Monthly Archives: September 2010


Warsi   “If you have a pop at the British Muslim community in the media, then first of all it will sell a few papers; second, it doesn’t really matter; and third, it’s fair game.”
 
This is the view given by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim woman on the Cabinet, attacking the “anti-Islamic sentiment” of the British press, which she compared to the anti-Semitism of the early 20th century.

She agreed that “anti-Islamic sentiment is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry in the UK.”

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  “Be in no doubt. The new generation of Labour is different. Different attitudes, different ideas, different ways of doing politics.”

This was the message that new Labour leader, Ed Miliband, had for the Labour Party Conference this week. Ed Miliband, who beat his elder brother, David, to the post spoke of where Labour “went wrong” and “lost touch.”

He talked of the new generation wanting to “change foreign policy so that it’s always based on values, not just on alliances,” referring to the alliance with the United States as the Labour government made the decision to invade Iraq. He distanced himself from the decision to invade Iraq, recognising that “Iraq was an issue that divided our party and our country.”

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  Papers today report on the news that, within months of the “War on Terror”, Tony Blair and senior ministers in the Labour government knew of allegations that UK nationals were being tortured but brushed them aside in a bid to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the US.

The Guardian writes,

“The ‘war on terror’ had barely begun when senior ministers in the Labour government became aware that it was to be a harsh and brutal affair, involving fundamental breaches of international human rights law, it was revealed today.”

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the UK’s official human rights watchdog has advised the government that its new guidance on torture may violate UK and international law.

From the EHRC website

“The Commission asked whether — in its current form — the guidance does enough to protect officers in the field because it may leave them with the erroneous expectation that they will be protected from personal criminal liability in situations where they may, unwittingly, be liable for crimes committed and condoned by others.”

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NUT Conference on Islamophobia  

On Saturday, 2nd October, The South Gloucestershire branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and UCU are holding a conference on challenging Islamophobia in schools.

The event is intended to address the “lack [of] strategies and resources to challenge Islamophobia in the classroom.”

The conference “will explore approaches to the issue with a view to publishing materials to support schools.”

The NUT conference follows in the footsteps of another initiative, “Show Racism the Red Card.”

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  The Sunday Express reports that Dr Zakir Naik, the scholar who was banned from entering the UK by Home Secretary Theresa May in June, has won the first round in a court battle against the Home Office’s exclusion order.

Read the Sunday Express article here and ENGAGE’s letter to the Home Secretary, here.


  The PCC has adjudicated on a complaint lodged by a reader against the Daily Star on the paper’s inaccurate and inflammatory coverage of ‘squat’ toilets that were installed in a Rochdale shopping centre.

The PCC upholding the complaint on the paper’s breach of clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editor’s Code of Practice, stated:

“In this prominent story, there were two clear errors of fact which, in the circumstances, would have misled readers in a significant manner: the toilets could not be described as “Muslim only”; and were not paid for by the local council. While the newspaper had accepted that the article was wrong – and offered to correct the item – the Commission was particularly concerned at the lack of care the newspaper had taken in its presentation of the story. This led to a breach of Clause 1 of the Code which makes clear that newspapers must “take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”. The complaint was upheld.”

Read the full PCC judgment here.


 

ENGAGE have written to the PCC on the story printed on the Daily Express front page last Saturday and the paper’s ridiculous allegations of a ‘Muslim plot to kill Pope‘.

Read the ENGAGE letter here.


  ENGAGE have written to the Press Complaints Commission concerning the story printed in the Daily Star, ‘Terror funded by cricket fixes‘ on the cricket match-fixing scandal and the paper’s allegation that these were ‘directly funding Al-Qaida terrorism’.

Read the ENGAGE letter here.

 


EDL  

Police have arrested six men who could face charges of stirring racial hatred after a video of them burning copies of the Quran on 11th September was posted on YouTube.

The Mail Online reports,

“At one point, a laughing man kicks what appears to be a Koran while his friends shout: ‘This is for the boys in Afghanistan. September 11, international burn a Koran day, for all the people of 9/11.’”

“All six of those held claim to be members of the English Defence League (EDL).”

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