started this petition to
Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP, Attorney General
The article published by The Sun, "1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis/ EXCLUSIVE: ‘Wake-up call’ after Paris blitz" (Monday 23rd November, 2015) in our view clearly amounts to the criminal offence of publicly broadcasting incitement to racial hatred, an offence under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, as amended by the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
The Sun's survey method which this report was based on contained questions which were so misleading that we consider it implausible that they were not deliberately intended to mislead the respondents in order to falsely and artificially obtain the survey results and then to misrepresent those results in a way intended to stir up racial or religious hatred.
"The question posed by Survation makes no mention whatsoever of jihadis, Islamic State and the reason fighters are going to Syria. Moreover, the question does not stipulate who the “fighters in Syria” are – Isis fighters or perhaps those of other rebel groups.
Given that there have been recorded instances of individuals travelling to Syria to fight against Isis (including a recent Channel 4 documentary (Frontline Fighting: the Brits battling ISIS, 16 Sept 2015) which followed three former soldiers who travelled to fight against Isis militants in Syria), it is conceivable that some of those polled could have been thinking of these examples rather than people going in support of Isis." (Guardian, 23 Nov 2015)
We believe the article was both intended to stir up racial hatred, and that, having regard to all the circumstances, any reasonable person in the position of the Sun's directors and editors should reasonably be expected to have known that racial or religious hatred was likely to be stirred up thereby.
In the last week since the Paris attacks on 13 Nov, recorded hate crimes against Muslims in the UK have increased by 300% to 115 this week. Most of the victims have been Muslim women and girls who were attacked for wearing hijab. (Oliver Wright, in The Independent, "British Muslims Face Spike in Racial Attacks", 23 Nov.)
We do not consider it an acceptable use of 'press freedom' nor to have any plausible public interest defence.
We believe in equality under the law and no de facto immunity from prosecution even for powerful media corporations.
This and other recent publications by The Sun and the Daily Mail have in our view crossed the line from merely distasteful into criminal incitement.
This has gone far too far, too many times already, and there should be a public prosecution, at least on this case, to test the law in this area and to resolve public doubts about whether justice is being applied equally and consistently regardless of power and influence.
We call on you to charge The Sun directors and those editors and journalists who are responsible in this case with the criminal offence of public incitement to racial hatred, under S.19 of the Public Order Act 1986.
CPS racial and religious hate crimes prosecution policy https://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/rrpbcrbook.html
Posted: 23 November 2015 (Updated: 12 January 2017)