Channel 4 is in trouble again. Last night they showed a documentary in which they gave platform to a Muslim extremist who said that they he didn’t mind being called a terrorist. He is a man who is banned from entering Britain. Though it is said that he is in contact with people here, through a website he runs.
He was camouflaged in a scarf, which hid most of his face. And he was interviewed in a caf in an un-identified European country. He was full of the usual rhetoric. That the Britain was waging a war against Islam, and that it was justified to react and retaliate against this action.
Most of the known and not so well known faces were there. Some moderate voices and some not so moderate ones. From people like the Saudi dissident Al-Massari ,Anjum Chaudry and so on. Some talked in subdued tones and some were openly hostile of the West and the British foreign policy. The discussion followed the familiar route.
This mornings Telegraph though was none too happy about it. In its editorial it called the television channel “Apology for a TV channel”. It went on to say that not only they have given platform to a fundamentalist who is banned from these shores, but they have presented it a contribution to meaningful debate is “shocking”.
It was shocking indeed to see him not only justifying the violence but also saying that British Muslims should arm themselves and “fight back” against tho non-believers who come into their homes and invade their privacy. The Telegraph assumes that by this he means the police and the security services who investigate terrorist activities.
Appalling indeed. And highly inflammatory and could it be classified as enticement to violence?
On the other hand the director of the this film described it as a “much needed antidote to the one sidedness of media debate on Islam. .The presenter kept saying that if the government wants to “win hearts and minds, then they have to listen to those who are involved in such propaganda. A hard pill to swallow.
I have lived in the England during the IRA atrocities. Bombs, and security alerts were the order of the day. And I remember that the voice of Gerry Adams couldn’t be broadcast. The used to have actors reading out his words. It was quite comical really.
Fast forward to today, when Mr Adams is a respected member of the parliament and at last the British Army has withdrawn from that province.
Iam not trying to compare the conflicts nor am justifying any stance, but I cant help wondering what is the right way of going about solving such conflicts?
Do we talk and listen to the perpetrators? Do we negotiate or the best policy is a pre-emptive strike?
Please tell me.
The documentary can be watched on