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Saturday, October 21, 2006 

Scum-watch: Well, who would have thought it?

A couple of weeks ago, at the beginning of the row over the niqab, the Sun did its bit for community cohesion by publishing on its front page claims that "MUSLIM yobs" had vandalised a house which 4 soldiers had intended to move into.

The police at the time said that they were considering the possibility that it had been racially aggravated. They've since retracted those claims
(hat-tip to Unity):

Oct 13 2006

REPORTS that soldiers were driven out of a Berkshire village by racists have been disputed by Thames Valley Police.

In last week’s Express we reported that four soldiers returning from
active service in Afghanistan had decided not to move into a house in Datchet.

Their decision followed the discovery of obscenities painted on the
front of the house that they were due to move into in Montagu Road, Datchet, last week.

The soldiers also discovered that several of the windows had
been broken.

An MoD source told the Express last week there had been
phone calls made to Combermere Barracks in Windsor where the soldiers were stationed.

The caller said that the soldiers were not welcome because houses in the road are expensive - around £600,000 - and that the soldiers presence might lower property values.

Newspaper reports claimed that the obscenities and vandalism were the work of Muslims.

The report claimed this was the view of detectives investigating the incident.

Thames Valley Police have now said they are not pursing this line of inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Reschwamm said: "This incident was reported in a national newspaper reports, alleging that Muslim youths were responsible for causing the damage to stop four soldiers moving in.

"I would like to emphasise that, although one of our initial lines of inquiry was to consider possible racially aggravated circumstances, we never labelled any particular faith or religion as being responsible."

He added: "Inquiries carried out to date conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that this was racially motivated. The MoD has also informed me that Combermere Barracks did not receive any threatening calls from Muslims or people claiming to be Muslims in relation to this incident."

As Unity also suggests, it seems much more plausible, that with the disturbances surrounding the Dairy in Windsor at the time, that the Sun's source for its story was either someone disgruntled with the possibility of soldiers lowering the tone in the area, or just an individual who wanted to stir up yet more hate towards the local Muslim population. It does however seem strange that the Sun claimed to have had sources at Combermere Barracks who confirmed that the threatening calls were the work of Muslims, when they seem to have told the police the exact opposite.

Whatever the truth, the least the Sun should do is correct such a potentially inflammatory story. It has yet to do so. An apology from those who provided soundbites for the Sun's article, such as Philip Davies, Damien Green and "Sir" Andrew Green would also be welcome.

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