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C4 criticised over Mosque programme

Posted By Sunny On 8th August, 2007 @ 2:18 pm In Current affairs, Organisations, Muslim | Comments Disabled

[Post Updated, see comments]
Today Channel is [1] being criticised over its January Dispatches programme - Undercover Mosque:

West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service have criticised the Channel 4 Dispatches programme Undercover Mosque for distortion and broadcasting speeches out of context. The CPS said it had considered charging Channel 4 with broadcasting material likely to stir up racial hatred, but decided not to proceed with this course of action.

After their initial investigations, the police investigated the editing and portrayal featured in the documentary and asked the CPS to consider charging Channel 4 under the Public Order Act for broadcasting a programme including material likely to stir up racial hatred. Before that, West Midlands police and the CPS investigated three individuals featured in the documentary for possible criminal incitement after the programme was broadcast in January, but decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges.

On Monday the director of a similar Dispatches programme, Phil Rees, had [2] an article published in the Media Guardian in which he says, “Journalists need to present the views of radical Muslims in a way that does not push them toward further violence.”

But I find that logic slightly wierd. Firstly, angry Muslim voices are over-represented in our media, with everyone from Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri to the less-crazy-but-still-very-angry Asghar Bukhari constantly on TV telling us that foreign policy is to blame for everything. The voice being under-represented is actually of those Muslims who say these are crazed pychopaths who are hell bent on destroying democractic societies regardless of the Iraq war.

Secondly I find the argument patronising: that if these angry nutters are not represented on screen, more young Muslims will turn to terrorism. It’s good journalism to reflect voices relevant to a crisis but to think that it will reduce terrorism (on the assumption that most young Muslims are on the verge of turning to terrorism) is just a crap argument. And a bit prejudiced really.

On the latest C4 programme, [3] Adrian Monck has a good point to make.

Comments Disabled To "C4 criticised over Mosque programme"

#1 Comment By bd On 8th August, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

the govt advisor on the channel 4 programme on monday said that the distance between an terrorist EMPHATHISER to Sympathiser to actual terrorist is an average 1.5 weeks!!!. So one could make a case for stopping the transmission of the pap by these beards. Something like this. [4] http://dailysalty.blogspot.com/2007/08/publicity-is-oxygen-of-terrorism.html

#2 Comment By DavidMWW On 8th August, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

This CPS and West Midlands Police criticism isn’t about Monday’s Channel 4 show. It’s about Undercover Mosque, which created a stir on 15th January this year.

#3 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

I think this is about the Birmingham episode of Dispatches, in which various angry men were shown talking about Kaffirs and throwing gays off window ledges, and which has apparently led to the makers of the programme being investigated for possible incitement of hatred.

So, investigate hatred and extremism, and risk being investigated by the West Midlands police force yourself.

Is this Kafkaesque, Orwellian, or a mixture of both?

#4 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 3:00 pm


Should we start this thread again?

For me last Monday’s Dispatches and their edition “Undercover Mosque” (15/1/2007) were flip sides of the same coin. One was balance while the other was not. I’ll leave it to you to decide which was which.

#5 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

Secondly I find the argument patronising: that if these angry nutters are not represented on screen, more young Muslims will turn to terrorism. It’s good journalism to reflect voices relevant to a crisis but to think that it will reduce terrorism (on the assumption that most young Muslims are on the verge of turning to terrorism) is just a crap argument. And a bit prejudiced really.

Because Sunny, he comes from that common species of man — White Liberal Sap.

People who hate us and want to kill us, will be provoked even further into hurting and killing us if we don’t put them on TV.

Would this white liberal sap apply the same logic to murderous Combat 18 violent racists BNP supporters who feel angry and marginalised by not being able to spout their hatred of non-whites? Put them on TV or they’ll kill Black and Asian people?

Fu*kin’ insane.

#6 Comment By Sofia On 8th August, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

I didn’t watch either programme, for the same reason that I get irritated at listening to the likes of OBM et al..I’m part of the majority who don’t get heard as we’re too normal to be vaguely interesting to some really eager “journalist”. Frankly who chooses which Muslims to talk to?? It’s easier to pigeon hole the crazies..following the theory that you never ask them a question where you don’t know what the answer is going to be…journalism is always going to be limited and subjective..but the question is, to what degree…in my humble non crazy Muslim , subjective opinion…

#7 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

This is very BIG.

The statement added that the CPS “was also asked by the police to consider whether a prosecution under the Public Order Act 1986 should be brought against Channel 4 for broadcasting a programme including material likely to stir up racial hatred.” [5] link

Assistant Chief Constable Anil Patani said: “As a result of our initial findings, the investigation was then extended to include issues relating to the editing and portrayal of the documentary.

“The priority for police has been to investigate the documentary and its making with as much rigour as the extremism the programme sought to portray.”

This is truly Orwellian. I hope that Channel 4 not only stands up for itself, but also answers robustly this creepy attempt to silence and intimidate them by West Midlands Police.

#8 Comment By Vikrant On 8th August, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

Jihadwatch will be all over this!

#9 Comment By ReelCool On 8th August, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

And what happens if the West Midlands Police prove to be right and C4 guilty of splicing the tapes?

#10 Comment By Sunny On 8th August, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

Damn, I got confused. I think I’m going senile. Sky News called me over this too and I declined to go on TV because I thought the criticisms were over Monday’s show, which I hadn’t watched. Oh well.

I’ve updated the post now, but I think my criticisms still remain intact. By all means, let’s exposes the nutters, and to that extent I think Undercover Mosque did a good job and I welcome it. But that article in the Media Guardian was a bit patronising I thought.

#11 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

Sunny, I’m surprised you have not noted the gravity of this or given it more thought. Has any mainstream broadcaster been reccomended for criminal investigation before by a chief constable of a police force, for broadcasting a documentary investigating ideological extremism? This is as inverted as anything I can remember.

#12 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

Remember the CPS prosecuting Nick Griffin twice because of a BBC documentary, even though it was obvious he had taken pains to phrase his rhetoric in a way that skirted the law to touch the borders but didnt cross over the line in legalistic ways. Everyone knew that.

Could we get OFCOM to investigate the BBC or even look at the possibility that they were guilty of inciting hatred under the public order act too? White people getting a bad rap and rep because of that.

Just thinking about it for five minutes makes you realise how crazy this is.

#13 Comment By ReelCool On 8th August, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

Oh, about last Monday’s programme (not undercover mosque), yours (and the government’s) new best friend, the shady Haras Rafiq claimed that 1 in 11 British Muslims were on their way to being suicide bombers. Erm, which poll? What study? Where is the evidence? And yet he is championed by Martin Bright, the government and dare I say Sunny Hundal?

#14 Comment By Nyrone On 8th August, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

Both of these programs were utterly rubbish and biased, complete with shock-horror music and idiotic out-of-context statements. Undercover truth? more like an idiot’s guide to a fabricated Islam for the curious white middle-class market.

What is the intention of these film-makers making these documentaries? Anybody who has ever sat down in an editing room will understand the highly manipulative nature of crafting reactive, emotionally charged programming like this.

The editor sets the agenda, along with the producer…and they craft whatever the hell they want after extracting the statements they wish to hear. In these times, TV seems to be going bonkers over who can show the nuttiest Chavlim. That guy with his face covered (Abu Muhammad) represents nobody and by giving him equal time as someone that does represent normal Muslims like Mozzam Begg, creates the illusion that there actually are a wide percentage of Muslims in this country who agree with Abu’s brain-dead views..

PS: why single out Asghar Bukhari for being an angry Muslim? Why paint him as a shout & scream ‘Blame Iraq’ caricature-robot for being passionate and forthright about what he feels publicly and makes clear in his TV interviews? I’m by no means a huge fan, but lumping him into the same sentance as Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri is just insulting.

and Jagdeep, why should C4 Stand up for itself when they have commissioned and broadcast this trash? How can you mock the CPS View when you haven’t seen what they have seen? Have you been through hundreds of hours of footage and transcripts like them?

I’m sick of this distorted Junk-TV Muslim-Bashing (Pretending to be enlightening) crap playing on my TV. Hardcash Productions and C4 both have to hold their hands up and admit they crudely crafted a turd that they will insist was made to ‘provoke a nationwide debate’ but actually ended up stirring up racial/religious tension through its crass and dishonest distortion techniques.

#15 Comment By Nyrone On 8th August, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

and Haras Rafiq should never be allowed on TV ever again after Monday night.
That pie-chart to extremism graph was the single most stupid thing I can remember seeing on TV for quite some time.
He was talking about these ultra-complicated issues as if they were basic algebra equations, how patronizing and offensive could he get?

#16 Comment By Boyo On 8th August, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

I don’t understand the context thing. Surely it is irrelevant if the crazies call for the stoning of milkmen or whatever as part of an hour-long diatribe on the merits of cheese, or whether they just repeat stone those infidelic milkies over and over… i mean what’s context got to do with it?

The attempted C4 prosectution was a clear shot across the bows by the establishment: saying keep schtum about our accomodation with the crazies (or whatever they think they’re doing) or we’ll roast you. It was precisely the same logic that was behind the BNP prosecution (and indeed lack of action against the BBC as one of your commenters pointed out).

Just because this is Ingerland does not mean it’s not so…

#17 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

I’ve been involved with print journalism one way or the other for most of my life. I’ve also watched both “Dispatches” previously programmes mentioned on this thread. Trust me when I say (IMHO) that there is a BIG difference between them.

Putting aside the issue of dodgy editing both the editorial content, context and tone of the reporting was different between the two programmes. Now for me this raises more questions than answers but the fact remains that the people who make “Dispatches” have some very serious issues of editorial integrity to come to terms with.

#18 Comment By Praguetory On 8th August, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

Glad you have posted on this. The messenger has been shot. The CPS has disgraced itself again.

#19 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

and Jagdeep, why should C4 Stand up for itself when they have commissioned and broadcast this trash? How can you mock the CPS View when you haven’t seen what they have seen? Have you been through hundreds of hours of footage and transcripts like them?

In part Channel 4 should stand up for themselves so that bullies and hysterics don’t intimidate broadcasters into silence and self-censorship and a refusal to tackle controversial subject matter. The idea that Channel 4 or any other media organisation should not address the issue of religious extremism is risible (are you saying these people don’t exist?) — but the attempt to muzzle criticism is insidious. One of the good things about the documentary was how they showed Muslims opposed to these demagogues and their rhetoric.

The CPS are half-wits. And Anil Pattani of the West Midlands police force is a creep.

#20 Comment By Gibs On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

My personal opinion: C4 may have edited the program to make the people appear a teeny weeny bit more biggoted than they really were.

However, I am of the opinion that anyone in that program who was portrayed as a homophobic, misogynistic bigot almost certainly WAS a homophobic, misogynistic bigot (and NOT an open minded liberal).

#21 Comment By ZinZin On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

All of a sudden were not allowed to expose bigots, unless the bigots are white.

Another point is that the undercover reporter did not put words into peoples mouths. This makes a mockery of claims of distortion and broadcasting speechs out of context.

As for Phil Rees is he related to a John Rees a leading figure in the SWP/Respect?

#22 Comment By Jai On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

Firstly, angry Muslim voices are over-represented in our media, with everyone from Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri to the less-crazy-but-still-very-angry Asghar Bukhari constantly on TV telling us that foreign policy is to blame for everything.

This is partly why I loved Saira Khan’s recent two-part Pakistan travelogue on BBC2 so much. No-one screaming “death to the infidels”. No-one blaming foreign policy for everything. No ranting mullahs. No allegations of “Muslims are the enemy within/the new Nazis/the new global adversary”. Hell, not even any niqabs and burkhas. Just normal everyday Pakistanis. And lots of beautiful music, Sufis, qawaalis and mountains.

It reminded me of how things generally were within the mainstream British Pakistani population pre-9/11, including the ways “the Asian community” were frequently portrayed in such programmes on British television by that time (mid/late 90s onwards). Halcyon days.

#23 Comment By septicisle On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

Come on, let’s not portray the police as politically correct nutters when every single one of us knows that’s complete and utter bollocks. For them to consider charging Channel 4 rather than the ranters themselves suggests that there must have been some seriously shoddy/manipulative editing going on. I didn’t see the programme, but did read the transcript that was posted on MPAC and posted this (http://www.septicisle.info/2007/01/preaching-hate-dealing-with-it-and-suns.html) about it at the time. Channel 4’s spokesman might improve their argument if they now take the opportunity to release either the unexpurgated transcripts or filming.

#24 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

Krishnan Guru Murthy on Channel 4 News now, interviewing one of the imams is brilliant. He nailed him.

#25 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

Channel 4 is making a brilliantly robust response. Good for them.

The Black American preacher who ranted at gays, and gave a speech about how the fire of Islam cannot bow to the filth of the secular kaffir society just said when quoted these words by Krishnan, that it was not an example of rhetoric damaging to community cohesion. The level of sophistry and bare faced lying is incredible. How they can sit there with a straight face and accuse Channel 4 of inciting hatred by broadcasting his hate mongering words. It’s almost comedic, like a Monty Pyton’s Life of Brian parody of an Islamist squirming in the glare of sunlight and denying he is a bigot, playing the victimhood card.

#26 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

I’ve just watched a Channel Four News interview between Kristen Guru Murphy, Abu Usamah a Mosque preacher who was featured in original Dispatches piece and Kevin Sutcliffe, the commissioning editor for Dispatches. Jagdeep has already mentioned that Murphy successfully “nailed” the arguement as expressed by Mr Usamah but what Jagdeep failed to notice was that Kristen failed to do the same with Mr Sutcliffe and failed miserably. IMHO Mr Sutcliffe’s agruement was also full of holes, one being that the West Midlands Police can’t exactly be described of being buddy buddy pals with Muslim extremist. And what in the hell does “the words speak for themselves” suppose to mean? I’ve got some bad news for you people. There are many law abiding, god fearing people who are of the opinion that the act of homosexuality is wrong. I’m one of them. This does not make me some kind of dangerous hate filled nutter with a cause. I’m Catholic and proud of it. What I object to is Channel Four’s double standard.

#27 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

Dude, do you think that Abu Usamah is someone whose message is conducive to good community relations? The bizarre obsession with homosexuals that he seemed to have apart, the rhetoric about how Muslims cannot live in a Western society because western society is filthy and ridden with vice, do you think that is a healthy message? The caricature of non Muslim society surely imputes that non Muslims are unclean and lousy (as in cockroach ridden filthy), right?

Sutcliffe gave an excellent rebuttal and Krishnan was form in putting the opposite view to him. The reason he came off better was because the criticisms made of the programme are risible and were easily batted away. Watching Abu Usamah sitting there and having read out to him paragraph after paragraph of extremist rhetoric full of contempt for non Muslims and homosexuals and then saying with a straight face ‘It was taken out of context’ and then charging Channel 4 with being inimical to community cohesion for broadcasting his words is hilarious in its demented audacity.

#28 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 8:07 pm

form = firm

#29 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 9:33 pm


I’ve got more news for you. Abu Usamah isn’t the only one who thinks that secularism is taking this country to hell in a hand cart. And worse still. Those dissenting voices are not all members of the Mad Mullah’s brigade. Some are very respectable members of the community. Some are even jewish. But there is a deeper issue here. I don’t like anyone telling me what and what not to think or say? But what would really piss me off is for some thought police motherfucker to take my words, twist them around (out of all recognition) then throw them back at me. That simply isn’t cricket and if the West Midlands Police are right that’s what exactly happened to Abu Usamah.

Hell, I don’t agree with everything that Usamah says but I do expect for him to be given a fair shake, undistorted by a secular media.

As for Sutcliffe, what did you expect from a media professional….jackanory!

#30 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 9:38 pm


#31 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

Dude, Abu Usamah and all the rest of their words havent been twisted and thrown back at them. They’re just too gutless, cowardly and pathetic to honestly fess up to their hate mongering bigotry. They can’t handle the glare of investigative light on them, and that’s why they flinch and squeal and claim that Channel 4 are creating disharmony in the community by showing them saying that. What a joke.

The difference between Catholic and Jewish people with issues over secular society are not on the same level of extremist ideology, conspiracy theorising and vitriol as these particular gentlemen.

Big up to Channel 4. Don’t ever blink in the face of these bullying creeps.

#32 Comment By dee On 8th August, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

Watching Abu Usamah sitting there and having read out to him paragraph after paragraph of extremist rhetoric full of contempt for non Muslims and homosexuals and then saying with a straight face ‘It was taken out of context’ and then charging Channel 4 with being inimical to community cohesion for broadcasting his words is hilarious in its demented audacity.

So very true.

#33 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

Shoot the messenger, shoot the messenger, shoot the messenger.

Roger Godsiff, MP for Small Heath, majority Muslim constituency, where Abu Usamah preached, has hung drawn and quartered this stupidity. The CPS lawyer, and the West Midlands Police spokesman are dunces and fools.

#34 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

No I’m not saying “Shoot the messenger”.

I just want the “messenger” to be shooting with a straight arrow NOT a bent one.

Jagdeep,,,Is that too much to ask.

#35 Comment By Jagdeep On 8th August, 2007 @ 10:55 pm


The messenger was shooting with a straight arrow. That’s the whole point. That’s what makes this whole thing so demented. It completely inverts truth and responsibility. It tries to lynch the messenger, never mind shoot him. The West Midlans Police are dunces and fools in this instance. The bullying of Channel 4 is fu*king outrageous.

#36 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

Jagdeep wrote

“Dude, Abu Usamah and all the rest of their words havent been twisted and thrown back at them. They’re just too gutless, cowardly and pathetic to honestly fess up to their hate mongering bigotry.”

Well Jagdeep, if that’s the case why did the West Midlands Police find evidence to the contrary on the cutting room floor? Mind you, we are talking about the police here, so you might, just might have a case. NOT!

#37 Comment By The Dude On 8th August, 2007 @ 11:08 pm

Look Jagdeep. I’m not defending the views of Abu Usamah, just his right to express them and for those views to be reported “in context”. That’s the beef I’ve got with Channel Four and Dispatches, their wavering standard of journalism.

#38 Comment By Nyrone On 9th August, 2007 @ 12:08 am

This is really not about defending the Mad Mullahs. I agree they are all morons, but beat them fair and square intellectually with logic, reason and rationale, not with shoddy school-boy cut & splice manipulation.

This is about the rise and rise of this bullshit ‘authored’ film-making which often claims to be impartial and objective, when it’s anything but..

I swear, sit in an editing suite with 80 hours of logged footage, and you can pretty much design whatever you want to say, as a work of fiction and pass it off as completely real.

The CPS are not “bullies or hystericals” and for them to find that a completely false argument was sold as an authentic one publicly in an already hypersensetive environment, it needs to be considered seriously.

I abhor the views of Abu Usamah as much as the next person, but I don’t see why people are afraid to call bullshit on both counts, C4 and the Mad Mullahs. Why do we need to support one or the other, as if we have to be on one side, like it’s a competition? Both are acting erroneously and doing stupid shit, so call bullshit on both.

This is why I hate politics, its all about sides and political football, until the next ‘news event’ takes place tomorrow and the sides all magically shift again.
Musical Chairs, thats all it is.

#39 Comment By Don On 9th August, 2007 @ 12:44 am

If they placed things people said into a narrative, that’s editing and that’s what they do.

If they spliced words together to make people seem to say what they didn’t, that’s faking and they should be nailed.

I’ll wait until the details are clear.

#40 Comment By Natty On 9th August, 2007 @ 2:22 am

Have any of you actually read what West Midlands Police and the CPS said?

Everyone is using the same rhetoric and some of the people on here don’t even realise which programme the Police is refrring to.

Fact is that over 56 hours of footage was spliced to a few snapshots to produce the programme. Thus the CPS is saying the context of what was said is lost.

For example if a preacher had said:

“that In Islam Gays must be punished but that Muslims here must obey the law and cannot do this etc.”

and a programme maker takes this and shows just this part:
“In Islam Gays must be punished”

That destroys the context of what was said.

The CPS said:”The splicing together of extracts from longer speeches appears to have completely distorted what the speakers were saying.”

In addition according to the BBC “Police asked the CPS to consider a prosecution of Channel 4 under the Public Order Act 1986 for showing material likely to stir up racial hatred, but they were advised there was insufficient evidence.”

This isn’t Orwellian and all the other absurd claims being thrown around here it is about accurate reporting and the lack of it by Channel 4.

It is ridiculous to say that people said what they said when so much footage was spliced down to less than 1 hour and in fact only included snippets.

Channel 4 should either produce the evidence or their integrity as a broadcaster is finished. The evidence is to show longer snippets of the offending patches to support their claim. Putting on an Asian Newspresenter and asking the same question about a snippet is nonsense. Show it was in context by broadcasting longer footage as required to prove your point.

The onus is on Channel 4 now to backup what they say and they have failed to do that and have instead tried to bully people into believing them. That itself shows a lack of integrity.

I think you fail to see the reality of this type of jounalism and how it can destroy lives and reputation. A few years ago the Evenign Standard who so vigourously hounded Ken Linvingstone who said his remarks were taken out of context, this same paper went to a well established book shop near Regents Park Mosque and claimed that extremist books were being sold near the mosque and pictured the well established bookshop. This led to hatemail, loss of business etc.

The bookshop asked for an apology and retraction as they had never sold such material. Evening Standard refused. Hate mail and commenst such as those above continued. So the bookshop reported the Evenign Standard and it as foudn guilty by the press watchdog. Evening Standard’s original story was front page and the apology and verdict were buried within the paper. The bookshop still hasn’t recovered from the damage done.

The reality of the story is that when this was investigated what emerged was the same splicing. When the Evening Standard reporter went to the bookshop to enquire about extremist books, not only did the assistant make clear they don’t sell such books she also went to the trouble of expainign to the reporter that such opinions were outside of Islam. The ES still went ahead and published a story that clearly wasn’t accurate.

As in this case Channel 4 won’t show clips to back up the context they are just arguing this is what was said. The CPS who are independant of Government have said it isn’t what was said and in actual fact what was said have been edited out of context.

I have already shown how one sentence can be deliberatly edited out of context. So unless anyone can clearly show the CPS, who viewed over 56 hours of footage is wrong then it is Channel 4 who are in the wrong and they shouldn’t be defended.

Poor jounalism such as this can cost people their livelyhood and reputation. Imagine if this happened to you.

Channel 4 is in the dock and won’t produce the evidence but people still want to believe them, so how difficult can it be to show even two or three examples of longer footage to back up their claim or is it because it will expose them that they won’t do this?

#41 Comment By Natty On 9th August, 2007 @ 2:44 am

Jagdeep - “The messenger was shooting with a straight arrow. That’s the whole point. That’s what makes this whole thing so demented. It completely inverts truth and responsibility. It tries to lynch the messenger, never mind shoot him.”

How so when this has been throughly investigated by an independant Crown Prosecution Service. Your arguments do hold up. The Police referred the case to the CPS who are independant. They are completely independant.

They looked at the whole evidence, all the speeches. Have you done that?

They looked at this and came back and said it was out of context. Channel 4 won’t show longer clips why not? Their integrity is on the line and they won’t show longer clips. It is easy to prove themselves so lets see the evidence that it was in context. In one whole day a massive broadcasting machine cannot show two longer clips to back up what they say. Come on.

They got caught out themselves and people still want to believe them.

The CPS watched 56 hours of Channel 4 footage, 56 hours and then came back and said it was out of context. 56 hours of footage and Channel 4 still cannot produce one long clip to prove what they claimed. That doesn’t bother you but you have a go at the CPS.

I thought people were innocent until proven guilty. But if you are Muslim you are convicted by the media.

The case didn’t hold up, the claim didn’t hold up. Channel 4 have had a full day to come back with evidence and have failed.

Basically the CPS are saying they deliberaly distorted what was said and Channel 4 haven’t rebutted this.

The simple fact is that 56 hours of raw footage was reviewed and Channel 4 were found to have distorted what was said. They won’t provide clear evidence this opinion is wrong.

This is from an independant body not the Police, or the Muslim Community. Independant body.

It is simple Channel 4 is in the wrong and won’t provide any evidence to back up their claim. Surely from 56 hours of footage they would if they could but they can’t.

This story flew out earlier today and by the time of their flagship news programme Channel 4 must have been able to find one, just one quote from their editing to back up what they say. But they didn’t. Neither did the CPS. So sadly despite the claims Channel 4 were simply out to whip up a false story.

People may not like what the preachers said but at the end of the day Channel 4 has been found lacking and have failed to back up their assertion.

Innocent until proven guilty and guilt in this case after 56 hours of footage wasn’t there.

BTW 56 hours of footage is a lot so to find nothing in there says alot more about Channel 4’s intentions than anything else. If this is the type of journalism people want then truely a sad day.

The story shouldn’t be edited to fit. The story shoudl fit naturally.

#42 Comment By Sunny On 9th August, 2007 @ 3:58 am

Apart from the bad spelling, I think Natty at #40 has made the most persuasive point on this issue.

I don’t really want to dismiss the police or CPS out of hand as if they’re run by wet liberals. These are the same people who want 90 days detention without charge.

#43 Comment By Natty On 9th August, 2007 @ 8:03 am

Sorry for the poor spelling Sunny it was past two in the morning and I just wanted to make those important points :-)

#44 Comment By Nyrone On 9th August, 2007 @ 9:43 am

Great Post Natty.
I officially have the number 56 lodged into my brain now.

#45 Comment By Bleh On 9th August, 2007 @ 11:34 am

Channel 4 should either produce the evidence or their integrity as a broadcaster is finished. The evidence is to show longer snippets of the offending patches to support their claim.

Err, isn’t it up to the prosecuting authorities to show proof of their claim? You know, the whole innocent until proven guilty thing that you got spectacularily backwards in post 41?

I’m wholly with Jagdeep on this. Its all very Orwellian and deeply disturbing, and most of all the actions of the CPS has given an out to the likes of the BNP.

#46 Comment By Praguetory On 9th August, 2007 @ 11:37 am

Is spliced the most emotive word they could find for edited? In Birmingham, people are demanding that the full tapes are released so that we can understand this incomprehensible decision.

#47 Comment By ChrisC On 9th August, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

Straightforward isn’t it?
Release all the material then we can see.

This would not be the first time the police have got it wrong.

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2002/10_october/08/donal_macintyre.shtml

#48 Comment By Leon On 9th August, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

Channel 4 are getting a bit of a reputation of refusing to release the raw footage of their programmes that spark controversy…

#49 Comment By Jagdeep On 9th August, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

It is simple Channel 4 is in the wrong and won’t provide any evidence to back up their claim.


Natty, how do YOU know Channel 4 won’t provide evidence to back up their claims? All you offer is conjecture yourself. They’re in midst of offering a very robust response and defence of themselves which they believe will see them vindicated. They stand by their words and will be complying wit hthe OFCOM investigation. Channel 4’s reputation isn’t in the dock, it’s reputation has been enhanced by this.

This has nothing to do with the context of the statements. It has everything to do with a broadcaster being bullied over an investigation into a vital subject in modern society. The charge made was that by simply broadcasting the programme Channel 4 was ‘threatening community confusion’. The impulse was to brow beat and intimidate Channel 4 for producing this documentary in the first place. It’s all about shooting the messenger, about creating taboos about subjects and issues to be discussed. The CPS blew it with the Nick Griffin trials and knew they wouldnt get the convictions here because of the way the rhetoric was worded but it was still hateful in the way that Griffin’s rhetoric is. I imagine Anil Pattani’s half witted decision to make it known that they considered charging Channel 4 with possible conspiracy to create public disorder is nothing but a preposterous public threat to bully and intimidate.

Remember, Channel 4 showing the rhetoric of hate mongering bigots is the real threat to ‘community cohesion’, not those who peddle this rhetoric. What utterly inverted and twisted logic. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, lynch the messager.

Well done Channel 4 — you are a shining light of integrity, stay strong in the face of the bullying, half assed conjecture, and lack of support from those on the left and liberal end of the spectrum who should be defending you now.

#50 Comment By Jagdeep On 9th August, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

Watch the bigots rub their hands with glee over this.

This is Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Sparkbrook where Abu Usamah preached his thing:

An MP whose constituency covers Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham which was featured in the programme, called the decision not to prosecute the speakers as “gutless, spineless and a cop out”.

“I am incredulous that the Crown Prosecution Service alleged that there is insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution,” Roger Godsiff said.

“It’s a green light to any xenophobic, neo-fascist, racist who wants to go out and make their disgusting statements.” [7] link

Well done chaps, and well done for supporting this bullying and intimidation of Channel 4 and free media.

Remember, always lynch the messenger!

Doesnt matter about the rhetoric reported, it’s the reporter who is ‘damaging communiy cohesion’

Apathy, compliance, indifference, denial, over the haters, but condemnation of the messenger who investigates them.

What utterly inverted logic.

#51 Comment By The Dude On 9th August, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

Nyrone and Natty

Excellent points, excellently made. I do agree with Sunny on one thing, I wouldn’t trust the West Midlands Police or the CPS as far as I could throw them. Where me and Sunny depart is C4 because the very same “wet, white liberals” that run the West Mids Police and the CPS also work at C4 and I wouldn’t trust those dudes either. So you could say that this is a case of Dog eating Dog. I worry when I see journalist turning propagandist.

#52 Comment By Jagdeep On 9th August, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

Here you are Natty, all your conjecture about Channel 4 refusing to show the evidence is nonsense:
[8] link

The comments enraged Channel 4, which said it was “very confident” of defending “an important piece of investigative journalism on an issue of national importance”.

Also, Hardcash productions are standing up for themselves as they should:

Undercover Mosque was made by Hardcash productions. David Henshaw, its managing director, said it was “one of the programmes I’m most proud of. It’s absolutely copper-bottomed and everything was properly contextualised. It’s hard to understand what the proper context for some of those comments could be.”

Mr Sutcliffe said the programme had a enjoyed a “good working relationship” with the West Midlands police and he was “shocked and stunned” that the force had chosen to go public with its concerns without contacting Channel 4 first.

“The police and CPS seem to have extended their remit to television criticism. It seems strange they’ve gone out on a limb like this without producing any evidence beyond not particularly liking the film they watched,” he added.

From the same link, here’s a taste of what these docile hippies, these precious fragile flowers, were saying in the documentary, for which Channel 4 is now being criticised for damaging community cohesion:


In Undercover Mosque a preacher at the Sparkbrook mosque in Birmingham responds to news that a British Muslim soldier has been killed fighting the Taliban: “The hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his shoulders.” A preacher at another Birmingham mosque says: “Allah has created the woman deficient.” Another says: “If she doesn’t wear the hijab, we hit her.” Abu Usama, featured in the programme, quotes what he says are the words of the Companion of the Prophet on the punishment for homosexuality: “Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain.” The mosques said they were either unaware the comments had been made on their premises or they had been taken out of context. In a reply on YouTube, Mr Usama said the statements were “incorrect” and “taken out of context”.


So, in the context of the rise in religious extremism, are these valid subjects for journalistic investigation or not? Doesnt matter, lets lynch the messenger. For a start, nobody better ever report, record, broadcast or criticise this kind of rhetoric, for fear of being sent to OFCOM and accused of damaging ‘community cohesion’ — you’re familiar with that accusation being made at you, aren’t you Sunny?

Those dudes can say what they want though, they deserve the status of a protected class.

#53 Comment By The Dude On 9th August, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

Jagdeep and others

You doth protest too much! What is wrong with C4 releasing all of the footage and letting the general public make up their own minds based on all the evidence about the validity of their (C4’s) defense. I totally agree with Leon on this one. Its seems that transparency is a one way street as far as C4 are concerned.

#54 Comment By Jagdeep On 9th August, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

Dude, like Natty and Nyrone, your problem is that you’re arguing on a fallacy. Channel 4 are in the process of complying and defending themselves in an OFCOM investigation. Anything prejudicial to that won’t occur until the investigation has been completed. It’s really good that Channel 4 is standing up robustly and with confidence to the abject bullies seeking to lynch the messenger.

#55 Comment By Katherine On 9th August, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

The trouble, Jagdeep, is I think that you are drawing conclusions from incomplete evidence. The news reports I saw last night had clips from the Channel 4 programme showing what seemed to be pretty outrageous statements. But when the accusation is that the clips have been edited so as to twist the meaning, what you really need to do to make an informed decision is to see the whole lot.

I found the BBC report extremely frustrating simply because I couldn’t tell what the context actually was that the statements were supposedly taken out of. I therefore couldn’t make any kind of informed judgement on anything.

If Channel 4 really want to robustly defend themselves, then the most sensible thing to do would be to show the context. The fact that they haven’t done so tends to imply that they aren’t so confident about that context after all. It wouldn’t be prejudicial to an OFCOM investigation to release the whole lot.

And if I may say so, your very mention of the fact they they haven’t released the footage because of the OFCOM investigation reveals the fact that you yourself don’t have the facts. Surely you can see that it is silly to defend Channel 4 when the facts are incomplete.

#56 Comment By ChrisC On 9th August, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

I’m sure Jagdeep is right that we will have to wait - but I really am looking forward to hearing the “contexts” which justify the disgusting stuff these guys were spouting.

#57 Comment By Nyrone On 9th August, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

I don’t understand how this is all going to be resolved when C4 Release one extended clip of a sequence in which one Preacher is seen being rascist and offensive in real-time somewhere across the world….The program has been worked on and constructed over the course of a year or more by a group of story-tellers, and with 56 hours of footage to explore, isn’t it the Independent CPS or OFCOM most likely best to reach a basic conclusion on whether Hardcash Productions and C4 have deliberately distorted and misrepresented the individuals shown in the program?

Jagdeep, you are obviously passionate about defending the rights of C4 to ‘protect’ itself, but why do you feel they are soft fluffy victims in all this? They know the drill, and the programme makers squeezed every drop of what they recorded to create this ‘documentary’ film and that is all fine and well if it was created honestly, but the programme makers don’t care what is actually happening in the Muslim community or about social cohesion, they just want sensationalist high-rating stories. It’s a game to them, they wanna create a stir anyway they can, and they dont care if they mess up people’s lives in the process. It may make good TV, but it’s just not a decent thing to be doing in such a crudely deceptive way.

There is always a formula by which people present an argument: I can see yours by looking at your post, seeing who you’ve quoted, when you’ve used bold to strengthen a point, when you’ve used capital letters for effect ETC, I think that the programme makers selfishly made this piece of work without coherent journalistic grounding, to support their own thoughts and forge what they thought would provoke a ‘national debate’.

All documentary is crafted, manipulated…but people need to stand up in situations like this, where fabricators and falsifiers in TV think they can get away with producing content that is blatantly distorted and dishonest, because it’s currently a ‘hot’ topic right now in the mainstream news agenda and emotions are running high.

As much as I hate Abu Muhammad and his lunatic mates, I just dont agree with this form of factual trickery in documentaries, it lessens the form and contributes towards so many of our numerous cultural/religious misunderstandings we have as a society right now.

#58 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 9th August, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

It might work better if it were like a Big Brother show. Mostly boring, with people just mumbling incoherently and praying for fame, although highlights are likely to include some hysteria and the odd shot of men in comprimising positions, and each week viewers could nominate who gets shipped to some secret CIA camp and gets tortured

#59 Comment By sahil On 9th August, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

I really don’t know what to make of this. If anything Don’s got the best answer: wait and see what the rebuttal is.

#60 Comment By Sunny On 9th August, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

As I said once on CIF… during the Siksh Against War campaign I went to the Gurudwara in Southall to put up leaflets along with others, condeming the war in Iraq. The management committee there refused to let us put up the posters because they said it was Muslims who were being killed and frankly they didn’t care.

Bigotry? It runs deep with Asians. No doubt about it.

The question is, can you and should you arrest or deport someone for bigotry? The point here isn’t whether those imams were a bunch of fuckwits. The point here is whether they were inciting terrorism or inciting people to kill non-Muslims etc.

It is on the latter point that the CPS/Police could not find any evidence.

#61 Comment By Twining or Black in Blue On 9th August, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

Eh-hum, don’t forget us police officers please. I thought the issue here was that some of the people shown in the clips were definately inciting racial hatred?

#62 Comment By Twining or Black in Blue On 9th August, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

Sunny, I can definately confirm that there are some wet liberals running police Forces. That much I can confirm. Shall I name them?

#63 Comment By The Dude On 9th August, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

Twining or Black in Blue

Man, you must have loads of time on your hands. But name, name away.

Sunny’s last post was a revelation. I never thought things were that bad within the Sikh community. Well, Sunny, things are a whole heap worse in the black community. There was almost 100% total apathy from the massive during the run up to the war. Now they want people like David Lammy and Damon Buffini to be role model to the youth dem. Well, there goes the neighbourhood.

Anyway back to the matter at hand. Jagdeep can’t understand why journalist aren’t the best people to be both judge and jury. Pity the day when he learns.

#64 Comment By Jagdeep On 12th August, 2007 @ 12:56 am

Katherine, Nyrone, Dude, for Gods sake read this editorial in the Observer

[9] http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2147103,00.html

Sunny, there is only one stance you can take on this issue I am afraid. No relativism here please. This whole thing is outrageous.

Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1300

URLs in this post:
[1] being criticised: http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,,2144118,00.html
[2] an article: http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,,2142141,00.html
[3] Adrian Monck: http://adrianmonck.blogspot.com/2007/08/extra-judicial-murder-and-islam.html
[4] http://dailysalty.blogspot.com/2007/08/publicity-is-oxygen-of-terrorism.html: http://dailysalty.blogspot.com/2007/08/publicity-is-oxygen-of-terrorism.html
[5] link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=0JUCMVLM0HYXPQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/200

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2002/10_october/08/donal_macintyre.shtml: http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2002/10_october/08/donal_macintyre.shtml
[7] link: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2007/0808/breaking53.htm
[8] link: http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,2144664,00.html
[9] http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2147103,00.html: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2147103,00.html