Undercover Mosque – The Return... just in time for Ramadan
But is it simply coincidence that this evening Channel 4 broadcasts the sequel to its controversial documentary Dispatches: Undercover Mosque? Channel 4 is not screening this on any Monday, but on the very Monday that heralds the beginning of Islam’s holiest month - the month during which Muslims observe prohibitions on eating, sex, smoking and other pleasures during daylight hours, in commemoration of the revelation of the Qur’an to Mohammed?
Christians are perfectly used to assaults upon the divinity of Jesus at Easter, or the ritual doubts cast upon the Christmas story, but the protocol in the West, especially by the dhimmi media, has been to respect Ramadan. George Bush Snr even postponed a war to mitigate any offence.
The new Dispatches programme - Undercover Mosque: The Return - shows that, apparently, the hate-mongering continues and that very little has changed in the intervening year.
After the broadcast of the original programme, Channel 4 handed bundles of evidence to the West Midlands Police on the assumption that they would want to prosecute those who were inciting hatred and murder. But in an ironic twist which had Cranmer incandescent with rage, the West Midlands Police tried to prosecute the programme-makers for ‘inciting religious hatred’ against Muslims. When this failed, West Midlands police referred the critically-acclaimed programme to media regulator Ofcom and, in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service, they issued a statement in which they insisted that the words of three preachers featured had been ‘heavily edited’, so much so that their meaning had been ‘completely distorted’.
But Ofcom cleared the programme of any attempt to mislead and concluded that the complaints had been orchestrated. The programme-makers consequently sued, and the West Midlands police and the CPS were forced to pay out a six-figure sum to Channel 4 and Hardcash, the independent production company responsible for the documentary.
Hardcash has now followed up the original programme, which is being broadcast tonight at 8pm. The programme finds that very little has changed. A female reporter attends prayer meetings at Regent’s Park Mosque which claims to be dedicated to ‘moderation’ and ‘dialogue with other faiths’. But she witnesses sermons given to the women-only congregation in which female preachers recite extremist and intolerant beliefs. In one scene, as hundreds of women and some children come to pray, a preacher calls for adulterers, homosexuals, women who act like men, and Muslim converts to other faiths to be killed, saying: ‘Kill him, kill him. You have to kill him, you understand. This is Islam’. They describe Britain as the 'land of evil' and say the behaviour of other races is 'vile'. In one of the recordings, a speaker says of the Jews: 'Their time will come, like every other evil person's time will come.'
Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, the director general of the mosque, said the women were ‘not authorised’ and ‘did not reflect the views of the mosque’. He said the mosque 'is committed to interfaith and cross-cultural understanding. It does not support or condone extreme views, racial hatred, violence or intolerance.'
Despite this, Channel 4 also found in this mosque a bookshop selling literature and DVDs which promote hatred towards non-Muslims, and also those containing anti-Semitic, misogynistic and intolerant messages.
Dr Al Dubayan’s explanation?
The bookshop is run by ‘an independent company’. He said: 'We made it clear that it was not acceptable to stock materials containing extremist views.'
Obviously, they have not made it clear enough. Or at least they have not agreed a definition of 'extremist'.
The undercover reporter also films inside a key Saudi-funded Muslim organisation, which claims to promote ‘tolerance’ and ‘integration’, and yet distributes literature which promotes intolerance for non-Muslims, an extreme version of Shari’a law and teachings which support discrimination against women. This is the very ideology which the Government claims to be tackling, and for which British taxpayers are footing the bill.
It was New Labour which introduced the Racial and Religious Hatred Act to protect Muslims from hatred, but Cranmer would like to know who is going to protect everyone else from the hate-mongering going on in Britain’s most high-profile and supposedly respectable mosques?
Let the police and CPS demonstrate to the public that religiously-aggravated and incitement-to-hatred offences are not off limits to any section of the community.
Notwithstanding this call - which goes out not only from secularists but from people of many faiths - Cranmer cannot help feeling that by choosing the first day of Ramadan to screen this programme, Channel 4 is not only being every bit as insensitive as those who screen anti-Christian documentaries during Easter or Christmas; they are being purposely provocative. Indeed, they are inciting resentment at the very moment when Muslims are focusing on personal holiness and discipline.
But perhaps it is about time that the media treated other faiths with the contempt they usually reserve for Christians. Is not that 'equality'?