NUJ's Dear condemns Daily Star's Muslim “moment of madness”

The Daily Star pulled a spoof “Daily Fatwa” page just before the presses started rolling last in the midst of a revolt from the paper’s NUJ chapel.

Today NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear condemned the page as a "moment of madness".

He said: "This was an outrageous and highly irresponsible idea that fortunately our chapel courageously resisted."

New deputy editor Ben Knowles – who joined the paper from men’s magazine Zoo in September – was in charge at the time.

Planned features on the page headed “How your favourite paper would look under Muslim law” included a “Page 3 burqa babes special” and a blank editorial stamped “censored”.

It is understood that the page had been signed off by senior executives when around 12 members of the Daily Star chapel held an emergency NUJ chapel meeting at 8.30pm.

They passed a motion stating: “This National Union of Journalists chapel expresses its deep concern at the content of page 6 in tomorrow's Daily Star which we consider to be deliberately offensive to Muslims.

"The chapel fears that this editorial content poses a very serious risk of violent and dangerous reprisals from religious fanatics who may take offence at these articles. This may place the staff in great jeopardy. This chapel urges the management to remove the content immediately."

According to a source at the paper editors have not ruled out running the story tomorrow.

It is not the first time NUJ members at Express Newspapers have made protests about editorial direction.
They have previously written to the Press Complaints Commission to complaint about claimed pressure to write anti-gipsy articles.

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