The final version of the court judgment in the so-called Muslim Fostering case has now been released. This became front page news due to the attention of Andrew Norfolk and the Murdoch Times, but almost from the start, as Zelo Street posted at the time, it was clear that their version of the story was deeply flawed. Now that the summary judgment is there for all to see, it is clear that this story should never have seen the light of day.
Far from being a Christian child taken to live with Scary Muslims™, the judgment notes that “The maternal grandparents are Muslim … The maternal grandmother chose to take an oath on the Qur’an before giving oral evidence … The child was born in the UK but had also spent a lot of time with her maternal grandparents in their country of origin.” Press Gang has identified that country as Turkey - a secular but majority Muslim country.
That was not told by Norfolk, or any other Times reporter. Nor was this highly relevant snippet: “On the morning of 2nd March 2017 the child was removed from the mother’s care under a police protection order following the mother’s arrest for being drunk in charge of a child in a bar in a hotel near the mother’s home”.
Nor was the mother’s history of alcohol abuse: “In August 2013 the mother pleaded guilty to an earlier offence of battery against a security officer at a London casino after she had been drinking … On 24.09.2012 the Foreign Office received a referral from the duty manager of a hotel in Bulgaria expressing concerns about the mother’s wellbeing. The duty manager reported that he suspected that the mother may be on drugs or alcohol and that the hotel room was not particularly fit for a young child”. There was more.
“The mother has pleaded guilty to the charge of driving a motor vehicle with excessive alcohol on 2 separate occasions; 16.03.08 and 24.04.09 … hair strand test results dated 07.04.2017 shows the mother engaged in the excessive chronic consumption of alcohol equivalent to a bottle of wine per day”. There was also evidence of cocaine consumption.
Yet none of that found its way into the Times. Nor did “The relationship between the mother and putative father had been characterised by incidents of domestic violence (some very serious) over a number of years such that if she and the putative father were together and the child were to be present there would be a real risk that the child may get caught up in the domestic violence and might be at risk of suffering physical and emotional harm which might be significant in its nature”. Selective reporting at its finest.
What neither the Times, nor any other paper that had been engaging in Muslim bashing as a result of Norfolk’s highly selective revelations, have also revealed are these significant snippets: “The mother, her friends and a contact supervisor have been identified in the press as the source of the media reports … No accredited member of the press attended at the final hearing”. Reality was clearly too much for the poor dears.
One read through that judgment shows that the storyline pursued by the Times, and much of Norfolk’s reporting, was not fit for purpose. It should never have been published. There was so much distortion, selective use of facts, and downright falsehood that editorial staff should have spiked it. They did not. Now, Norfolk and his editor John Witherow should either leave their posts - or be caused to do so.
Brian Cathcart has summarised the reasons why this should happen in an article for Byline Media. Firstly, “The Times’s primary source for its inflammatory story - the mother of the 'white, Christian child' taken into care - was very far from being a reliable witness and no story should ever have been published based on her evidence”. Also, the press knew who she was, and knew how reliable a witness she was likely to be.
Secondly, “Far from being an ‘inappropriate’ placing, as the Times forcefully asserted, a Muslim foster home was probably the most familiar environment that could have been found for a child who had spent much of her short life with Muslim grandparents in a Muslim country”. You can also see Brian’s Twitter thread on the judgment HERE. So what is the media establishment reaction to this news?
Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Zip. Nil. Nix. Nada. Not a sausage. Bugger all.
Andrew Norfolk has sprayed his reputation up the wall in pursuing a story so bereft of facts that he should not merely hang his head in shame, but leave the profession of journalism.
John Witherow has aided and abetted the publication of that story. He too should go. But not to worry, the media establishment has circled the wagons and is keeping schtum.
So you won’t read, or see on the TV, that Press Gang has told “In the light of the damning court judgment released today, Press Gang has asked IPSO to revisit all complaints of inaccuracy in Andrew Norfolk's articles on the Christian child forced into Muslim foster care”, You won’t know that Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain is on the case: “Given the facts released today by the Judge on the child fostering case that formed the basis of 4 front pages at The Times, there is little doubt that Andrew Norfolk should resign and The Times should issue an unequivocal apology”.
And when Brian Cathcart asks “Will any newspaper or broadcaster report this story? And will they report it halfway straight?”, tagging several prominent figures in broadcast media in the process, all that will be heard is the sound of yet more crickets.
Our media establishment is broken. But for its members to tackle the problem, they must first admit it exists. They will not. They’ll just pretend it never really happened.
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