Tuesday, 28 April 2009

How the Mail does truth

Another example of yellow journalism from the Daily Mail. This time, pathetically amatreurish in its attempt to drag the spectre of Muslims and Sharia into the story:

EU judges want Sharia law applied in British courts

Judges could be forced to bow to Sharia law in some divorce cases heard in Britain.

An EU plan calls for family courts across Europe to hear cases using the laws of whichever country the couple involved have close links to.

That could mean a court in England handling a case within the French legal framework, or even applying the laws of Saudi Arabia to a husband and wife living in Britain.

The Centre for Social Justice think tank today attacked the so-called Rome III reform as ludicrous. (1)
A nano-bleedin'-second of research proves the Daily Wail's take on this to be rubbish.

I checked the website of the Centre for Social Justice, the think tank cited in the Wail story. This is what I found:
Moves by Brussels to force UK courts to apply foreign laws in divorce cases are condemned today (Sunday) by a major new report from a leading think-tank. The study published by the Centre for Social Justice reveals that EU officials are seeking to tear up 200 years of legal precedent and to require English and Welsh courts to follow foreign jurisdictions where the divorcing couple comes from another EU country. (2)
My emphasis, obviously. This extract is not from the report itself - it is from the summary of the report given on the organisation's website. I could have understood - though not excused - a journalist not bothering to read the whole report, but this degree of innacuracy is pathetic. There is no mention of Sharia, Saudi Arabia, or slam anywhere in that summary, which makes it clear that the proposed law change would only apply between members of the European Union.

Saudi Arabia is not an EU country, as far as I am aware, and I am struggling to compile a
list of EU countries where Sharia is enforced. I have emailed the Mail to help me with this project, but I do not expect a meaningful reply any time soon. The Mail gave up on reporting the truth in an accurate manner a long time ago, and it seems likely that the inaccuracy of the report is deliberate - and editorial fatwa was probably issued that negative references Muslims and Islam have to be made at ever possible (or in this case, impossible) opportunity.

No wonder the journalist who composed the story opted to remain anonymous. It is nice to see they had some sort of sense that what they were doing was shameful, but a great pity they didn't allow their scuples to stop them doing it. Perhaps they should let their conscience speak more freely, and think about whether they want to be associated with a dishonest rag that is little more than a semi-repectable mouth piece for the BNP.
1 - "EU judges want Sharia law applied in British courts," story credited to Daily Mail Reporter, published in The Daily Mail, 27th of April, 2009. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1173779/EU-judges-want-Sharia-law-applied-British-courts.html)
2 - The quotation is from a briefing issued by the Centre for Social Policy, a think tank set up by Tory MP and former party leader Iain Duncan Smith. The report in question was summarised under the heading "EU family law: faster divorce and foreign law." No author was identified. The full report is available through the Centre for Social Policy website.The webpage was viewed on the 28th of April, 2009. (http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/default.asp?pageRef=37)

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I am still here.

 I am still here.  I haven't gone away.  I'm just trying to shame you all into better behaviour through my disapproving silence.