Breastfeeding is banned – it offends Muslims

Apparently it’s not just Christmas that has been banned because it offends Muslims but public breastfeeding too.

Last week the Daily Mail published a report under the headline “Breast-feeding mother ‘told to leave council headquarters because she would offend Muslim visitors’.” The Metro covered the story too, headlining their report “Breastfeeding mother ‘told to leave centre to prevent offending Muslims’.”

As the Press Not Sorry blog has pointed out, there is no evidence presented, either in the Mail or Metro articles or in the original Oldham Evening Chronicle report on which they were based, that the officials at Oldham’s Civic Centre who (entirely illegally) asked Emma Mitchell not to breastfeed her 19-week-old son in the building made any reference to Muslims.

The nearest we get to finding any basis for the “offence to Muslims” angle is in the Metro report, which quotes Mrs Mitchell as saying: “A member of the complaints department said, ‘You’ve caused an uproar in there.’ She must have been talking about the Asian people who were in a room.”

The Mail has since amended its report. The article originally began: “A breast-feeding mother has been ordered out of council offices after staff said it would ’cause an uproar’ among Muslim visitors, it has been claimed.” This has now been changed to: “A mother was ordered not to breastfeed her baby in public because she was in a ‘multicultural building’.”

So the Mail can’t pretend it is unaware of the inaccuracy of its original report. But that hasn’t prevented the paper retaining its misleading headline blaming the problem on Muslims.