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

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.

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