‘What on earth are West Midlands Police up to?’

Dean GodsonThe question is posed by Dean Godson of the right-wing think tank Policy Exchange. He writes:

“How did the Crown Prosecution Service and West Midlands Police come to refer Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, Undercover Mosque, to Ofcom? It is one of the most bizarre decisions taken by public authorities in recent times. Having decided that they could not or would not prosecute the purveyors of Wahhabite hate speech portrayed in the film – mostly from the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham – they instead turned round on the documentary-makers and investigated them for allegedly stirring up racial hatred….

“In a packed seminar at Policy Exchange last week, speaker after speaker denounced West Midlands Police for shooting the messenger and for appeasing some of the most sectarian elements in their force area….

“Above all, the referral caters to the sense of ‘victim culture’ peddled by the Muslim Council of Britain and others: that our current discontents are caused as much by media sensationalism and ‘Islamophobia’ as by Islamist ideology itself. It will reinforce that strain of opinion within the MCB that holds that mosques and other institutions don’t need to clean up their act.”

Times, 23 August 2007