||The Daily Mail today covers proposals by the coalition Government to extend the mandate for secret trial hearings which would give the Government powers to hold trials which are deemed ‘sensitive’ or a risk to ‘national security’ behind closed doors, and to withhold evidence held against defendants from them and their lawyers.
The move would, the Daily Mail argues, jeopardise “a fundamental principle of Britain’s open justice that citizens who appear before the courts should be able to know and to challenge the claims against them”.
Channel 4 on Monday broadcast the programme ‘Proud and Prejudiced’ featuring Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson), the leader of the English Defence League and Sayful Islam, a man whose exploits include abusing British soldiers and burning poppies on Remembrance Sunday. Both men hail from Luton.
The documentary charts the birth and evolution of both men and their respective groups of extremists. It gives insights into the provocative demonstrations carried out by the EDL and Muslims Against Crusades and profiles the men who lead these socially divisive movements.
The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail have both covered an online interview with Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC on ‘The BBC and Religion’.
Thompson, who in the interview describes himself as a practicing Catholic and ‘critical realist’, was interviewed by historian, author and commentator Timothy Garton-Ash for the Free Speech Debate, a research project at Oxford University.
The Barking and Dagenham Post reports on the 14-month jail sentence passed on a 29 year old convicted of affray and common assault after he threw large stones onto a busy road and assaulted two men at an English Defence League demonstration against a mosque in Dagenham last June.
From the paper:
The London mayoral elections in May this year is proving rich-pickings for the anti-Ken Livingstone brigade as evidenced by recent articles, see for example Andrew Gilligan on his Daily Telegraph blog.
Islamophobia Watch has a great piece dissecting the ES hatchet jobs of the previous week in which Livingstone’s association with Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman is used to discredit both men as unsuitable for elected office.
The Independent today reports on a ‘European Counter-Jihad Meeting’ due to take place next month involving members of far right movements from across Europe which the paper says could result in the creation of the “European Defence League – and the beginning of a dangerous new phase in extremist politics”.
Around 50 English Defence League members are expected to attend the meeting which will be held in Aarhus, Denmark.
From The Independent:
Local news reports and the BBC (see also Yahoo News) relate attacks which have taken place on Asian businesses in Rochdale in racially aggravated violence prompted by proceedings in a sex-grooming trial involving local men.
Superintendent Chris Hankinson, speaking to Rochdale Online about the disturbances in the Heywood area, said:
There has been extensive coverage in the media of the Associated Press report on New York Police Department’s surveillance of American Muslim students at 15 university campuses in the north eastern states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The surveillance is said to have covered websites run by Muslim student groups and monitoring of emails going back to 2006.
There is an article in today’s Daily Telegraph titled ‘Academic who backed suicide bombings to speak on campus’. The article refers to the invitation of British-based Azzam Tamimi to speak at an event hosted by Queen Mary University’s Palestine Solidarity Society next Tuesday, called ‘One State or Two State Solution’. Tamimi is described in the article as holding extremist views. The University, however, have defended his invitation to speak on the grounds of freedom of speech.
From the Daily Telegraph:
“Student campaigners have hit out after Azzam Tamimi was invited to attend the event at Queen Mary University on Tuesday.
BBC3 this week broadcast a programme called ‘My Hometown Fanatics: Stacey Dooley Investigates’.
During the one hour documentary, Stacey investigates minority extremism in her hometown of Luton from the likes of the EDL and Muslims Against Crusades. She interviews Stephen Lennon, the founder and leader of the EDL, as well as visiting mosques, meeting self-proclaimed radical Muslims and also Muslims trying to tackle extremism.