The British Police and the Radical Imams

Carol Gould The Current View

On 16 August Dean Godson of the Policy Exchange chaired a panel discussion on the astonishing actions of West Midlands Police in referring the Channel Four January 15 ‘Dispatches’ documentary ‘Undercover Mosque‘ to OFCOM for ‘questionable editing practices.’ Godson noted that an empty seat had been placed on the platform to symbolise those invited but unwilling to appear, notably the police. On the platform were Kevin Sutcliffe, Deputy Head of News Channel Four; Joanne Cash, a barrister specialising in race relations; Paul Goodman, Shadow Communities Secretary and MP for High Wycombe and Shiraz Maher, who is now a consultant to BBC ‘Panorama’ and a former radical in Hiz’but Tahrir.

Sutcliffe said the West Midlands police had requested footage and fifty-six hours of film were duly submitted to see if any crime had been committed by radical imams. He he had come into his office on 8th August in tshirt and flip-flops to learn that Channel 4 had been accused by the police of ‘manipulating’ material in the film and that the production had been referred to OFCOM, the agency dedicated to evaluating complaints from the public about television and radio programming.

In other words, instead of the CPS seeking a prosecution against the speakers for inciting hatred against non-Muslims, they decided to refer Channel Four to OFCOM for ‘damaging social cohesion.’

Sutcliffe said the police had not given Channel Four the courtesy of a warning. Eventually, he quipped, he ‘had to find a jacket’ because suddenly he was having to deal non-stop on air with this nightmare.

Joanne Cash made it clear that the police have no business referring Channel Four to OFCOM. The authorities’ duty, she asserted, is to protect journalists putting themselves at risk. The CPS found no grounds to prosecute the programme-makers, and that should have been the end of it. Under the Police Powers Act 1964, she pointed out, the actions of West Midlands Police in this instance were bizarre and, as a precedent in policing, unacceptable.

Paul Goodman, Mp for High Wycombe, which has a substantial Muslim constituency, said this referral is ‘a very serious and disturbing turn of events.’ He offered the large, star-studded and standing-room only audience at Policy Exchange a litany of horrific statements made by the various ‘religious leaders’ cited on the Channel Four programme. ( These may be viewed on the link at the top of this article.)

Shiraz Maher, who is now a consultant to BBC ‘Panorama’ and a former radical in Hiz’but Tahrir, noted that the group has become adept at promoting a moderate image inside UK, but in Indonesia last week filming an Islamists’ conference, he heard six hours of chilling speeches by Hizb’ radicals.

Maher asserted that the police had tipped off radicals in West Midlands before a raid on a Birmingham mosque. He thinks there is a general belief in the UK that a ‘kind of appeasement’ will work and yet he had heard one imam say, ‘Medical staff should harm homosexuals.’

In the audience Q&A, Damian Green MP asked if this referral is completely unprecedented? Had he missed something? Cash responded that there is no precedent for a television programme being referred for racial incitement, and that OFCOM should not be involved in political issues — only in the decency and propriety of broadcast conduct.

The Telegraph’s Janet Daley posed the concern on all of our minds: why is the anti-Jewish and anti-British rhetoric that proliferated in the film not being prosecuted?

In the wake of the recent murder of Chauncey Williams, Editor of the Oakland, California ‘Post ‘newspaper, who was investigating Muslim extremism, Maher gave us a chilling fact: Ed Husain, author of ’The Islamist,’ Maher and his parents have had death threats not from lunatics but from the highest officers of radical organisations.

Nick Cohen of ’the Evening Standard’ noted that print journalists do not need to clear what they write except for libel and that Channel Four needs support from all of us, whilst Felix Posen made an important observation: he asked if the misguided actions of the police are partly due to lack of education? The Police, he said, need to be sent somewhere abroad to see what Jihadism is really like, in the raw.

The event was a tense gathering, but, as one who has worked in Israel when every week an atrocity unfolds on the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Felix Posen’s point was the most potent: Britain needs to wake up to the global Jihad and stop boycotting Israeli oranges and wasting time prosecuting the brave producers at Channel Four.

August 26, 2007 | Comments Off on The British Police and the Radical Imams

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