Pollster Survation distances itself from The Sun's coverage of its Muslim 'jihadis' poll

The company said the poll needed to be compared to a sample of non-Muslims

The newspaper claimed a significant minority of Muslims had sympathy for jihadi fighters
The newspaper claimed a significant minority of Muslims had sympathy for jihadi fighters

A pollster that produced a survey attempting to measure support amongst Muslims for people travelling to fight in Syria has criticised coverage of the poll.

Survation said The Sun newspaper’s reporting of the poll had “generated much controversy” and explained its view on the survey, which effectively contradicted the newspaper’s angle on the story.

The Sun had claimed on its front page that one in five Muslims had sympathy for people going to join jihadi fighters in Syria.

The poll however did not mention jihadis and actually showed lower levels of support among Muslims who were polled than a similar poll examining the attitudes of the general population previously had.

The question was also liable to be interpreted by respondents as measuring support for people going to fight against Isis, as many people have - including former British servicemen.

“Our view remains that the most meaningful way to interpret the results of this polling is in the proper context alongside a comparable sample of non-Muslims, as we did in March of this year using identical methodology and the same question wording,” the pollster said in a statement.

It said previous polling had been reported in a “balanced way” by Sky News and that similar findings had been “largely uncontroversial” at the time.

The controversial Sun front page

“This latest poll in fact shows a fall in sympathy with fighters travelling to Syria among Muslims since March, something which we would consider the most pertinent new finding of that particular question,” they added.

The pollster also said: "Survation categorically objects to the use of any of our findings by any group, as has happened elsewhere on social networks, to incite racial or religious tensions."

Survation reportedly agreed to do the poll after The Sun's usual pollster, YouGov declined to conduct it, citing technical limitations.

This morning in an editorial in its newspaper The Sun however dug in, blaming the “political Left” for rubbishing its reporting.

“It is shocking and depressing that even after the Paris slaughter one in five British Muslims we surveyed still has sympathy with young people who fly to Syria to become jihadist killers”, the editorial says.

“It is depressing too that many others would rather not face up to that fact, preferring to rubbish The Sun’s poll rather than deal with what is uncovered.”

The story, published on Monday, generated record complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

The watchdog recorded 450 complaints, the most for any story since it was set up in 2014.

On the day of its publication the Independent coincidentally revealed a 300 per cent rise in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the UK since the Paris terror attacks.

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