Saturday, August 11, 2007

You Are Charged With Reporting A Crime

Earlier this year, a TV documentary called Undercover Mosque exposed Muslim preachers in the UK celebrating the death of a British soldier in Afghanistan and calling for the establishment of sharia law in Britain under which women would be hit if they didn't cover up and homosexuals would be 'thrown off the mountain' or crucified.

As a result of all this, people, including, I believe, local MPs, asked the police to investigate the preachers to see if prosecutions for crimes of racial hatred could be brought against them. C4 (the broadcasting TV station) itself did not ask for these investigations, but co-operated with police inquiries.

But then, on Wednesday, without any warning to Channel 4, the CPS and the West Midlands police issued their fatwa. Not only had they investigated, and decided, as they were entitled to do, that there were no charges to bring against people featured in the programme: they also announced that they had investigated the programme itself for stirring up racial hatred.

Again, they had decided not to press charges. But, said West Midlands police smugly, they had pursued the making of the programme "with as much rigour as the extremism portrayed within the documentary itself". They had concluded that comments had been "broadcast out of context" and so they and the CPS had complained to Ofcom (the UK television regulator).
London Telegraph reporter Charles Moore asks of the West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service:

Are they fit to protect us?
The answer is kind of obvious.

-- Nick

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