Shenanigans at Prospect Magazine…

This month’s Prospect Magazine contains a curious diary item (subscription only) entiteld “Shenanigans at the Islam Channel” (the title on the print edition is the rather less definitive “What’s going on at the Islam Channel?”). The piece enumerates what it considers “controversial” happenings at the station. On closer inspection (on cursory inspection too, for that […]

Blogs, Ceasefire Bites, Politics - Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 4:33 - 1 Comment

Share

This month’s Prospect Magazine contains a curious diary item (subscription only) entiteld “Shenanigans at the Islam Channel” (the title on the print edition is the rather less definitive “What’s going on at the Islam Channel?”). The piece enumerates what it considers “controversial” happenings at the station. On closer inspection (on cursory inspection too, for that matter) the bill of indictment amounts to the following (all in-bold emphasis is ours)  :

– The channel was “accused of giving a platform to an alleged extremist cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki”.

–  In late January, its chief executive Mohammed Ali Harrath “found himself arrested in South Africa” and was released without charge within 48 hours. The arrest, we learn, was because of “alleged activities two decades ago in Tunisia, where he co-founded the Tunisian Islamic Front”. The piece confirms that “no evidence has ever been produced linking him to terrorist activities”.

– Thirdly… well, that’s pretty much it actually. though the piece does go on in rather sinister tones to confide “Prospect understands that there is continuing controversy about the leanings of the Islam Channel”. No word on how it “understands” this and where, exactly, are any signs of this “continuing” controversy to be found.

So let’s get this right, the Channel had somebody on who is an “alleged” extremist (whatever that means) and its CEO was arrested for 48 hours because of allegations for which no evidence has ever been presented. And yet, the piece reads like some sort of smoking gun exposé that has unearthed some seismic dark secrets. What’s going on?

Of course, no such piece would be complete without a healthy doze of antisemitism insinuations… the Islam Channel has, horror of horrors!, “refereed to Israel as the ‘Zionist State””. It seems the (anonymous) diarist is under the impression this is some sort of uber-controversial stance. He is alarmingly unaware that Israel’s creation was specifically as a Zionist state. (Indeed, it could be argued you’re more likely to get in trouble for denying that “Israel was a Zionist state”).

There’s more, the Channel even had “presenters though [sic] to be sympathetic to the Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir”, imagine the same lazy speculations being bandied about concerning presenters at the BBC or CNN.

Now, the Islam Channel (like any media outlet) is certainly not above reproach and should (like any media outlet) be subjected to constant, rigorous and sceptical examination but this is, with all due respect, just silly.

The piece concludes by confidently predicting the Channel will, presumably under the weight of all the overwhelming evidence, “be keen to lay such concerns to rest”. We hope the “concerned” in question will make themselves known soon enough…

Share

1 Comment

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Jomblast
Mar 8, 2010 16:17

Noticed that too and pleased to see this analysis.The Islam Channel will surely “be keen to lay such [unfounded, crude] concerns to rest” will they? Or what? The whole thing is a cheap stab at a basically defenceless target. From Prospect, though, I wouldn’t expect anything less!

Leave a Reply

Comment

 

More Ideas

More In Politics

More In Features

More In Profiles

More In Arts & Culture