Friday, May 16, 2008

Politicized British police apologise (and pay up) for calling mosque documentary "fake"

The Crown Prosecution Service and West Midlands Police will apologise in the High Court today for wrongly accusing a Channel 4 film of faking an expose of Islamic extremism. The producers of Undercover Mosque, a Dispatches investigation that showed preachers predicting jihad and calling for the murder of non-believers, have also accepted a six-figure libel settlement.

The programme, screened last January, showed footage gathered at a number of mosques in the West Midlands using hidden cameras. It included one preacher who praised the Taleban for killing British soldiers. Another, Abu Usamah, a preacher at the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham, was filmed saying: “If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that is my freedom of speech isn't it?”

However, instead of pursuing a prosecution of the preachers, police and the CPS began an investigation into the producers, accusing them of selective editing and distortion. The film-makers were accused of undermining community relations. The police took the highly unusual step of referring Dispatches to Ofcom, the media watchdog.

Ofcom threw out the complaint. It found that the programme had “accurately represented the material it had gathered and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context”. It was a “legitimate investigation, uncovering matters of important public interest”. Each quote was “justified by the narrative of the programme and put fully in context”.

Hardcash Productions, which made the film, joined Channel 4 in a libel complaint against the police and CPS over the “distortion” claim. West Midlands Police and CPS will apologise unreservedly for comments that they accept were incorrect and unjustified. They said that there was “no evidence that the broadcaster or programme-makers had misled the audience or that the programme was likely to encourage or incite criminal activity”.

MPs criticised the police and the CPS, which dropped any prosecution of Channel 4 because of “insufficient evidence”, for trying to censor television producers. David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Police scrutiny of editorial decisions of a television producer is not only an inappropriate law enforcement function, it also risks deterring legitimate investigative journalism.” Don Foster, the Liberal Democrats' media spokesman, said: “What the police thought they were doing in the first place is beyond me.”

David Henshaw, the managing director of Hardcash Productions, said: “This was a detailed one-hour documentary, made over nine months and at personal risk to the undercover reporter. The abhorrent and extreme comments made by fundamentalist preachers in the film speak for themselves.” He added: “They [the preachers] later claimed they had been taken out of context — but no one has explained the correct context for arguing that women are 'born deficient', that homosexuals should be thrown off mountains, and that ten-year-old girls should be hit if they refuse to wear the hijab.”

Kevin Sutcliffe, deputy head of current affairs at Channel 4, said: “This is a total vindication of the programme team.” A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We have paid a sum agreed with the programme-makers into a charity of their choice.” The substantial damages will be donated to the Rory Peck Trust, which supports the families of journalists killed in the line of work. The CPS declined to comment.


British police try to shoot the messenger

As you can see above, the politicized British police have just been forced to eat crow.

Some British documentary makers went around British mosques undercover and filmed various Mullahs inciting violence against unbelievers. The resulting film was shown on British TV.

So what did the police do? What the Mullahs said was clearly in breach of British law against preaching violence so the police went and rounded up all the Mullahs concerned -- right? In your dreams! The cops prosecuted the film-makers instead! They said the film stirred up hatred. It was a truly Orwellian inversion of what actually happened -- that it was the Mullahs who were stirring up hatred.

Anyway the wheels of justice eventually ground down the nonsense and the police were rightly sued over their perverse actions. They have now paid a big sum in compensation and apologized for their actions.

But, amid all the furore, the Muslim hate-speech has remained protected. It appears that none of the Muslim hate-speakers recorded in the film have been prosecuted or will be prosecuted. The main aim of the police exercise -- protecting Muslims from the standards that others have to obey -- has been achieved.

A convenient silence in Britain

Prof. Brignell writes:

Two years ago Number Watch drew attention to the phenomenon of Greenflation and its inevitable consequences. It is a remarkable tribute to the power of political and journalistic blinkering that the Governor of the Bank of England can now make a speech about the present, very real and very serious, problem of inflation, and the BBC can report it, without a single reference to the fact that this time it is the result of deliberate policy.

It is not, of course, these days a unique occurrence that the establishment media politely sweep under the carpet anything that is an inconvenient truth (to coin a phrase): you only have to look at the coverage of the destruction of British postal services or the garbage collection farce, without any mention of authorship by the EU, for glaring examples among the many.

Since that first mention of Greenflation there has been added a third string to the bow of the activists. Not only have they fostered draconian rises in taxation and systematically blocked the development of abundant energy resources, but they have now promoted an equally disastrous international programme of biofuels, heavily subsidised (of course) by taxpayers.

High food and fuel prices are now officially described as "external factors", when they are in fact foreseeable and unavoidable outcomes of policies embraced by governments themselves. Fuel, in particular, affects the price of everything.

Clearly, as with the DDT ban, it matters little that millions of people in the poorer parts of the world will suffer deprivation and death, but now ordinary people in the developed world are feeling the pain. The new factor is that they no longer have the power to vote out those responsible. Europeans are governed by an unelected and unsackable bureaucracy in

Brussels, while Americans are offered a choice between three green presidential candidates. That is the consequence of the rise of a new complacent political class, divorced from the laws of physics and economics.

There are times in human history when the only way is down. This is one of them. Up to now the human spirit has risen from the ashes, eventually and triumphantly to overcome such disasters, but it has never before had to face a universal political machine of such single-minded potency.


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