A statement by the editor

Stephen Pollard responds to criticism of publication of a recent column by Melanie Phillips

December 17, 2019 15:25

Last week the Jewish Chronicle published the latest column by our regular columnist Melanie Phillips and the piece went online yesterday. A number of people within the Jewish community, and friends of the community, have expressed their dismay – and anger – at its content.

No editor of a serious publication wants such a reaction. The Jewish Chronicle does not seek to provoke but to inform and prompt sensible debate. So when there is such a reaction I take it very seriously and I apologise to any reader who is angered or upset by the piece.

The Jewish Chronicle exists to publish a range of views which, as editor, I consider to be worthy of discussion. Melanie Phillips’ piece reflects an argument about the origins and utility of the notion of Islamophobia, as opposed to anti-Muslim bigotry, that is part of political debate today. This is a subject that she and the JC have covered before.

We would never publish a piece which attacked Muslims or dismissed prejudice against Muslims. Ms Phillips states clearly that “prejudice against Muslims should be condemned, just like prejudice against Hindus, Sikhs or anyone else.” Her case – whether or not one agrees with it – is about the origins and use of the word Islamophobia.

Given our commitment to covering a range of legitimate views, we have also published a piece on the same subject by David Toube of the Quilliam Foundation. One by Shiraz Maher of King’s College, London will follow shortly. Both disagree with Melanie Phillips.


December 17, 2019 15:25

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