Friday, December 14, 2007

Muslims - not coming after all.

BBC Newsnight has taken a holiday and decided to investigate some news - credit where it's due, they've come up with the goods. The story in question is the revelation that this year's Policy Exchange report on Islam in the UK was a dangerous fraud (watch here). It transpires that one of the key elements of the report - an alarmist claim that a quarter of UK mosques sell 'hate literature' (which is still well below the 100% rate at which UK newsagents sell hate literature) - was backed up by a bunh of phoney receipts, suggesting that the researchers had confected evidence for a pre-conceived thesis.

Osama Saeed hints at further skullduggery:

Edinburgh Central Mosque was one of those fingered by the report. I said at the time that the mosque had no idea how this literature was supposed to be on their premises. A strange thing then happened a week or two later. A stash of the pamphlets in question were dropped just inside the doorway to the mosque. No one has any idea how they appeared there, as certainly none of the mosque authorities ordered them. Someone clearly outside dumped them, and they are currently investigating who that could be.


As I pointed out at the time, the report was written by a curious alliance of neoconservative reactionaries and Furedites. The latter, Trotskyists turned think-tankies (admittedly, always rather eccentric Trotskyists), now make their home at Spiked Online. They also host regular corporate-sponsored events attacking the scientific mainstream on 'climate change' and other ideas that may prove problematic for capital accumulation. The former are foils for the Conservative Party. Before neoconservative Michael Gove became a Tory MP, he was the Chair and co-founder of Policy Exchange. The current Chair is occupied by Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph and supporter of the Tories. Previous reports by the Exchange have been criticised for regurgitating a Tory agenda. One of the authors of the report who appeared on Newsnight is Dean Godson, a British neoconservative who fancies himself as a dispenser of wisdom on civilizational clashes. Of course, the Policy Exchange recognises allies when it sees them, and took the trouble to publish Martin Bright's Muslim-baiting report 'When Progressives Treat with Reactionaries' - which, summarising Observer wisdom on the question, was regarded by Britain's reactionaries as an instant classic.

Although this report and its producers have been comprehensively trashed, the ideological coordinates which produce this bilge are still being traversed daily. Hence, we are at war with Islam; Islam = 9/11; Muslim moderates aren't 'speaking out'; they must be punished; they're outbreeding us; their minarets are too bloody prominent, anyway. And so, the breathless anticipation of full-blooded cultural duel mounts daily in the neocon breast. If and when it finally comes to fruition, they will not forget the weaklings and capitulationists and fellow-travellers and fifth columnists on their own side.