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  • The media does the extremists’ work for them

    by Sunny
    11th March, 2009 at 7:03 pm    

    This morning I got calls from two radio stations (who could have presumed I was Muslim) to talk about the al-Muhajiroun protest against British soldiers in Luton. I slept through both calls but the point is that once the Sun put it on their front page, the BBC has a bad habit of following it up as a major story.

    In that, I agree with Inayat Bunglwala - we know these extremist idiots exist. But what’s the point of giving them so much airtime? It’s exactly what they crave. Out of a population of 20,000 Muslims in Luton, about twenty attended the protest. Does it deserve filling the airwaves over? I’m not convinced it does.

    Update: British Muslims for Secular Democracy say in a statement:

    British Muslims for Secular Democracy is deeply shocked by the behaviour of Muslim anti-war protestors during the homecoming parade in Luton by British soldiers returning from their tour in Iraq.

    BMSD believes that whilst the protestors have the right to express their views about the war in Iraq, the abuse hurled at the British soldiers during the protest is completely unacceptable. The brave soldiers, who have now returned home, and those who continue to serve their country in Iraq and other theatres of war, deserve the support of the British public, including that of British Muslims for carrying out their professional duties, and should not have been made target of abuse by protestors in such a despicable manner.

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    Filed in: Current affairs,Media,Terrorism

    21 Comments below   |  

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    1. pickles

      New blog post: The media does the extremists’ work for them

    2. Fun With Fanatics… « Back Towards The Locus

      [...] Twenty Muslims out of, as Sunny notes, twenty thousand in Luton, and this was enough so send the apoplectic right into further spasms of [...]

    1. Rumbold — on 11th March, 2009 at 8:22 pm  

      What was the BBC playing at? Giving these people airtime only inflates their own egos. Best to just ignore them.

    2. KB Player — on 11th March, 2009 at 8:33 pm  

      I agree. They must have been really chuffed at the publicity. I’d bet anything if they’d been white SWP types with the same placards there would have been zilch about them.

    3. Verbal_Reciprocity — on 11th March, 2009 at 8:45 pm  

      “we know these extremist idiots exist. But what’s the point of giving them so much airtime?”

      It is the same reason we give airtime to the KKK, neo-nazis, etc. All these groups may represent only a tiny fraction of the populace but the fact that people with such abhorrent and dangerous ideologies exist is a cause for concern for many.

      “Giving these people airtime only inflates their own egos. Best to just ignore them.”

      I seriously doubt most media outlets care about whether they inflate the egos of these extremists or not. Media is concerned with reporting on the interests of their viewership, a documentary on the average joe is not going to achieve that.

    4. marvin — on 11th March, 2009 at 9:25 pm  

      The BBC has a responsibility to report news stories that are, well, big in the news and in the interest of the public.

      The fact that the BBC reported them as “anti-war” protesters on the day did nothing but inflame the situation.

      They should have said a small number of Islamist extremists, thought to be from Al-Muhajiroun picketed the soldier parade in Luton.

      Instead for most of the day they were “anti-war”, then later in the afternoon/evening they just became “muslim”.

      It’s a bit like referring to a bunch of National Front initially as at a large Muslim event as “anti-terrorist” protesters, then simply referring to them as “white people”!!!

      I’m in two minds about giving publicity to such a provocative lunatic bunch. On the one shoulder I have Baroness Thatcher saying we should starve the terrorists the oxygen of publicity, and on the other I think, well if you don’t acknowledge a problem how do you deal with it…

      It wasn’t just a about there being 20,000 Muslims in Luton. Why just Muslims? There’s a population of 200,000 people. These were the only people acting so shamefully and provocatively. Sweeping radicalisation under the carpet, pretending it’s not significant cos there were only a small number of people who clearly hate this country will only seek to perpetuate the siege/victim/ignored mentality the BNP will be seeking to exploit….

    5. dave bones — on 11th March, 2009 at 10:11 pm  

      Sorry what is the big deal? I don’t like a lot of Islamic ideals or theology but I have been involved in protesting the war in Iraq. I feel sorry for soldiers invovled in this but I would understand if some Islamic people didn’t in the circumstances.

    6. fug — on 12th March, 2009 at 12:38 am  

      i wonder what a suitable form of expression is to the soldiers if:

      -you strenuously disagree with their day-jobs.
      -know that they had the choice not to be there.

      I saw some media interviews where it seem that many of the troops expect us to be grateful. I just want to tell them that i wish they hadnt gone there and that they are wrong in so many ways and that they always have a choice to leave the forces when its clear they are up to no good. Did they not see the public revulsion at the UK action. Must the continuing revulsion be regarded as treachery and national disloyalty? are they the only ones who are ‘brave’?

      The ‘we respect the troops and are glad they are home’ lyric doesnt sit well with me. They have made us more endangered and have endangered more Iraqis, even killed them. Iraqis defending the integrity of their own soil, who have nothing against brits except that they are an occupying force.

      Ian Brown’s ‘Illegal Attacks’ seems a better expression. song is always better than ugly protest at striking the right meaning.

    7. hindu — on 12th March, 2009 at 3:17 am  

      why should they be ignored? pathetic such muslims exist in every country. 20 came out probably 100s sitting in their houses support them. Tomorrow more will come out.

      first of all you bloggers on this website swear by nation first religion 2nd. Then perhaps you can preach ignoring these fanatics of your faith.

      The problem is common man who believes in working and providing for their families and rasiing their children in problem free world is just not sure of intentions of even the most moderate of muslims. I remember reading about one extremely moderate muslim in india who didnt even practice his religion. his name was Jinaah - founder of pakistan and who called for “jihad” - last resort of the weak and manipulative muslims who dont fear unleashing violence on the innocent and those who dont AGREE.

      Cos their religion unlike islam asks their followers to indulge in good deeds for humanity and doesnt preach violence whereas islam doesnt punish violence as long as the violence is done in the name of religion.

      Tell me if I am wrong. This is the debate I would like the moderate muslims to indulge in.

    8. Golam Murtaza — on 12th March, 2009 at 6:37 am  

      No, ‘Hindu’. You don’t want moderate muslims to indulge in debate. You just want them expelled from their homes, don’t you? You already made that clear in a previous thread.

    9. platinum786 — on 12th March, 2009 at 10:23 am  

      Please don’t feed the troll.

      I see it like this. I support the right for these guys to protest against the war and even against the soldiers going to war. The reason being that soldiers can refuse to go to war. It will make them bad soldiers, but maybe good people. Muhammed Ali wasn’t too popular in America around the time of the Vietnam war either, he took a stand.

      HOWEVER the location of the protests was distasteful and the content of some of the posters slanderous. These guys are coming home, some of them probably didn’t want to be at war, but decided to go anyway. To me they are not heroes, but this March was a place attended by their friends and their family, an event where people were thankful to see them home safe, not a dick waving contest for the war.

      if you want to protest against soldiers, protest outside the barracks, protest outside the MoD. These anti nuclear weapon protestors proetst outside military sites. They don’t go taking the protest to the soldiers homes. They don’t protest outside the schools soldiers kids go too. Fair enough the parade was in a public place, but the people there included a lot of families etc, it was a personal thing for them, and repsect should have been given for that.

      On the other hand, what is hurt feelings compared to dead people? Lets be honest, the reality of what soldiers have done in Iraq on the orders of politicans is far more grave than them feeling upset when they get back because of heckling.

      Someone in a comment on the Guardian asked that Innayat fellow to organise a Muslim protest to support the troops, that for me hit the nail on the head. Anyone who attended that would lose all credibility amongst the community, we share a religious tie with the people of Iraq, the concept of being brothers, one body, something stronger than whatever else this world has to offer. British Muslims don’t support the war and generally don’t support the troops. The difference is we do hate the war, we don’t hate the troops, rather we hate their actions.

      don’t confuse that for anything else, in my eyes they are no heroes, just guys who didn’t take a stand. I don’t begrduge them for going to war, soldiers follow orders, but I would have massively respected anyone who had. In my eyes that person would have been a real hero.

    10. Shamit — on 12th March, 2009 at 10:44 am  

      “Iraqis defending the integrity of their own soil, who have nothing against brits except that they are an occupying force.”

      How are they an occupying force? The Iraqi people in overwhelming majority voted in elections which elected their democratically elected government. That Government did ask the US/UK and other foreign troops to be stationed in Iraq. And the government has been in power for almost 4 years.

      So, the Iraqi people through their Government has asked for continued presence of British troops in Iraq and therefore in no means are an occupying force. Over 70% people voted in both elections. They are overwhelmingly Muslims too.

      I was going to keep my mouth shut As I got shitloads to do - but this occupying force business just gets to me. And another thing, I personally believe that if my country is at war (whether I supported the war or not) I want my country to win the war. Won’t make me much popular with the loony Guardian left or many on this site. But letting you lot run amok with this theory of occupying force — sorry could not do.

    11. Shamit — on 12th March, 2009 at 10:46 am  

      Golam @9 — I agree completely.

      This Hindu guy in my opinion is a bigot and he has no moderate bone in his body. And like most bigots, I am sure he does not have the balls to say things like he does in real life and hides behind a stupid handle and thus maligning Hindusim/ Indians as a whole as well as British Indians by his actions.

    12. Jai — on 12th March, 2009 at 12:01 pm  

      I do wonder why some of the main news channels keep wheeling out Anjem Choudary whenever something like this happens. It’s the equivalent of asking Nick Griffin for his “opinion” whenever anything affecting white Brits occurs, or organisation a studio interview with someone from the KKK in relation to any matters affecting white Christians.

      Choudary’s response is usually entirely predictable. Why expect anything different from someone who insists on ostentatiously referring to OBL as “Sheikh Osama”, being well aware of the impact of making such remarks in this part of the world.

      Regarding behaviour such as this by Al-Muhajiroun (or whatever they’ve decided to call themselves now — they keep changing it everytime they’re banned) and Choudary himself…..I do keep saying that these people are a massive liability for Muslims specifically and — since all many people will see is a bunch of brown faces — for British Asians from all backgrounds as a whole. There aren’t that many counterbalancing images in the media these days; it’s not as though many non-Asian Brits are familiar with the Islam of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (and similar people), for example, and in relation to Asians in general, unfortunately welcome changes such as certain people shouting “Latika” and collecting numerous Oscars don’t occur particularly frequently either (although it was nice to see all the positive attention while it lasted).

      As we all know, many people have been jumping to a whole bunch of nasty conclusions about all of us based on these deranged thugs who are spoiling for a fight…..and the combination of their own aggression and the disproportionate media focus on them is drowning out all the more positive counterexamples. Translating from Hindi/Urdu, I’m sure many Asians here will be familiar with the proverb “An empty vessel makes the most noise”.

    13. Adnan — on 12th March, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      “I do wonder why some of the main news channels keep wheeling out Anjem Choudary whenever something like this happens.”

      Well, maybe because he’s a great caricature - just like Bakri, Abu Hamza, and Abu Izadeen before him.

      Anyway, I suggest that maybe Anjem and his oh-so brave mates should protest outside a “cowards” (squaddie) pub on a Friday night.

    14. Jai — on 12th March, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

      Articles from today’s Times Online which everyone should check out:

      - How Al-Qaeda’s actions are changing public attitudes to the armed forces and towards Islamist fanatics:

      - MP’s responses to Al-Muhajiroun’s behaviour in Luton; read the comments afterwards in particular, especially the remarks about the BNP along with the mounting hostility towards Muslims in general. It reinforces my own points in the last two paragraphs of #13 above:

    15. Jai — on 12th March, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

      Well, maybe because he’s a great caricature - just like Bakri, Abu Hamza, and Abu Izadeen before him.

      I know. Something I’ve said repeatedly on PP is that Anjem Choudary and his ilk actually confirm people’s worst prejudices about Muslims (and, correspondingly, their erroneous extrapolation towards all Asians regardless of the latter’s actual religious affiliation) and, by their own behaviour and ideas, reinforce the most extreme negative stereotypes that have arisen in British society about people in these groups in recent years.

    16. Shamit — on 12th March, 2009 at 1:34 pm  


      Spot on as usual.

      I think the media has a responsibility of reporting this story as much as they have the responsibility of reporting the carnage in Gaza. They should not be doing interviews with idiots such as Anjem (wanna be Osama) but highlight the anger of the British public.

      The problem in Britain today is that many clad in their self-proclaimed progressive image support the right of Hamas to fire rockets or Hezbollah’s right as freedom fighters. So, while they say we are against terror - they pick and choose between groups.

      These are the same group of people who never hesitate to remind us about how the Iraq war was not sanctioned by UN and therefore illegal- but find it difficult to accept that Hezbollah and Hamas need to disarm which the UN Security Council unianimously voted for. They want us to lay down the red carpet for Hezbollah to visit Britain while rightly protest against Modi.

      People even claim Hezbollah should only lay down arms when Israel gives up its land — the same thing could be said about LeT, they should only lay down their arms when India gives up all of Kashmir, or Taliban would lay down arms only when the strictest flawed interpretation of Sharia is implemented in whole of Pakistan; or LTTE would lay down their arms only when there is a new Tamil nation.

      This group with their continual support of the claim of US - UK troops being occupying forces when democratically elected Government of Iraq wants them there on both sides of the Atlantic give credence to these idiots.

      The unintended tacit support these idiots get from these progressives is far more worrying in my opinion as the entire media covers them fawningly.

    17. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 12th March, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

      if you look for this on you tube, you get hundreds of BNP video. So what about from the other side of how things are reported? How does it increase fear and hatred towards Muslims?
      There was a clip showed the crowd shout out the group of protesters and chase them away. Same as here with the “Christian” - “god hates gays” protesters who show up at soldiers funerals.

    18. Golam Murtaza — on 12th March, 2009 at 2:55 pm  

      Thank you, Shamit.

      Sorry, Platinum. Itchy typing fingers.

    19. Shamit — on 12th March, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

      Platinum — my dear friend once again you start that myth about the Muslim brotherhood that spans across continents and nations and whatsoever — and you keep on sprouting that while history teaches us different.

      1. Why are South Asian Muslims treated so badly when they go to work in the Middle East?

      2. Why did all the attrocities take place when Iraq invaded Kuwait? I have a friend whose sister who was a doctor was gang raped and killed by Iraqi soldiers.

      3. Why did over 2 million Bangladeshis killed and an ethnic purge ordered by then Pakistan military chieftains?

      And if you wish to spin — learn how to do it well.

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