BBC finally retracts false statement about Haitham al Haddad’s views on Jews

  • The BBC has published a retraction of a statement made by presenter Andrew Neil in which he claimed the prominent Islamic scholar Haitham al Haddad said Jews were descended from pigs.
  • Neil made the claim on BBC1’s This Week show on 5 March 2015. The statement was based on an inaccurate internet post attributing words to Dr al-Haddad that he had never said.
  • The BBC had not corroborated or checked the internet site with Dr al-Haddad before broadcasting Mr Neil’s statement as a statement of fact.
  • Dr al-Haddad remains deeply concerned that the BBC continued to broadcast Mr Neil’s allegation online for almost three years after he had confirmed directly to the BBC that it was relying on a false report.
  • “The BBC breached its own accuracy rules by doing nothing to verify this uncorroborated internet source before broadcasting Andrew Neil’s claim as if it were established fact. Had it first done some elementary research, it would have seen, including from video online, that my client had confirmed that the report was indeed false and that he had never said such words.
  • Dr al-Haddad is horrified that the BBC relied on an unverified internet posting to broadcast such an allegation. In the course of the long battle to correct it since it was first broadcast, the BBC has produced not a shred of evidence to support the claim.

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