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Media watchdog accuses The Times of ‘scapegoating’ Muslims

RUPERT MURDOCH’S media empire has been accused of stirring up hatred after The Times claimed a leading Islamic bank was financing extremist groups.

The Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) warned that the Times’s chief investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk was “scapegoating” Muslims.

In his latest story he claims that Britain’s oldest Islamic bank, Al Rayan, provides accounts to extremist Muslim groups.

His reports raise concerns that the bank’s clients include the East London Mosque, one of the country’s largest places of worship.

Among the reasons The Times regards the mosque as extremist is that a radical preacher spoke there 15 years ago.

Other clients of Al Rayan bank include a Muslim school that is under investigation from the Charity Commission.

CfMM director Rizwana Hamid told the Morning Star: “We are accustomed to Andrew Norfolk’s scapegoating of Muslims and Muslim civil society. 

“Let us not forget his ‘investigation’ into Muslim foster parents which his newspaper was forced to apologise for. 

“His latest story follows that mould, and it deploys so-called research from the Henry Jackson Society, an organisation itself accused of stoking up divisive bait stories against Muslims.

“This article makes no mention of the various other mainstream organisations that are under investigation by the Charity Commission, making it out that only Muslim organisations have had issues in relation to their banking or regulation. 

“This alone is indicative of the Islamophobia that underlies the article as a whole.

“We hope that The Times does not allow its standards to drop with biased and inaccurate reporting.”

Al Rayan bank said it “does not support any organisation or event that promotes extremist or violent views or ideologies.”

The Times and Andrew Norfolk were approached for comment.

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