Gagging Islamic clerics views puts UK Police in dock

November 20th, 2007 - 2:42 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov.20 (ANI) Some British parliamentarians have accused West Midlands Police of attempting to gag a Channel 4 programme that exposed extremism in a British mosque.
According to The Times, police claimed that the Dispatches programme Undercover Mosque misrepresented the views of Muslim preachers and clerics through misleading editing.
The programme featured undercover recordings from speakers alleged to be homophobic, anti-Semitic, sexist and condemnatory of non-Muslims.
West Midlands Police rejected calls to take action against the preachers for stirring up racial hatred. Instead, they pursued a complaint against the filmmakers, accusing them of undermining community relations.
Media watchdog Ofcom, however, threw out the police complaint, saying it found that the programme had accurately represented the material it had gathered and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context.
Ofcom said: Undercover Mosque was a legitimate investigation, uncovering matters of important public interest.
It found no evidence that the broadcaster had misled the audience or that the programme was likely to encourage or incite criminal activity.
All the preachers featured were offered a right to reply and none of these individuals complained to Ofcom about the way they were represented. In these circumstances it seems perverse that Channel 4 should have found itself the subject of a police investigation, said Kevin Sutcliffe, Channel 4s deputy head of news and current affairs, who oversees Dispatches.
Ofcom rejected all 364 complaints received from viewers, saying that they appeared to be part of a campaign. (ANI)

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