UK: Channel 4 announces return of Undercover Mosque

Channel 4 announces return of Undercover Mosque

Three months after Dispatches: Undercover Mosque won a police apology and libel damages, Channel 4 has announced it is returning to the subject in Undercover Mosque: The Return.

Earlier this year West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service paid out a six-figure sum to Channel 4 and Undercover Mosque Hardcash, the independent producer responsible for the documentary, after falsely accusing the programme of misleading viewers.

The documentary, an undercover investigation into extremism in mainstream British mosques, featured preachers calling for homosexuals to be killed, espousing male supremacy, condemning non-Muslims and predicting jihad.

Chilling undercover investigation into the influence of Saudi Arabian religious extremism throughout the UK. Despite being considered Britain’s principal ally in the Middle East, this disturbing report reveals Saudi Arabian Islam – Wahabism – is spreading a message of bigotry and hatred to a section of Muslims and predicting an imminent jihad.

Last August, West Midlands police referred the critically acclaimed programme to media regulator Ofcom and, in conjunction with the CPS, issued a statement saying the words of three preachers featured had been “heavily edited” so their meaning was “completely distorted”.

However, Ofcom cleared Channel 4 and Hardcash of any TV fakery and ruled they “dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context“.

The two companies subsequently launched their libel action.

It has now emerged that the same Hardcash production team have revisited the subject to “see whether extremist beliefs continue to be promoted in certain key British Muslim institutions”.

– Source: Channel 4 announces return of Undercover Mosque, Tara Conlan, The Guardian, UK, Aug. 22, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

As can expected (since this is taking place in mosques throughout Western Europe — and indeed around the world) — the undercover report still discovers evidence of intolerance, hatred, and other forms of extremism. This while the British government (again, not unlike governments elsewhere) attempts to portray Islam as a peaceful religion — thereby forgetting that the goal of Islam, which means submission, is to subject the world to its religion.

In addition, Undercover Mosque: The Return also “investigates the role of the Saudi Arabian religious establishment in spreading a hard-line, fundamentalist Islamic ideology in the UK – the very ideology the government claims to be tackling”.

A former Foreign Office minister tells Dispatches he thinks the government should take a stronger line on the issue.

The film also includes interviews with Islamic academics who condemn messages of intolerance and segregation and warn of the impact they will have on British society.

– Source: Channel 4 announces return of Undercover Mosque, Tara Conlan, The Guardian, UK, Aug. 22, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Channel 4 and the programme-makers were paid an estimated £100,000 after police falsely claimed the documentary had selectively edited quotes from preachers in mosques around the country to make them appear more extreme.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute the preachers and instead referred the programme makers, Hardcash, to the regulator Ofcom regulator which later cleared them of all charges.

Now Hardcash has made a follow-up programme for Channel 4’s Dispatches, to be broadcast next month, in which a female reporter attends prayer meetings at an important British mosque which claims to be dedicated to moderation and dialogue with other faiths.

The programme-makers, who are not naming the mosque at this stage, say she secretly filmed shocking sermons given to the women-only congregation in which female preachers recited extremist and intolerant beliefs.

As hundreds of women and some children came to pray, a preacher called for adulterers, homosexuals, women who act like men and Muslim converts to other faiths to be killed, saying: “Kill him, kill him. You have to kill him, you understand. This is Islam.”

Channel 4 said: “Worshippers are repeatedly told they must lead separate lives from non-believers and not tolerate other religions. Christian teachings are described as “vile and disgusting, an abomination.”

At private, invite-only prayer meetings linked to the mosque, the reporter films the leading preacher from the women’s prayer circle issuing strict diktats on women’s personal

freedoms – decreeing they must not travel far without a male member of the family to escort them, and instructing them not to integrate with British society or work in a non-Islamic environment.”

In the same mosque, the reporter visited the bookshop and discovered books and DVDs still on sale, promoting extremist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and intolerant messages, Channel 4 said.

“Unbelievers are described in one DVD as: ‘Evil, wicked, mischievous people – you can see the evil in their face.’ Whilst Jews, ‘have abominated, filthy, disgusting gross belief – their time will come like every other evil person’s time will come.’ ”

The film also reveals that Government advisers have been preaching radical views as it goes undercover in two mosques and a Saudi funded organisation, sources said.

– Source: Channel 4’s ‘Undercover Mosque’ returns , Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent, Telegraph, UK, Aug. 22, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Note: Islam is an increasingly diverse religion, with sects ranging from peaceful and civilized to extreme and barbaric.

The publishers of Religion News Blog consider extremist Islamic movements to be hate groups.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday August 23, 2008.
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