Sunday, 10 January 2010
The Islam Channel Exposed
Surprise, surprise: the "moderate" British Muslim satellite channel known as The Islam Channel, which describes itself as "the voice of authority for Muslims in the UK", has been accused of giving a platform to Anwar al-Awlaki, the extremist cleric with alleged links to al-Qaida and to the man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day.
The channel last year carried adverts for a box set of DVDs of Awlaki's sermons and for at least two events at which the cleric was due to be the star speaker via a video link. Furthermore, the channel's chief executive officer, Mohamed Ali Harrath, has been on an Interpol wanted list since 1992, after his native Tunisia accused him of attempting to create "an Islamic state by means of armed revolutionary violence".
I am not exactly overcome by shock. I tune in to the Islam Channel myself whenever I get the chance (Sky channel 813), and I have noticed a lot of worrying material. When I have watched its variety of programmes (most of which, it must be said, are sleep-inducingly dull), I have witnessed severe anti-Israel propaganda, hostility to all anti-terror programs that aim to prevent Muslims from becoming radicalised, and regular discussions about Muslims asserting their own values over those of their Western hosts. Furthermore, while watching Islam Q & A, a regular programme in which Muslim scholars answer viewers' questions, I have seen them condone polygamy. Plus, we already know that extremist authorities have spoken on the channel advocating the implementation of sharia law.
These facts underscore the observations of many that virtually every Muslim authority that is painted as "moderate" seems to have its not-so-friendly secrets. What implications does this have for the actual number of "moderates" - that is, those who can be counted upon to assist Western law enforcement agencies in stamping out jihad and Islamic supremacism - living in Britain? Our government is not asking the question, and that can only mean that the jihad will continue unopposed.