Thursday, 5 January 2012

Investigate The Islam Channel!

The Leveson Inquiry is an ongoing series of government-sponsored hearings designed to investigate the standards of practice (and malpractice) within the British news media, focusing particularly on the allegations that newspapers connected with Rupert Murdoch's News International organisation obtained stories by illegally hacking into people's mobile phones, including those of celebrities and a teenage kidnap and murder victim.

Now, an "alternative Leveson Inquiry" is being set up by an Islamic TV channel in order to investigate the way in which British media report on Muslim and Islamic affairs. The Islam Channel is planning to appoint a judge with an independent panel of assessors - just like Leveson - to carry out the inquiry.

The "Alternative Leveson" will examine "the possible causal effect between media coverage and social attitudes towards Muslims. It will also assess any links between media coverage and subsequent government policy", with the implication being that the hearings will likely find the British media to be guilty of propagating Islamophobia.

Let's bring things back to reality for a minute. The Islam Channel has in the past broadcast programmes hosted by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation that British politicians have repeatedly called to be banned, to attack "man-made law" and advocate the implementation of sharia.

The channel has been accused of giving a platform to Anwar al-Awlaki, the extremist cleric killed by an American drone strike in September, who had links to al-Qaeda and to the man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day 2009. 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".

A 2010 report by the primarily Muslim "Quilliam Foundation" revealed that the channel is running programmes saying that women should not refuse their husbands' sexual advances, should not leave the house without their husbands' permission, and that if they wear makeup, they are prostitutes. 

It has also endorsed polygamy, declared that the majority of people in Hell will be women, and been found by Ofcom to have breached the broadcasting code on impartiality during elections, and for broadcasting an unbalanced programme about the ownership of Jerusalem.

Something definitely needs investigating here, and it sure ain't "Islamophobia".


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