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UK politicians complain against ‘hate’ article against Muslims

LONDON: Over 100 British politicians have signed an open letter complain about The Sun newspaper “using Nazi-like language” regarding the Muslim community in Britain.

On Monday, The Sun ran an article which asked: “What will we do about the Muslim problem?”

It was written by one of the paper’s big names, its former political editor Trevor Kavanagh.

In his article, Mr Kavanagh highlighted the issue of sexual abuse of white girls by Pakistani men. There have been a number of trials in the United Kingdom in which British Pakistani men have been convicted of sexual offences. The common denominator of these various cases, Mr Kavanagh alleged, “is Islam”.

The open letter to The Sun was organised by Labour MP Naz Shah and signed by 107 parliamentarians from the Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Greens. Signatories of the letter included former cabinet minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. Historically, politicians have tended to avoid criticising The Sun perhaps fearing that the newspaper is powerful enough to seriously damage their political careers.

The letter said the signatories “were truly outraged by the hate and bigotry” of the article.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun, with a daily circulation of over two million, is one of Britain’s best-selling papers.

But a spokesperson for The Sun said: “We strongly reject the allegation that Trevor Kavanagh is inciting Islamophobia. He is reflecting the links between immigration, religion and crime in the context of a trial of largely Pakistani sex gangs.”

The phrase “The Jewish Problem” was used before the Second World War during which millions of Jewish men women and children were murdered in the Holocaust. The Sun claimed that the similarity between the phrase “the Muslim problem” and “The Jewish Problem” was accidental: “…it was never the intention that other elements of the column would be equated to Nazi-like terminology,” the paper said.

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Azhar Hashmi

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