Daily Mail forced to issue apology to NUS President Malia Bouattia
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The Daily Mail has been forced to issue an apology to NUS President Malia Bouattia after implying she harboured sympathies for ISIS.
It follows an an article published on 16th June that reported “the controversial National Union of Students (NUS) president who has refused to condemn ISIS, claimed that young Britons have 'no choice but to go off to Syria' to join Islamic extremists because they 'feel so disempowered.'”
On Wednesday, the Mail offered the following clarification:A headline on an article published on 16 June 2016 said that Malia Bouattia claimed that young Muslims are travelling to join ISIS in Syria due to cuts to education. It also said that Ms Bouattia has refused to condemn ISIS. The correct position is that Ms Bouattia claimed that young Muslims were travelling to join ISIS in Syria for reasons including Government cuts to education and mass unemployment, and Ms Bouattia has condemned ISIS. The article also said that Ms Bouattia’s comments were condemned by ‘student groups’. In fact, only one group was reported to have publicly condemned the comments. The group was Student Rights, who aim ‘to protect the rights and freedoms of all students’. We are happy to clarify these points and apologise for any confusion caused.
The back-track comes after complaints issued by those such as Assistant Secretary of the Muslim Council, Miqdaad Versi, who noted four separate errors within the original piece.
Bouattia’s election has proved deeply divisive, with some having “very serious concerns.”
When she refused to back a motion put forward to the NUS Executive Council to “condemn the IS”, she argued: “We recognise that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamophobia. This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend.”
This is not the last time the daily paper has criticised the NUS president. In a separate piece published on 27th September, the Mail again attacked Bouattia, claiming “The president of the National Union of Students has refused to apologise for comments condemned as anti-Semitic.
This was in response to an article co-authored by Bouattia five years ago, that described Birmingham University as “something of a Zionist outpost”.
Bouattia has not yet issued a response.