Archive for August, 2007

Channel 4 rejects Islamophobia claims….Islamophobia Watch unsurprisingly not best pleased

August 26, 2007

They would be happier if Channel 4 just held their hands up and said “Yeah we hate Muslims and want everyone else too as well”..

Channel 4 rejects ‘Islamophobia’ claims

Undercover%20Mosque.JPGThe Channel 4 deputy head of news and current affairs, Kevin Sutcliffe, today dismissed accusations of Islamophobia in the broadcaster’s programming, stating that it would remain “fearless” in its coverage.

Mr Sutcliffe, one of five panelists involved at a sometimes heated session at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh international television festival about the portrayal of Islam in the media, said critics would be “hard pressed to point to Islamophobia” in Channel 4’s programming.

“We have a rounded view and approach to this issue … we are quite fearless about what we want to say and when we want to say it,” he added. In response to the Crown Prosecution Service criticism that the controversial Dispatches documentary Undercover Mosque had “distorted” the views of those filmed, Mr Sutcliffe said it was a “phoney argument”.

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, agreed that following events such as 9/11 and the bombings in Madrid and London it was “inevitable” there would be an “increased scrutiny of Muslim organisations and mosques”.

However, he said that he was “entitled to ask if it is fair”. He then stated that Muslims and Islam “does not have a level playing field in the media in this country”. Mr Bunglawala expressed concern over “authored documentaries” in which “journalists have an axe to grind”. He cited a Panorama documentary by John Ware as an example.

Maryam Namazie, spokesperson of the Council of ex-Muslims of Britain, strongly disagreed, arguing that the UK media was too soft in its coverage of Islam. “Media doesn’t cover the realities of Islam at all, it is very soft,” she said. She added that the political Islamist movement in Britain and Europe had engineered a “victim status”, whereby criticism of Islam was being equated to racism against Muslims. “Criticising a belief is not racism, it is not the case that that Muslims are being vilified,” Ms Namazie said.

Guardian, 24 August 2007

If there’s one thing that illustrates the problem with the attitudes to Islam to be found in liberal media circles, it’s the fact that a sectarian lunatic like Namazie who represents nothing and nobody is given a platform at an event like this, as if she had something serious to contribute to the debate.

See also Inayat Bunglawala’s post at Comment is Free, 24 August 2007 

Islamophobia Watch would have given the Meida Guardian Edinborough festival event about the portrayal of Islam better coverage if everyone agreed that Islam is the best thing in the world ever and anything and everything said by a Muslim is good and anyone who says different is an Islamophobic Muslim hating racist!

No surprises they take pot shots at the Council Of Ex Muslims. They are lunatics for wanting the seperation of religion and the state? Oh of course!

IW link an article by the MCB’s Inyat Bunglawala. But he surely doesn’t share their views that nobody should criticise anything said by Muslims ever as he advocates the media having the freedom to investigate whether some mosques are inciting hatred.

He’s right when he says that it has too be fair but people like Islamophobia Watch would prefer it not to be done at all fair or not as they believe that because Muslims are victims of racism to investigate their places of worships for evidence of any wrong doing is racist!

Britis more suspicious of Muslims than Yanks and Europeans says survey…but what does it all mean Basil?

August 20, 2007

It means that Brits hate Muslims more than Americans and the rest of Europe! Oh obviously!

UK more suspicious of Muslims than America and rest of EU

Britons are more suspicious of Muslims than Americans and other Europeans, according to a poll for the Financial Times. Only 59 per cent of Britons thought it possible to be both a Muslim and a citizen of their country, a smaller proportion than in France, Germany, Spain, Italy or the US – the other countries polled by Harris Interactive.

The findings suggest that terrorist plots against the UK, including the London bombings of July 7 2005, have hardened British attitudes towards Muslims. Osama Saeed of the Muslim Association of Britain blamed the findings on what he called “a vicious campaign” by the press against the Muslim community.

Finanical Times, 20 August 2007

See also “Religious fault line divides Europeans” in the same issue.

Read Harris poll (pdf) here

Well that’s what the paranoid “anti Muslim racism is everywhere” Islamophobiawatchers will be saying!

But as with all surveys you have to take the findings with a pinch of salt. It’s an unfortunate situation but it doesn’t show that everytime a Muslim gets on a tube train or a bus with a rucksak everyone thinks he must be a terrorists who’s about to blow them to kingdom come!

The survey highlights the 7/7 bombings as a factor in causing Brits to be more suspicious of Muslims but the Muslim Asscoation of Britain blames it all on the press.

Well the right-wing tabloid press are hardly bastions of racial harmony and community relations but no thought that a few Muslims blowing up people on tubes and buses might have an effect on how Muslims are viewed? Of course putting all Muslims under suspicion is wrong but when some people from certain groups do bad things it unfortunatly impacts on others within that group.

Time for media to own up to being racist Muslim haters?

August 15, 2007

Media Workers Against The War are one of Islamophobia Watch’s favourite groups so it’s little surprise they’ve linked this article from their website.

Basically more “Undercover Mosque proves the media is full of racist Islamophobes who hate Muslims!” crap!

Time for media to own up to Islamophobia

Well butter my bottom and call me a biscuit. That despicably Islamophobic Dispatches programme “Undercover Mosque” has come a cropper. At the hands of the police. At the hands of the WEST MIDLANDS POLICE.

West Midlands’ finest set out to investigate Muslim “preachers of hate” after Birmingham Labour MP Roger Godsiff complained that Muslims shown in the documentary were “racist”. The BNP’s Nick Griffin demanded the mosques shown on the programme be shut down as a precaution against the “psychological virus” of Islam.

But the boys in blue feel Channel 4 has cheated them. They have complained to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, after the Crown Prosecution Service examined the documentary and found that: “The splicing together of extracts from longer speeches appears to have completely distorted what the speakers were saying.” To reach their conclusion, the CPS looked at 56 hours of footage on which the hour-long programme was based.

The managing director of Hard Cash [surely “Facts”? ed.] productions, which made Undercover Mosque, says it was “one of the programmes I’m most proud of“. Which aspect of the programme, and the reaction to it, was most worthy of pride, one wonders?

Was it the BNP’s gleeful response? Or was it that the judge at the trial of the July 21 bomb plotters told the jury that they should “ignore it completely” because “It’s a very good example of why you should close your mind completely to the media and concentrate on what is said in this courtroom”?

Was it that the programme invited Muslim organisations to respond just two weeks before it was broadcast? Or perhaps that it visited just four out of the UK’s 1,200 mosques, using just two DVDs to smear London’s largest Islamic centre?

Maybe he is proud of sexing up the programme with crude techniques, such as a sound track like “a cheap Fox News report“, as the Press Gazette put it? Is he proud of showing no audience reaction to what preachers had said, implying that Muslims are passive, unthinking dupes?

Is he proud of making dramatic cuts to footage of women in hijabs and burkhas whenever ignorant mullahs spouted off about male supremacy, as if the two were in some way related?

The programme was a textbook example of Islamophobic reporting, repeating the message that, however “moderate” Muslims claim to be, it is the fundamentalists who are really pulling the strings.

Undercover Mosque is part of an established genre, including John Ware’s Panorama programmes and Richard Watson’s reports for Newsnight and File on 4 – both singled out for fulsome praise last week by Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of news (Talking Politics, BBC Radio 4, August 4, 2007. Listen to it here).

That the police were forced to complain to Ofcom is a staggering, stunning victory for the Muslim campaigners and their friends who have pursued their critique of “Undercover Mosque”. But it is also a call to action.

It is pointless arguing with the Nick Cohens, the Melanie Phillips’s and the army of media commentators who have never missed an opportunity to attack Muslim’s “culture of victimhood” and dismiss the very notion of Islamophobia. But the scandal of “Undercover Mosque” will have made many journalists look again at some of their methods and assumptions.

This is an opportunity to go on the offensive against those in the media who have made Islamophobia the last respectable form of racism against Asian and black people.

Dave Crouch
Chair, MWAW

More guilt by association here, because the BNP gleefuly responded to the programme that makes the producers and Channel 4 in bed with the BNP!

Again criticism of the programme and the selective editing and sensationalism is warrented but holding it up as an example of how the media (and society in general) loaths and despises Muslims and is trying to wind everyone up into hating them is way way way off the mark!

Also we suspect that MWAW like Islamophobia Watch believe that showing solidarity with Muslims  against war and oppresion means stearing well clear of ever criticising anything they say.

BNP defend Undercover Mosque…that must make Channel 4 fascist supporters then say Islamophobia Watch!

August 10, 2007

So this must be evidence that Channel 4 are in league with fascists then!

BNP leaping all over piss poor journalism as evidence that Islam is trying to destroy our country? No shit shirlock!  

  

Fascists back Channel 4

bnp-islam-poster.gifWhen the Channel 4 documentary “Undercover Mosque” was broadcast last January it received an enthusiastic response from right-wing Islamophobes.

The Guardian’s Organ Grinder blog reported that an online video of the Dispatches programme had been “leapt on by anti-Muslim bloggers, and the weight of traffic even threatened to bring down the infamous Little Green Footballs for a while”.

The British National Party was particularly taken with the documentary, which of course helped legitimise the fascists’ ravings about the Islamic threat to Western civilisation. The BNP website directed its supporters to a video of the programme, while Der Führer himself Nick Griffin sent off a pompous letter to West Midlands Police and the Met calling for the preachers “exposed” in the programme to be prosecuted and the mosques closed down.

So you can understand the fascists’ disappointment at the outcome of the West Midlands Police investigation. A news article on the BNP website solidarises with the progamme makers and expresses indignation that the police “at one stage bizarrely considered charging Channel 4 for broadcasting material likely to stir up racial hatred”.

The trouble with Islamophobia Watch and other Islamophobiawatchers and parnoid racism seekers is that they believe broadcasters should steer well clear of showing Muslims saying anything or doing anything bad in case it’s lept upon by racists and used as a tool to attack Muslims.

They believe the non Muslim population can’t be trusted to think for themselves and when they see a few raving Islamic nutcases talking about killing “infidels” and westerners they’ll turn into raving Muslim haters who will then go and thump the first Muslim they find.

So their obvious soloution is to demand all Muslims be shown as salt of the earth wouldn’t say boo too a goose angels. Anything less will lead the idiot white Brits to want to wack a few Muslims round the ed innit!

As for the BNP well it comes as little surprise that they defend Undercover Mosque. It suits their anti-Muslim racist agenda well enough but then again anything that doesn’t show Muslims in the best possible light, be it accurate or not will suit their agenda.

But Islamophobia Watch take the view that because the BNP criticise Islam therefore if anyone else criticises Islam they must be supporters of the BNP.

Which of course is total and utter bollox!

As for the BNP protesting against C4 being done for insightment to racial hatred…well we don’t much care for that (let Ofcom deal with shoddy journalism not the boys in blue) does that make us want to shag Nick Griffin?

Sun defends Undercover Mosque….no shit shirlock!

August 9, 2007

Again this is dressed up by Islamophobia Watch as evidence of anti-Muslim racist hatred being everywhere in the media and in Britain.

 

Sun defends ‘Undercover Mosque’

“TV documentary makers have had a rough ride lately, with claims of doctored footage. No allegations of this sort can be substantiated against Channel 4’s excellent Undercover Mosque. A highly professional team filmed preachers praising the Taliban for killing British soldiers and showed chilling propaganda against infidels and homosexuals….

“The programme was in tune with authoritative surveys showing how young Muslims are being persuaded by imams and preachers to sympathise with terrorists. West Midlands police could have used some of the clips as evidence of glorifying terrorism. Instead, they urged the Crown Prosecution Service to put C4 in the dock for stirring up racial hatred … now Plod wants TV watchdogs Ofcom to step in.

“Why don’t they just get on with their job? And crack down on the fanatics who really are trying to stir up murderous feelings by turning gullible young Muslims into killing machines.”

Sun editorial, 9 August 2007

See also coverage in the Guardian  the Independent  the Times  and the Telegraph

And a statement by the Muslim Council of Britain

Islamophobia Watch have a good ability at stating the obvious. Of course The Sun will defend anything that suit it’s right-wing agenda. That’s what it does!

But no doubt Muslims will be warned too watch out for armies of Sun readers ready to duff them up! 

Media in sensationalising things wot people said shocker

August 9, 2007

A TV programme taking things out of context and sensationalising them? Hardly big news. Oh but they’ve been senationalising things said by…..MUSLIMS! Oh it all must be a racist conspiracy designed to whip the non Muslim population up into a frenzy of anti Islam/Muslim hatred. Don’t be surprised if we see Muslims being beaten to death in the streets because of Channel 4 is what is being said here!

Channel 4 accused of distortion over ‘Undercover Mosque’ programe

Police are reporting Channel 4 to industry regulator Ofcom over the way an undercover programme was edited. West Midlands Police carried out an investigation into three speakers in the programme Undercover Mosque. The Crown Prosecution Service says the programme “completely distorted” what the speakers said.

BBC News, 8 August 2007

See also Inayat Bunglawala’s post at Comment is Free, 8 August 2007

Inyat Bunglawala says that hate spreech must be combated but onBBC Newsnight last night when questioned on some of the obvious hate speech that was being said on Undercover Mosque he more or less waved it aside as all being delibratly taken out of context or dressed up to sound worse than it actually is.

C4 have played into the hands of the parnoid Islamphobiawatchers and racism seekers by not checking their facts. Now people like Inyat Bunglawala can say that Muslims never say anything bad but instead are made to look like they are saying bad things by “racist” TV programme makers.

Meanwhile there is some talk of the police bringing charges of insightment to racial hatred against Channel 4 (although we arn’t sure if this is true knowing the nature of the tabloid press).

Oh how the Islamophobiawatchers would love that!

They’re probably already on the look out for any stories of Muslims being beaten up by white racist skinhead scumbags so they can blame Channel 4!

But let’s get this into context folks. This is an example of the British media indulging in their typical type of shoddy journalism where some things said are twisted to make them look more or worse than they actually mean. But this is something the media have done for years and do with almost everyone at some time.

But this is no evidence of some anti-Muslim backlash in the media or in this country or anywhere else! And it’s very very unlikely that any Muslim will find themselves on the receiving end of a beating by white racist because of one programme.

But the Islamophobiawatchers never let the facts get in the way of a good argument! Or in the way of whipping up “EVERYONE HATES MUSLIMS” hysteria!

More “police are Muslim hating racist” crap!

August 7, 2007

Of course the issue of whether stop and search is an effective and fair method of counter terrorism should be up for debate.

But Islamophobia Watch and their ultra socialist left-wing friends present an image of the police wanting to go out and stop, search and round up thousands of Muslims just because they are Muslims!

Thousands more are stopped and searched after car bomb plot

Stop%20and%20Search.jpgPolice are stopping 366 people every day in London under stringent anti-terror powers described by the official security legislation watchdog as “a significant intrusion into personal liberties”.

The number of random checks carried out in the capital increased fivefold to almost 11,000 last month in the aftermath of attempted car bomb attacks, when the threat level was raised to severe.

Scotland Yard said yesterday that it was encouraging beat officers to use their stop-and-search powers more often and more widely to deter further terrorist attacks. Commander Rod Jarman predicted “an increase in overt counter-terrorism activities by the police over the coming months”.

Scotland Yard said that 54 per cent of those stopped last month were white, compared with a 71 per cent white population in Greater London. The proportion of people of Asian ethnicity stopped was 24 per cent – double the percentage in the capital’s population.  

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “It is perhaps unsurprising that we have seen this massive increase in the number of stop-and-searches carried out in the immediate aftermath of the attempted car bomb attacks in June. However, questions remain regarding the actual effectiveness of such a strategy based on disruption – given the very low number of charges brought as a result – and whether it is actually doing more harm than good.”

Gareth Crossman, of Liberty, said: “Thousands of Terrorism Act stop-and-searches have produced hardly a single terrorism arrest. When not targeted against specific threats, Section 44 undermines community relations and wastes police resources.”

Times, 7 August 2007

 If the police are stopping and searching Muslims just going about their buisness then that must be stopped.

But admist this panic about stop and search “targetting” Muslims is a deep seated suspicion of the police in general as racist, Muslim hating Islamophobes.

Islamophobia Watch and co take the view that everytime a Muslim is arrested for a terrorist related offence he’s probably innocent and the police only nicked him because he’s a Muslim!

Bad mouthing Martin Bright

August 6, 2007

Oh no not another left-winger who won’t accept that radical Islam is a fight back against imperalism and oppression. What a racist eh?

Martin Bright repeats call for left-right alliance against ‘radical Islam’

James Silver interviews Martin Bright, political editor of the New Statesman and obsessive enemy of the Muslim Council of Britain. It contains the welcome news that Bright’s contact in the FCO, from whom he acquired the internal documents used in his witch-hunt of “Islamists”, has been identified and arrested. Bright also explains why he chose the right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange to publish his pamphlet When Progressives Treat with Reactionaries: “I believe a coalition of left and right need to be built around this issue.”

Guardian, 6 August 2007 

Islamophobia Watch and others on the hardline socialist left believe that there should be no alliance against radical Islam because they see radical Islam as a political movement against Western occupation, war and imperalism.

They see Islamic extremists as “freedom fighters” against invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and see those who condem Islamic extremism as not siding with the oppresssd.

It’s no wonder Islamophobia Watch sights Martin Bright as an “Islamophobe” when he won’t take sides with violent religious nutcases in the name of “resistance”.

Lib Dem defends right to incite hatred…bleat Islamophobia Watch!

August 4, 2007
ISLAMOPHOBIA: Anti Muslim Racism

Yes, because of course all criticism of religion is “insighting hatred”.

Lib Dem MP defends right to incite hatred

Islam%20Out%20of%20Britain.jpgAttacking Asghar Bukhari’s criticism of the decision to award Salman Rushdie a knighthood, Liberal Democrat MP and leading National Secular Society member Evan Harris writes:

“I will not tolerate the persistent demands, led by Muslim activists, for special protection for religious views. People should be allowed to attack religious ideas in ways which adherents may find offensive – whether by criticism, lampoon or even insult. I organised the Parliamentary campaign that last year voted down – by a margin of one – a Government plan to outlaw the incitement of religious hatred.”

National Secular Society website, 3 August 2007

So it’s not just just criticising, lampooning or insulting a religion that Harris defends but also the right to incite hatred against it. Little wonder, then, that his actions over the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill were applauded by the far Right, against whom the Bill was aimed. As one National Front activist wrote in appreciation of Harris’s efforts:

“Evan Harris is not a perfect MP but nevertheless he has spoken out on a number of important issues where others have remained silent. For instance he has campaigned against special religious education for minorities. He has opposed the hijab and was one of the few to criticise it in public. Harris is a defender of freedom of expression…. The government is attempting to legislate against ‘religious hatred’. All patriots must oppose this proposed law which could be used against us. You will find that Harris will be one of the most articulate spokesmen against this law.”

In his NSS piece Harris writes that he finds the ideology of the far Right loathsome and that he should be “entitled to incite hatred of Nazis”. Unfortunately, he also defends the right of Nazis to incite hatred of Muslims.

Not once does Evan Harris defend the right of people to insight hatred of religion. But of course to Islamophobia Watch all crticisim of religion, espeically Islam is “insighting hatred”.

We wonder then would critcising the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality and abortion be insighting hatred.

Or can Monty Python’s Life Of Brian which pokes fun at Christian beliefs be seen as insighting hatred?

Criticism and hatred are two different things. Sadly the Islamophobia Watch cranks believe if you dare to disagree with someone’s religious views/beliefs you are insighting hatred!

Very mad indeed!

And of course Islamophobia Watch use the tried and tested “Because far rights racists criticise Islam if you criticise Islam you must be a far right racist too” catch all generalisation crap!