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14 February 2011

What’s Muslim got to do with it?

Telegraph headline ill-judged at best.

By Jon Bernstein

The terrible murder of Joy Small and her two young children is covered in some detail in all of the papers today. The Independent is typical of the way most have treated the story. Its headline reads:

Mother and two children found dead after father kills himself

The Times and the Guardian use a similar formulation, as does the Daily Mail (in print at least*). By contrast, the Daily Telegraph runs with the following:

Muslim convert wife and children “killed by abusive monster”

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The fact that she was a Muslim convert is not germane to the story, so why include it in the headline? Or do we know why?

(*The headline on the print version of the Daily Mail story reads: ” ‘Monster’ murders his wife and two children before killing himself”. Oddly, online it now reads: “Muslim convert” wife murdered along with her two children by monster husband had only stayed with him for “sake of the kids”.)