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The Aslam affair

The Guardian's dismissal of Dilpazier Aslam should set off a wave of self-examination in British journalism. The newspaper ignored journalistic standards in the name of political correctness

By Jytte Klausen   September 2005

How often do journalism trainees at major newspapers get to write opinion columns on the big issue of the day? Rarely, but on 13th July, Dilpazier Aslam, a 27-year-old trainee, got to write the Guardian’s leader on the “young Muslim” view of home-grown Islamic terrorism. Terrorism is “not the way to express your political anger,” he wrote, but he found no faults with the bombers’ motives. In the timeless style of all brands of apologists, Aslam spun a twisted story. Adding British casualties to the list of war dead slightly evened out the imbalance between the dead in the 9/11…

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