Channel 4 reporting of mosques

The Ramadhan Foundation welcomes the complaint made by West Midlands Police to Ofcom that Channel 4 may have distorted the views of the people interviewed in the Dispatches programme Undercover Mosque (Channel 4 under fire over film on mosque preachers, August 9).

We totally condemn Channel 4 for its arrogance in defending this programme, when it was clear to us that the makers had taken contributions out of context and edited speeches.

We urge Channel 4 to suspend all the Dispatches programmes immediately so that corrective action can be taken to ensure that this sort of journalism is eliminated.

The Ramadhan Foundation has always been very clear that the mosques have an important role in promoting tolerance and peaceful coexistence, but to use these sensitive issues to demonise Muslims shown in the programme is shocking and deeply disturbing. There can be no justification for this kind of journalism. The complaint is total vindication for the Muslim organisations which complained that the Undercover Mosque programme had taken the views of contributors out of context.

Channel 4 should apologise immediately for the hurt they have caused those people. Channel 4 has given journalism a bad name and this adds to their failings over the past few months. We will also be urging Ofcom to investigate Channel 4’s behaviour.

Mohammed Shafiq
Ramadhan Foundation, Rochdale

Letter in Guardian, 10 August 2007