been banned from the UK for 27 years, and that none of the couples in any of the mass weddings conducted had met for the first time at the ceremony itself.

He was also concerned that the article's use of the term 'moonie' had represented a derogatory and discriminatory reference to unificationists.

So by way of resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the PCC helped to negotiate publication of the following clarification:

In our article on 15 October 2009 about a mass wedding conducted by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, we incorrectly said that many of the couples had met for the first time at the ceremony itself.

In the same article we also stated that Reverend Moon had been banned from the UK for 27 years whereas that is not the case. We are happy to clarify these points and apologise for any confusion caused.

In addition, the newspaper agreed to amend its records to reflect the points raised by the complainant, and also noted his request of meeting with one of its representatives.

Also, a clarification from the Sunday Express on 14 March 2010 to the East London Mosque:

Our article of December 27, 2009 'Jet bomb ordered by 9/11 spiritual leader' stated that Anwar al Awlaki, the Yemen based cleric said to have inspired the failed plot to blow up a plane bound for Detroit, had spoken at the 'radical' East London Mosque (ELM).

We would like to make clear that ELM works tirelessly to promote religious and social tolerance and to oppose violent extremism in all its forms. ELM tells us that it was not aware of any credible allegation of violent extremism against Anwar al Awlaki prior to the single occasion on which he spoke at the London Muslim Centre (LMC) at an event organised by an external organisation.

ELM does not promote or support Anwar al Awlaki. ELM would not now permit Anwar al Awlaki to speak at ELM or the LMC.

(Hat-tip Islamophobia Watch)

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