Channel 4 Dispatches used to be a haven of serious documentary, but has degenerated into a stream of Islamophobia. It touched rock bottom today with a truly pathetic effort by Andrew Gilligan which found – shock horror – Muslims in the East London mosque!
These Muslims actually wanted society to be ordered in an Islamic way on Islamic principles. To try to achieve this they were – shock horror – undertaking political activity and joining political parties!
Gilligan’s piece turned on the Daily Express trick of attempting to inculcate fear that suddenly you and I will wake up under sharia law. The fact is of course that no matter how much devout Muslims may want to campaign to ban alcohol and push-up bras in the UK, they have not a hope in hell of succeeding.
But surely they have a right to their beliefs and ideology and a right to espouse it? Surely we should be delighted that these Muslims are seeking to advance their views through participation in the democratic process and not through violence? In fact, is this not the sort of activity we should be encouraging?
Apparently not. Apparently you only should be allowed to participate in politics if the ideology you are offering to the electorate is broadly the same as Andrew Gilligan’s. We were apparently supposed especially to be shocked by Gilligan’s revelation that Muslim activists campaigned for George Galloway because of his opposition to the Iraq war and support for the Palestinians. Wow! Whatever next?
Gilligan went on to introduce a number of neo-conservative nutters from wild eyed groups such as the Centre for Social Cohesion, to condemn all this “extremist” activity, without giving any context to explain where his “Independent” commentators were dredged up from.
Gilligan’s only useful point was about the waste of taxpayers’ money being pumped in to various Muslim groupings. Sadly he confined his criticism on this point only to financial support for those Muslim groups who did not wholeheartedly support the Bush/Blair foreign policy, when in fact twenty times more public money has been wasted on tiny but grasping Muslim groups who proselytise Blairism.
All in all, the most risible piece of half-baked Islamophobia I can recall. Gilligan – a man for whom I have had respect – should be ashamed of himself.