Sunday, 8 July 2018

Reflections on Islamic extremism in Britain

Dispatches “Undercover Mosque” – a disappeared and forgotten documentary



Undercover Mosque


Members of the British Conservative and Labour parties have requested an official investigation into the alleged dissemination of hate speech at mosques.

The documentary Undercover Mosque was made by Britain’s Channel 4 and broadcast in 2007.

It presents video footage gathered from 12 months of secret investigation into mosques throughout Britain.

The documentary caused a furore in Britain and the world press due to the extremist content of the released footage.

West Midlands Police investigated whether criminal offences had been committed by those teaching or preaching at the Mosques and other establishments

 .
Undercover Mosque: The Return is a sequel broadcast by t Channel 4 series Dispatches September, 2008 at 8pm.

It uses footage filmed by undercover reporters in UK mosques and Islamic institutions as well as interviews with Muslim academics and prominent figures. It contains statements by Islamic preachers which espouse violence towards homosexual men, other religions and apostates



The BBC's Panorama programme, aired on 21 August 2005, had previously studied similar issues at various mosques in the UK.[15] The Muslim Council of Britain denounced the Panorama programme as "deeply unfair". The BBC rejected allegations of institutional or programme bias



Here is a piece from the time that covers the furore.


 

This is how Wikepedia describes the affair:

 Members of the British Conservative and Labour parties have requested an official investigation into the alleged dissemination of hate speech at mosques.[9]



Muslim groups such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) have condemned the documentary as "another example of anti-Muslim hostility," stating that it "exemplifies the problems of inherent Islamophobia and racism within the mainstream media."[10] The Muslim Council of Britain criticised it as "heavily hyped," while its Secretary-General, Muhammad Abdul Bari, described it as employing the "dishonest tactic of selectively quoting from some recorded speeches for the purpose of misrepresentation."[11] The Islamic Cultural Center of London, the UK Islamic Mission, and the Markazi Jamiat Ahle-hadith organisations, all of whom are featured in the documentary, have issued separate responses.[11] In a press release, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London denied the charges made by the documentary, labelling them as "false allegations."[12]



The Saltley Gate Peace Group issued a press release giving its "undiminished support" to the Green Lane Masjid stating that Imam Abu Usamah "…is accepted by much of his congregation and the wider interfaith community to be a peaceful man and is known to promote peace to his congregation," and that Abu Usamah "…encourages worshippers to avoid 'political Islam and radicalism.'"[13]



Abu Usamah of Green Lane mosque has also alleged that his words were taken out of context



Thoughts and conclusions


What is interesting that a lot of this footage – notably the original Channel 4 documentary has disappeared from the internet. I looked at You Tube and finally found a copy that has been been made on someone’s Vimeo account.

The same is true of the documentary (again by Channel 4) Proud and Prejudiced described below. It has been saved by one of Tommy Robinson’s followers.

Clearly no one is allowed any more to see what just ten years was being discussed publicly even if the first signs of repressing dialogue were already there with the government and police response to the documentary.

All of this was after 9/11 and the terrorist attacks in London but long before the destruction of Libya and the unleashing of terrorists on Syria and the use of "good" terrrorists by the British and other governments.  It was also before the unleashing of large numbers of Middle East and African migrants on Europe.

The atmosphere, even post 9/11 was incomparably more open and honest than it is today.

I deem it important that this material be seen as widely as possible and that Europe in general, and Britain in particular, has a problem with radical Jihadist Muslims even if the source of the problem has more to do with geopolitics than with Islam as a religion.

This fascinating documentary (if you have the time to watch it) deals with the question of women in Muslim societies illustrates for me the point that these societies are complex and that the problem lies not within these societies but largely with the attacks on them by western powers.



In fact,I would put a lot of the fundamentalism and terrorism we see today is a direct product of western destruction of the social cohesion of Muslim countries .

In fact all this goes together with t e development of fundamentalist Christianity in the West.

The "war of civilsations"  has been largely created by the West.

For people in the home countries of Europe the problem is different. The problem is one of accepting mass migration without any demand of integraion - without any thought of social cohesion.

I have not lived in Britain but it is my strong impression that a generation ago there were social problems associated with Pakistani immigrants but this only became a "Muslim problem" in the last 18 years - since 9/11 in fact.

Tommy Robinson's experience with the media

I want to discuss one episode from Tommy Robinson' s autobiography Enemy of the State because it underlines the hypocrisy of the British Establishment, specifically its media.

Here, Robinson discusses the making of the Channel 4 documentary Proud and Prejudiced made in 2012.

Interestingly this documentary seems to have disappeared off the internet apart from this which is on the account of one of Tommy Robinson's friends.

In fact apart from one review it is as if it had never been.



He works with a young journalist, Tom Costello who it seems, is just out of Oxford and has never in his life been in a working class milieu or experienced for himself the violence in a town like Luton.

He describes taking Costello into his family for more than a year, allowing
him become a part of his life while he filmed and produced the documentary which he was led to believe was about what was happening in Luton

He often passed Tom Costello off as a friend, a family member even, and took him everywhere with him –"just so that he could make a name for himself, in essence. Because that’s what he did. He puffed his pathetic chest out while shitting on me from a great height."

But I liked him, and I really took him in. I gave him open access, so much so that I invited him to my wedding. I thought a man that intelligent would be open to seeing another viewpoint and I didn’t think I had anything to hide.


Tommy wanted him to see a 360-degree picture of life in Luton so he rang up Bingo, a Pakistani Muslim who is involved heavily in their gang stuff and asked him what was happening, what was going on. 

He goes to the local pun and pulls into the  car park with a couple of other "Muslim lads"

That Tommy Robinson was mates with these Muslim lads. It was a way of showing him that I grew up in this town, that I could do that all day with Muslims –some Muslims –but that we were always going to differ on our opinion of Islam.


Another incident:

I showed Tom so much of what was going on. When we went to Blackburn and it all kicked off with the Nazis trying to hang on the EDL’s coattails, he got back on the bus and he was white with fright. Lots of the lads were covered in blood –from fighting the National Front –and he was the one who was scared shitless. He said, ‘I can’t believe you’re fighting the far right, you’re actually fighting fascism’. He was completely thrown by it. I simply told him, ‘That’s right Tom, because we’re not fascists’.


Right through the production Tommy was assured there would be no voice-over  it was literally going to be compiled from the real-life footage they had gathered.

However when it came to the editing Costello called and said that "I came across as ‘too good’, whatever that meant, and there were a few issues to discuss.".

Then he told me they were putting a voice-over on the documentary after all, so of course it turned into a complete hatchet job. All the way through, Tom said the documentary was about Luton and its problems, but it was nothing of the sort, it was this fabricated conflict featuring me and Sayful Islam as opposite sides of this prejudiced spectrum –Proud and Prejudiced. Such as I could laugh about it later, I said that I was the Proud one, Sayful was the Prejudiced.

In one scene  Tommy was walking through town at 1am, "steaming, and  wearing a CP Company coat, which was hooded with goggles – "I looked like a frog. And I was joking, saying ‘ribbit, ribbit'. "A load of beer and a shit joke"
  
But when he saw the documentary he saw they had inserted sub-titles suggesting he was saying ‘Breivik’ –and then cut the piece in right after a segment about the leader of the Norwegian Defence League coming to Luton. He had met him and "we’d talked about what was happening in Norway, with that maniac Anders Breivik".

Tom must have gone to some lengths to try to screw me on that. I told him he was a cheeky bastard, and asked him what he thought I’d said. He said ‘ribbit’. It was the only thing in the whole programme they put a sub-title on.

Typical of upper class two-facedness he said none of it was his fault, and that Tommy came out too well and none of the editing was to do with him.

When the documentary came out they sent the journalist on vacation "for protection"

A bit later there was a talk at the British Film Institute in London about Proud and Prejudiced so he got some tickets. Tommy describes how he went along disguised in a head-to-toe burkha, behind his niqab.

This is how the episode is described:

He was up there, bigging himself up, loving the limelight, while I sat in my head-to-toe burkha, behind my niqab, biting my lip. Then it came to the Q& As and Benji put his hand up. He asked, ‘Is Tommy Robinson a racist?’ Costello paused then replied, ‘Yes, clearly he is a racist’. At that point I just stood up and ripped the niqab off, and I put my hand up to Benji, standing next to me, who grasped hold of it. I said, ‘A racist Tom? How fucking dare you, when you’ve spent all that time with me? You’ve seen the way I live my life, you’ve met all my friends!’ The whole room held its breath. He’d been tearing Tommy Robinson apart for an hour –and Tommy had been sitting quietly listening to it all. The little prick was pathetic. ‘Tommy, can we go outside and chat?’ he whined. And I said, ‘Let’s chat here, let’s sit here Tom and chat about what you’ve just told these people.’ I said to Benji, ‘Am I a racist bruv?’

Costello started saying that I was out of order, but the only one being naughty in that room was Tom Costello with his self-serving fantasies.

When confronted why he hid what he knew well - that his mates were sons of immigrants and that everywhere he went black men shake his hand and that he actually has Muslim friends he didn't have any answer.

He couldn't even say sorry.

***
To me the whole thing has a class aspect to it. 

The Eton- and Oxford-educated elite who dominate the media who live in leafy suburbs or in picturesque villages have no idea of what people living in working class suburbs and towns have to endure. They don't have to endure bricks being thrown through the windows of elders  by Muslim gangs .

For them working class Britain is a foreign land.

They can put forward nice ideas of tolerance and inclusiveness largely because they never have to confront reality and it will cost them their comfortable jobs if they speak up.

They are essentially presstitutes.

Now, I'm sad to say, we are experiencing all this in New Zealand in all its viciousness.

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