Some more backlash about the West Midland Police and CPS extraordinary decision to widen their remit to that of TV criticism.
First, a ballsy letter to The Guardian from Channel 4’s Kevin Sutcliffe:
In response to Mohammed Shafiq (Letters, August 10): neither the West Midlands police nor the Crown Prosecution Service have produced any evidence whatsoever to support their extraordinary and damaging allegations of unfairness made against Dispatches: Undercover Mosque. I am very confident of successfully defending this charge against the programme should the police decide to provide Ofcom with any evidence.
The highly offensive comments made in the programme speak for themselves – the speakers concerned were clearly shown making abhorrent and extreme comments in mainstream Islamic institutions. Many of these speeches were made in DVDs and in internet broadcasts which Channel 4 had no involvement in producing and which our journalists found available in the community.
Undercover Mosque allowed these comments to be seen in their proper context. All the speakers featured in the film were offered the opportunity to respond and their response was reflected in the programme. None of them denied making these comments and none of the individual speakers have to date complained of unfair treatment to Ofcom.
Channel 4 was fully aware of the considerable sensitivities surrounding the subject matter of this; however, I believe there was clearly an important public interest in exposing the unpleasant and even offensive views that were being preached in the name of Islam in some British mosques. This view was shared by the moderate Muslims interviewed in the programme who were appalled by the footage.
Deputy head of news and current affairs, Channel 4, and editor of Dispatches
And an editorial in The Telegraph by Charles Moore clearly arguing that the CPS and WMP are, in fact, off their heads. It contains a quick reminder of the contents of the documentary:
One preacher speaks of a British Muslim soldier killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan and says: “The hero is the one who separated his head from his shoulders.” Another says that all Jews will be killed at the end of time, and makes a snorting noise as if imitating a pig.
Shame on Channel 4 for showing this decontextualised snorting: