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Tuesday 23 June 2015

Sun Muslim Convert Lies Busted

[Update at end of post]

The BBC has reported the conclusion of the trial of Nicholas Salvador, telling “A man who beheaded an elderly woman in her garden in an attack of ‘extraordinary brutality’ has been cleared of murder on the grounds of insanity … Nicholas Salvador killed 82-year-old Palmira Silva in September last year … He will be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital”. Recorder of London Nicholas Hillard gave his reaction to the accused.
It is established beyond any doubt that you killed Mrs Silva in an attack of extraordinary brutality and ferocity … You thought you were encountering some demonic force which had taken on a human form. You could not have been more deluded … Nobody who saw it could forget the mild and trusting way Mrs Silva approached you over the wall while you were brandishing a knife”. Salvador was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

What has not been reported was that Salvador was initially accused - totally falsely - of being a convert to Islam by the Sun newspaper, whose report is still available online. “A GRANDMOTHER was beheaded in her back garden yesterday by a maniac with a machete … The ranting man, said to be a Muslim convert, attacked 82-year-old Palmira Silva after decapitating cats in a bloody rampage”.
Who said he was a “Muslim Convert”? Er, “locals”. Maybe “sources”. It could have been one of those “insiders”. But it was enough for the Sun to splash with “Horror In Suburbia … ‘MUSLIM CONVERT’ BEHEADS WOMAN IN GARDEN”. Salvador, it soon became clear, had no connection to Islam. This did not stop the Sun’s repellant head of PR Dylan Sharpe from excusing his paper’s headline and suggesting it was true.

Sharpe “pointed out .. that other papers were now also reporting on the murder with similar headlines”, knowing that the herd instinct of the tabloids meant that the Sun’s line would be copied, for fear that other papers would miss the boat. For reasons best known to himself, Sharpe has remained silent on the Salvador case today. So has his paper. So has managing editor Stig Abell. Perhaps they are considering their next move.
No comment, no apology: Dylan Sharpe

Or perhaps they aren’t: while Ms Silva’s granddaughter Christina told “Every day I wake up and replay the attack on my grandmother in my head. Since the attack I have completely changed from the person I used to be … The thought of being alone in the house terrifies me”, and the impact of mental illness on the family’s lives is laid bare, the Murdoch press know that they didn’t give a stuff about any of that.

No sirree, the Sun - already infamous for headlines likes “Bonkers Bruno Locked Up” - isn’t interested in furthering its readers’ knowledge of mental illness. But it is interested in hijacking this case, or any other, in order to frighten people about Scary Muslims. Mental illness affects a significant part of the population. Understanding of it is still not good. And the Sun would rather it stay that way - so it can peddle its own agenda of hate.

You want an apology from the Sun? You’ll be waiting a long, long time for that.

[UPDATE 24 June 1350 hours: with the usual lack of self-awareness, the Sun has returned to this story today, putting it on the front page with the screaming headline "Machete killer hooked on beheading videos".
Readers are told "KILLER Nicholas Salvador became obsessed with watching beheading videos before he decapitated great-gran Palmira Silva", but there is no mention at the top of the story that this man was suffering a serious mental illness, nor that the same paper ran that totally untrue "Muslim Convert" headline earlier.

As usual, it's a case of "just buy your papers, and don't ask questions". In other words, the Sun is an insult to its readers' intelligence. No change there, then]


SteveB said...

It will be interesting to see how ( or whether they bother) to report the very similar case of Zack Davies who attacked an Asian man in Mold. So far I've seen the words lunatic and white supremacist used but no-one seems to have described him as christian - or any other non muslim religion. Usual hack standards - muslims who kill do it because they are muslim, but other religions do it for non religious reasons.

Anonymous said...

It's plain to me that Abell and Sharpe's attitudes and actions "quietly condone" extremist attitudes... If I were them, I'd be looking over my shoulder after Cameron's extra-judicial sentiments:
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It's often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that's helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”