The disgraced British anti Islamophobia monitor Tell Mama, and it’s founder Fiyaz Mughal, have become bywords for dishonesty and spin. This group along with Fiyaz Mughal have been involved in some enormous dishonesty scandals dating back to false claims made by them that there was a ‘massive rise in Islamophobic attacks’ following the Islamic murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013. These claims, along with a number of others, were busted by journalists and bloggers over many years. The lack of probity and honesty that characterises the Tell Mama group is at the heart of why the group became known among many Britons as ‘that bunch mendacious grievance mongering taqiyya artists’ and also why their founder Fiyaz Mughal has been referred to as ‘Taqiyyatron’ in a spoof Pokemon game.
Tell Mama also have a reputation for leaving unproven or even fake stories about alleged Islamophobic attacks up on their website for far longer than they should have done. In the case that I’d like to bring to your attention today, Tell Mama have left an uncorrected fake story on their public website for well over a year, despite the alleged victim pleading guilty to wasting police time about a month after Tell Mama ran with the original fake story. At any time between the dodgy story being published and the alleged attack being revealed to be false in January 2016 until now Tell Mama could have done the honourable thing and issued a correction or edited the original piece to reflect the changed circumstances. However they did not do this.
We all are human, we all make mistakes and there have been occasions when this blog has had to issue a correction when it has been caught out, but for a lavishly publicly funded organisation such as Tell Mama to not do this is inexcusable. The failure to issue a correction to this obviously fake story tells us a lot about the lack of probity and honesty that characterises the Tell Mama organisation. At the very least the failure to make a correction of issue a public statement saying that they got it wrong on this one is more evidence that Tell Mama and those associated with them are not to be trusted and are often economical with the truth.
It’s time for people to get together and collectively tell Tell Mama that this story, which is reproduced below is a pack of lies and has been proven to be such in court. This blog has also put together a form of words that people may wish to use when contacting Tell Mama on firstname.lastname@example.org to tell this organisation to get their act together and to start being honest.
Here’s the original story as published by Tell Mama in December 2015
“The Birmingham Mail has reported a particularly vicious assault against a young Muslim female on the 23rd of November at 7:30 am. The Muslim teenager was apparently ‘punched in the face in broad daylight’ as she was walking along New Street and she feels that she was targeted because she wears the Hijab, and that her visibility made her a target for the assault.
The newspaper reported that the young female now feels scared to walk in the City centre and stated that:
” I was walking to the train station to meet some friends when someone shoved me from behind,” she told the Birmingham Mail.
“When I turned around he punched me in the face and then just went off.
“I was really upset afterwards. I can only think it was because he saw my hijab as he didn’t take my bag or anything.
“I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life and I’ve never experienced something like this before.”
The teenager also stated that her mother suggested she take off the Hijab and wear a hat and this is something that we have heard before from Muslim females.
We hope that individuals feel that they are able to report in such incidents and given the seriousness of this crime, it is right that the victim contacted the police. Whilst such hate incidents of assault are rare, nonetheless, it is essential that perpetrators are brought to justice.
If you have been targeted for anti-Muslim prejudice, you can contact us on 0800 456 1226 or email@example.com. You can also SMS us on 0115 707 0007 or tweet us @tellmamauk.”
Now via this story from ITV from January 2016, we have the truth of the matter:
A woman who claimed she was subjected to a racist assault – telling the police and media she’d been targeted for wearing a hijab – has been fined for wasting police time after CCTV enquiries showed she made up the attack.
The 18-year-old reported being set upon by a man in New Street, near the Odeon cinema, at 7.30am on 23 November and punched in the face.
She suggested the assault was racially-motivated – triggered by the fact she wears a traditional Muslim head scarf – and that the incident left her afraid of walking alone in central Birmingham.
Detectives trawled CCTV footage in and around New Street and accompanied the teenager on a walk through the city centre to help her pinpoint the offence location. But after monitoring her movements they could find no evidence of the alleged attack.
She was handed a £90 fixed penalty ticket for wasting police time.
The footage shows her walking normally along New Street and at no stage does she appear in distress or seen reacting to anything…there is no evidence she was physically assaulted and she was given a penalty notice for wasting police time.
Hate crimes are taken very seriously: Birmingham is a multicultural city and everyone should be free to go about their lives without fear of being verbally or physically abused simply because of who they are.”
– Superintendent Andy Parsons
Below you can find this blog’s suggested form of words that people may want to use when contacting the Tell Mama organisation or its representatives to ask for a meaningful, highly visible and public correction to be made to this obviously fake story.
Dear Tell Mama
It has been noted by a number of people, including opponents of your organisation, that you are still running a story that has been proven to be false.
The story in question regards a Muslim woman who alleged that she was attacked in Birmingham in November 2015. In your report, quoting from the Birmingham Mail dated 01/12/2015, you publish this story and treat the allegations as if they were true. This is not the case. The woman concerned subsequently pleaded guilty to wasting police time.
A considerable amount of time has passed since this fake allegation of Islamophobia was published on your website yet your organisation still has not published, as you probably should have done, a correction to this story. The story is still up on your site and is still being treated as if it was true attack, rather than an allegation that was proven to be false.
It would do your organisation no harm and probably do yourselves some good, if you either removed this story or even better added a correction to reflect the changed circumstances. Your organisation is under considerable pressure and is subject to a lot of criticism because members of the public perceive that your organisation is dishonest. Leaving this story intact and uncorrected does little to change those perceptions.
<insert name or whatever here>
This blog would be grateful if you could let us know what, if any response you get from Tell Mama. It only remains to implore those readers who intend to contact Tell Mama to keep their comments and criticisms of them legal, decent, honest and truthful, even though Tell Mama themselves seem to be incapable of living up to many of such standards themselves.
Tell Mama still treating fake story as true
Debunking of early morning anti Muslim attack story which is still being treated as true by Tell Mama