100 MPs slam The Sun's '˜Muslim problem' article

An article by Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun which claimed that Britain must face down a 'Muslim problem' has been attacked by 100 MPs.

Yvette Cooper said the article was like 1930s Germany. Picture: Jon Savage/ JP
Yvette Cooper said the article was like 1930s Germany. Picture: Jon Savage/ JP

The controversial column has already prompted complaints to the press regulator from Jewish and Muslim groups who compared it to Nazi propaganda. Kavanagh, a former Sun political editor and a close ally of Rupert Murdoch, accused the British authorities of disregarding “Muslim sex crimes.”

Kavanagh wrote that it was now “acceptable to say Muslims are a specific rather than a cultural problem” and asked “What will we do about The Muslim Problem?” after Brexit.

Since the article was published more than 100 MPs have condemned The Sun and called for action over “Nazi-like language” in the column.

The signatories to the letter, organised by Labour MP Naz Shah and published by The Independent, said it was truly “outraged by the hate and bigotry” in the piece written by former political editor Trevor Kavanagh.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner were also among the signatories.

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Jeremy Corbyn did not sign the letter, but praised its contents, saying “published statements that incite Islamophobia and stigmatise entire communities”.

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Cooper compares Sun article to Nazis

Labour MP Yvette Cooper said the article had “echoes of the 30s”.

Cooper, chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, tweeted: “When reports of islamophobia & antisemitism rising, how can @TheSun think it OK to print column on “The Muslim Problem” with echoes of 30s?”

Her Committee would pursue “inquiries on hate crime, far right extremism & islamophobia” which are “more important than ever” following the Sun article and the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville.

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Sun readers complain

The intervention by former minister Cooper will add pressure on The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, to account for the article. 
The Sun published a letter attacking Kavanagh, headlined “Don’t blame Islam for evil.” 
The writer said: “The popular press asked the same question about our friends in the Jewish community in the Thirties.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Tell Mama and Faith Matters lodged a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso). 
The organisations argued that the phrase “Muslim Problem” closely echoed “The Jewish Problem”, an expression used in Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Parts of this article originally appeared on our sister site.