BBC doubles down on claim anti-Muslim slur was heard on bus attacked on Oxford St
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BBC doubles down on claim anti-Muslim slur was heard on bus attacked on Oxford St

Jewish News contacted the BBC on Sunday after the Board of Deputies called for the corporation to correct its report on last week’s antisemitic attack.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Image released by the Met Police of the three men being sought over the antisemitic incident in Oxford Street
Image released by the Met Police of the three men being sought over the antisemitic incident in Oxford Street

The BBC has continued to insist that a Jewish victim of antisemitic abuse aboard a bus on Oxford Street used an anti-Muslim slur which can be “heard clearly” in footage used in its report.

Jewish News contacted the BBC on Sunday after the Board of Deputies called for the corporation to correct a report on last week’s incident.

The Board also called for the BBC to issue an apology to victims.

A line in the BBC’s coverage of the incident – in which a group of males made Nazi salutes and shouted antisemitic slurs – read: “A slur about Muslims can also be heard from inside the bus.”

The Met Police has said the incident, which is being treated as a hate crime, will be looked at ‘in its entirety’.”

When approached for comment on Sunday, a BBC spokesperson told Jewish News: “The article is about the police’s appeal for information. The main focus is the actions of the individuals the police want to identify. The audio appears to show that a slur can be heard coming from the bus. We have changed our story to clarify only one such slur can be heard clearly.”

The GnasherJew Twitter account claimed  on Friday that it had investigated the clip and found the phrase “Tikra lemishehu, ze dachuf” could be heard rather than a slur.

In an online video released on Sunday the Board said: “The BBC thought that they heard a slur in English. What they were actually hearing was a distressed Jewish man speaking in Hebrew appealing for help.”

Countdown star Rachel Riley also waded in, saying a “ big mistake has clearly been made, now it’s time to own it and apologise.”

The BBC amended the piece on Friday to remove a reference to multiple slurs.

On Sunday evening the group returned to the scene of last Monday’s attack to light the menorah and hand out doughnuts. They were joined by the police and the CST.

Can you help police apprehend these thugs? Anyone who recognises the men in the video or who has any other information is urged to call 101 with the reference 6184/29NOV. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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