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Wednesday, 5 September, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 5 Sep 07, 06:16 PM

Reading a bookExtremist library books
Are public libraries inadvertently helping political Islamists in their recruitment drive? We reveal how extremist Islamic literature - including works by men convicted of incitement to murder - are freely available in public libraries in Tower Hamlets and how the collection is, in the words of the man who carried out the research "warped" towards extreme Islam. One former Islamist tells us these kinds of books are "dangerous". So are these libraries failing their local community?

Terror arrests
Possibly more devastating than Madrid or London - That is the verdict of the German officials on arresting three terror suspects earlier today who are accused of plotting to blow up Frankfurt Airport and and American military base in the country. Those arrested appear to have spent time at a Pakistani terror training camp. We'll have the latest details.

A leaky pipe
A report into the Foot and Mouth outbreak earlier in the summer is expected to find that the virus was carried through faulty pipes which leaked during the floods. But who is to blame?

What hope for Darfur?
We travel to the region with the UN Secretary General as he visits a refugee camp in Darfur and assesses the humanitarian crisis. He's also meeting the Sudanese President to discuss the deployment of the UN/AU peacekeeping force. But how effective can the force be when the Sudanese government are calling the shots. Meanwhile factional fighting between several different rebel groups is making the situation even more difficult to resolve.

Wiki-future
We talk to the author of a new book called 'Wikinomics' who says we've barely begun to see how the internet will effect the way we live and work. Social networking is passe and will be replaced by collaboration in which individuals will be given the opportunity to become the professionals - leading to greater innovation and changing the way business and scientific problems can be solved. Is this a cheap way for businesses to carry out research or are we entering a new era in which the power of the consumer is on a more equal footing with big business? Read an extract and leave your thoughts here.

Army Special
And a quick reminder about our special programme on Thursday about the state of the army. We'll have the first interview with General Sir Mike Jackson in advance of the launch of his autobiography next week. And you can submit your own thoughts in writing on the website, or create a video message and send us a link by clicking here.

Comments  Post your comment

Which former Islamist will it be today - Hassan Butt, Ed Husain, Shiraz Maher or Maajid Nawaz? Why doesn't the BBC just give them their own department.

I am fed up with all this coverage of Islamism - is there not any other news?

  • 2.
  • At 06:37 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Newsnight

We should have sent the British army to Darfur years ago, and should act now, this is all taking too long. If the Sudanese are to blame for this it would be quite easy to disrupt their Oil Refinery operation, China might be unhappy but would not want to risk the West ceasing to restrict imports from them,

I'm not sure if you will mention the DNA datbase issue tonight, I support one,

While ID cards would be costly and not do the job claimed, a national DNA database would help reduce crime by making detection more certain.

ID cards to me do not carry the sort of risks to the nation that might come from Identity cards –these would enable the State to exercise much more control over the population than at the moment and although most Governments would exercise this benignly, what would happen if one came along one day that didn’t –how would we hide from them or fight back against this tyranny?

I being realistic here, if such a day arrived if ID cards were misused by the state resistance would be much more difficult.

Or a more likely eventuality, what would happen if civil servants became a little lazy and realized that getting something done might be a lot easier using the information available from or which could be added incrementally to ID cards rather than in more convoluted ways which involves the active freely given-participation, consultation and cooperation of the public in keeping with the spirit and ethos of a free liberal democratic society, and at more stages along the way within various processes but one example being the returning of various types of forms to branches of Government in which people voluntarily declare information to the government rather than the Government knowing almost everything already.

Would we want such a situation, would the benefits outweigh the risks?

The DNA database need not carry the sort of risks posed by Identity cards and they could do a lot to protect law abiding people across the country. I fully support the idea, along with it of course would have to be better safeguards for people within the criminal justice system but would that be a bad thing?

Not only does all serious offences leave DNA but 40% of burglaries as well which would mean that these criminals could be caught using less police resources which could be concentrated elsewhere.

‘Professor Stephen Bain, a member of the national DNA database strategy board, says expansion would be expensive and make mistakes more likely’.

-Once someone has being arrested they can be re-checked as many time as they want

If it is too expensive to launch nationally perhaps those who commit most offences should be profiled first ie young heterosexual males

And perhaps one way to start moving this forward might be to allow ordinary citizens to volunteer their DNA, so that if an offence is committed then the police can rule out these people as suspects and concentrate their efforts on those not on the register.

A senior judge has said that there is an ethnic profiling side to this but the database can be, or surely is already colour blind ie the sample needs to be matched only to a name and contact details but does not need to include details of race etc.

If this is of concern such details of race could be deleted from the database without making it less effective.

Bob

Bob has raised DNA (Do Not Argue)

There is a myth that science is very clever and near infallible. Having spent a lifetime in science-based activity, I warn against this view. If your DNA is deemed to have been found at “the scene” – you were there; that tends to be the view.
What matter that you were not? You will have plenty of time to concentrate on proving your case, and only have to pay a nominal charge for lodging on release – innocent. Sherlock Holmes was wrong about improbable-yet-right conclusions; sometimes, if what remains is highly improbable DNA evidence it might just mean your assumptions are wrong.

DNA (Data Never Absolute)

  • 4.
  • At 10:40 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Has the newsnight lost its objectism? Why is it constantly having stories about muslims, I watch newsnight to get away from the propaganda but here we go again....

  • 5.
  • At 10:54 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • mac wrote:

How do the majority of people understand minority views in our society unless there are copies of books expressing their veiws readily available?

Instead of stocking Mein Kampf should my local library recommend I go to the local NF bookshop?


How does your centre right spokesperson know what these books say?

Switch on the radio or TV , open the paper and you get the hegemonic view.

The sad truth is that people are more interested in, need to know more about and try to inform themselves better about more thorough going versions of every religion and viewpoint than the mainstream versions.

I bet local libraries and the internet get more hits for Scientology and Mormonism than they do for the C of E.

I bet libraries have got hundreds of copies of the Da Vinci Code and lots about the current Pope as a Nazi and rather few copies of collected articles from the Tablet.

If you keep stirring us up about these Moslemic views we shall try to read about them. I shall order all of the books you mentioned today at my local library tomorrow.

Could you please list the authors nad titles clearly on the web site so I don't have to wade through 'Listen Again' to find them. With thanks,

mac.

  • 6.
  • At 11:00 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Abuhuzayfah wrote:

Finally some exposure of the extent of Wahaabi infiltration from an INDEPENDENT think tank and people are saying we are sick of hearing about "Islamism" - ... so am I. I wish they would stop their bloody campaign in the name of Islaam (peace)!!

  • 7.
  • At 11:05 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

Libraries across the country had no problem banning Enid Blyton, but Islamic terrorist literature of hate? That's clearly a step too far.

I'm going to tell Noddy about this, so there.

  • 8.
  • At 11:11 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Rob Brown wrote:

EXTREMIST LIBRARY BOOKS

I lost count of how many times the contributors to both the report and the studio debate decried censorship and yet went onto implicitly justify it.

The fact is that any form of censorship gives a totemic status to books (or films, or paintings, or whatever art form) which is far and beyond worse than allowing access to these literature on the shelves of public libraries.

It's absolutely necessary for all literature to be available to anyone who wants it in order to cultivate a free-thinking open society, and the restriction of material is most definitely bowing to outside pressures. Of course this doesn't stop the police and government from keeping track of whether large numbers of contentious books are being withdrawn in whatever areas.

Mercer's attitude was hyperbolic and ridiculous in the extreme but I wouldn't expect anything less.

On a related note, I wish that commentators would try a little harder than trotting out references to Mein Kampf or Nazism whenever any issue of censorship is discussed. Not only is it lazy, it's not directly analogous.

  • 9.
  • At 11:17 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Charles Levin wrote:

Absolutely pathetic, Has Elser presented anything positive toward the Muslim community on Newsnight. A transparent agenda – shame on you!

  • 10.
  • At 11:18 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Shah Muhmud wrote:

I think that Ed Harris is a very poor example to help people raise the true meaning behind the programme. He is an opportunitist who only wrote a response to the 'flavour of the month'. Where was his story before the bombings?

Secondly, Libraries hould have the autonomy to reflect the local people needs and not be flogged by the Social Centre of Cohesion who are hard handed on issues concerning the growth or modest development of Islam in the west. In particular we have seen the stance of this guy on Questime Time where people were in disgust on his far right neo racsit insenstive comments. Even their (CSC)website is contridictory in the sense that as soon as you enter the webpage you are riddled with titles of anti islamic book which are highly 'reccomended' including Ed Harris and Hate for the State. Aint it funny how both of them were coluding into the same meaning on the programme.

The sad truth is that they are now blaming the Libraries, residents and even the Tower Hamlets council as a whole for their complete failing. BBC shopuld be more careful on what they let loose and not be enticed into unreal social pressure and fear perpetrated by stealth neo right wings. BBC are still recovering for their blunder with public phone in issue and yet the nerve to display this act! Anyway what next? blame the post man?

  • 11.
  • At 11:18 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Mo wrote:

It seems that Newsnight is once again stoking up the anti-Muslim fire. There was talk of balance and representative views with regards to library books in the London library.
Yet, anything but balance, was portrayed on the program. I wonder if Mr Watson will investigate the British citizens who visit summer training camps in Israel or those who actually take part in active service? I think elephants are likely to fly first.

  • 12.
  • At 11:21 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • STEPHEN PAGE wrote:

I'm confused by the package about extremist material in public libaries and specifically tower hamlets.
News that extremists have material purchased using public tax payers money to further extremism should be shocking news and one to monitor closely and debate it, however I cannot seem to find any coverage of this anywhere.
Imagine if you would; that a public library in the UK was lending white racist lit, would that garner the same minimal coverage?
I think not.

  • 13.
  • At 11:22 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Paul B wrote:

One thing that people keep missing in the debate over Islamic extremism etc. is that God doesn't exist. That is the white elephant in the room. Therefor people who believe that there is a book written by a supernatural being which directs their lives are deluded. Why is this never mentioned on the news? I know that most intelligent news reporters don't believe in the supernatural so why report the news as if religions are sensible belief systems? For example the news doesn't pander to people who believe the holocaust didn't happen so why pander to those equally deluded people who believe in supernatural superbeings who supposedly created the world in seven days? BBC2 is behind BBC4 in this respect.

  • 14.
  • At 11:24 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Stephen Jones wrote:

Extremist Islamic literature?

My God when will people realise that the source for extremist Islamic literature is the Koran?

How long will it take for the West as a people to wake up?

  • 15.
  • At 11:25 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Mohammed Youssef wrote:

NEWSNIGHT HAS BECOME A JOKE!

Their endless "reports" on so-called Islamism and Extremism are pure propaganda and nothing close to journalism. Not just are they totally biased but the facts are wrong most of the time too. They also seem to be making a very big deal out of what are basically non-stories. As for the "former Islamists" that they seem to be addicted to, these people have no credibility whatsover amongst the muslim community and seem to have their own specific agendas (to promote their books maybe?).

Another point to make is about the guests that they bring on for the post-report discussion. Why not bring on a senior HT member for example that can properly criticise their joke of a report. No, what they do instead is bring on a Tory MP, a complete joker called Haris Rafiq from the extremlely marginal Sufi sect of Islam, and a very timid writer who with all due respect doesn't at all seem to be the right choice to balance out a panel such as this.

Finally, Sayid Qutb which was branded an extremist and terrorist throughout the report (including by Haris Rafiq) is actually one of the most respected Islamic intellectuals of all time. Speaking as a moderate muslim here, Sayid Qutb represents me way more than Haris Rafiq, Tariq Ramadan or any of those "former Islamists" ever could!

  • 16.
  • At 11:44 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

Matt @ 4.

This might just be because Islamic terrorism is the biggest threat to modern liberal democracies, but you get your head back right into the sand.

  • 17.
  • At 11:46 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Catherine Brown wrote:

Radical Islamic books in public libraries, since when has this been news? Do you really think that would be Islamists are going to use the public library service to brainwash people? Shame on you Newsnight for giving a platform to the right wing Islamaphobia of the "Centre for Social Cohesion". Just how does this debate add to any sense of social cohesion?? Followed swiftly by the piece on the arrest of terrorists in Germany, just in case anyone missed the point of where all this dangerous book reading can lead.

  • 18.
  • At 12:00 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

Dear Editor,

In your report[5/9/07]about extremist Islamic literature in Tower Hamlets' libraries, you quoted Abu Hamza, al-Wahhaba, al-Maududi and others. But the curious thing is you didn't bother to quote from older, more accepted Islamic sources, for example the works of Sahih Bukhari, al-Tabari, Ibn Ishaq and Sahih Muslim, all of whom I'm sure are freely available in libraries up and down this country. The Islamic Univerity of Medina has said that the Hadith collections of Sahih Bukhari are more authentic than all other sources combined and are second only to the Qur'an in importance. Therefore, it was odd to say the least that you ignored Bukhari's hadith literature in your report. Since the Hadith (Sunnah) is required learning for all Muslims (Qur'an 2:4), I find it hard to believe one cannot find a copy of it anywhere in Tower Hamlets. In one part of your report, you quoted al-Maududi, and his "al-Jihad fi al-Islam" book; why didn't you point out that his wording is virtually identical to that of Sahih Bukhari in HIS book "The Book of Jihad"? Take this quote for example:

"Jihad is holy fighting in Allah’s Cause with full force of weaponry. It is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its Pillars. By Jihad Islam is established, Allah is made superior and He becomes the only God who may be worshiped. By Jihad Islam is propagated and made superior. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and Muslims fall into an inferior position. Their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, and Muslim rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim. He who tries to escape this duty dies as a hypocrite." [source: Book of Jihad, page 580 of Maktba Dar-us-Salam’s publication of Sahih Al-Bukhari hadith]"

Seems very smiliar to what Maududi wrote, no?

Or how about the Noble Qur'an itself:

"Jihad (holy fighting in Allah's Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims), though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.....Warfare is ordained for you."[Qur'an:2:216]

"Believers, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger! Those who disbelieve and hinder men from the Cause of Allah, He will not pardon. Do not falter; become faint-hearted, or weak-kneed, crying for peace. You have the upper hand." [Qur'an: 47.33]

The fact you insisted on putting it foward that the rhetoric being preached by Hamza, Maududi, and others in these "extremist" books represents only "extremists" and does not represent mainstream Islam was just intellectually bankrupt reporting. Either that or it was a bare faced lie. It certainly was a glaring omission. Or perhaps you actually think people like al-Wahhab and Abu Hamza just sit around inventing this rubbish out of thin air? Of course they don't; their inspiration is ISLAM and all the texts that comprise it. If you insist on reporting issues of this nature, at least try to grow a backbone about it. This report was so feebly minded I wondered why you bothered.

Regards,
Tim

re- Extremist Islamic Literature in Tower Hamlet Libraries
Sorry to upset your contributors (1) and(4) above who are fed up with bad news coverage about Islam. I'm fed up with more muslims invited to Newsnight discussions than non-Muslims: again on tonight's program.

The female muslim rep said that she 'had a problem with censorship'. Would she therefore welcome books on the library shelves of (say) the cartoons that so enraged muslims worldwide? Would that be worse than books advocating anarchy?

I'm glad to see that the previous shadow Homeland Security man, sacked for daring to speak the truth about racism in the ranks, has been allowed back to voice strong views against this dangerous trend. His comments were censored before; the obsession with political correctness suggests that citizens are not free to express views against cultures that we find alien, yet convicted criminals are free to encourage extremism and terrorism via books on the shelves of our public libraries.

It might help to close the gap between cultures if we did allow some censoring of dangerous material: as with tobacco and drugs, so with anything advocating violence, hard porn, and many other things that are socially harmful and divisive. Alternatively, we could go the way of USA and allow freedom to bear arms without licence, so that we can defend ourselves against the growing violence in our English society.

For my part, I'm grateful to Newsnight for exposing another example of the stupid tolerance, apathy, complacency and lethargy of the electorate who fail to see that none of the major political parties seem concerned to take firm action on the growing evidence of the damage that multi-culturalism and uncontrolled immigration are causing to this country. How many more threats to our security do we need before we finally react?

  • 20.
  • At 12:20 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Paul Davis wrote:

I am glad that it still not against the law to critisize religions. For example we should be able to discuss Mohammed's 30 wives including one who was 9 years old. Therefor, it is not being islamaphobic since there is a lot to be critical of. But these critisms should be based on the facts. Equally we could question Jesus' real relationship with the prostitute Mary Magdeline. Gandi used to go to bed with virgins to 'see if he could resist them', oh please. When icons are revered without question then it is called a cult.

The news often falls into the trap of giving too much respect to icons. You would have thought that since the Garry Glitter debacle people would realise that most famous people don't deserve this admiration.

For example when newsnight made such a fuss over the Elvis' aniversary where in fact Elvis was a philanderer and started his relationship with his wife when she was just 15. The news always seems to ignore these facts.

In the Heather-Paul McCartney separation trials, the media automatically took the side of the famous icon. I could go on...

  • 21.
  • At 12:27 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Ray Dawson wrote:

Douglas Murray who wrote in his books Neoconservatism: Why we need it that "Government-funded state schools should, with the exception of a small number of Jewish schools, be Christian, and of those the great majority should be Anglican" (p.158). As for Muslim schools, he wrote: "The attitude towards Muslim schools should be exceptional....if any Muslim academies are allowed to exist, they should be funded entirely privately, with no taxpayer assistance and should be subject to uniquely strict regulation and inspection. If such conditions are considered unbearable, then Muslims will have to try their luck in other countries" (p.106)

This is clear hatred for Muslims and has nothing to do with social cohesion. How can the BBC and Newsnight take the work of a man like this as objective reserach and use it for their lead story? Are the Necons now running the BBC now?

  • 22.
  • At 12:27 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • yann langdon wrote:

free speech or not free speech? that is the question. the young lady on the panel didn't seem to know the answer to this crucial question.... ban the satanic verses, but definetly don't ban extremist muslim literature.... i think i spot a slight flaw in logic there.

  • 23.
  • At 12:55 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • steve rowbotham wrote:

How typical that Khola Hasan is given air-time on the BBC to make special pleading against the removal of hate-filled Islamicist writing from the libraries of Tower Hamlets because she disagrees with "censorship", and yet the hypocrisy of her position isn't even challenged.

Is this the same Khola Hasan that regularly drafts letters to the Independent and the Guardian to decry the latest perceived "insult" against Islam, whether it be Jyllands-Posten cartoons, Jack Straw expressing an opinion about the veil, or ordinary British people daring to call the practice of stoning adulterers "barbaric"? Apparently, censorship is to be deplored when it's applied to members of her religion, but demanded for it's critics. Hasan is quick to lecture us that "freedom of speech is not a synonym for freedom to spread hatred" (The Independent, 9th February 2006) when a newpaper publishes cartoons she doesn't like, but apparently this doesn't apply to the writings of Islamic extremists.

Hasan's attempt to portray herself as in favour of free and open debate is disingenuous in the extreme.

  • 24.
  • At 01:01 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

re:pippop @7

I've read these kind of books,

"Famous Five go to Pakistani"

After several months in a Pakistani training camp the famous five come back to England and set up a hairdressing salon selling peroxide for six shillings a gallon. The entire nation suddenly develops blond hair and the CRE has to be abandoned regrouping in Jamaica. However, with forged passports they return setting up a Rastafarian allotment growing janjaweed for export to Darfur.

With the Famous Five onto them, their little game is blown. They are sent to the House of Social Cohesion where 72 virgins convert them to Shia bliss.......and so on.

[This has not got a Sunni outcome.]

This literature goes on and on corrupting our secular democracy and I for one think that there should be zero tolerance of Enid Blyton who I know to have been a member of the Hizb uT Tahrir.

  • 25.
  • At 04:05 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • John H wrote:

Well Done Newsnight.

Contrary to the Centre For Social Cohesion being 'racist' 'anti-muslim' or 'Islamophobic' (all the usual charges by the jihadist apologists and intolerant Left), this was a very informative and honest report.

The overwhelming majority of the books are reactionary and extremist propaganda. I agree with the panel that the libraries need to show more balance and include liberal, reformist and secular Muslim books to counter-act the hateful ideology of Qutb and his admirers.

As for 'right-wing neocon monster' Douglas Murray, I thought his contribution was excellent (as is his book).

He shows that the Centre for Social Cohesion is doing valuable work which will promote real assimilation, integration and help defend the liberal democratic West (and its Judeo-Christian heritage) - and not keep propagating the failed 'multicultural' dogma of the Left and making excuses, rationalizations and justifications for Islamic Jihadism.

Patrick Mercer and Mr Murray seem to be taking this threat seriously, unlike some other politicians and intellectuals in this country.....

  • 26.
  • At 08:10 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • STEPHEN PAGE wrote:

I'm confused by the package about extremist material in public libaries and specifically tower hamlets.
News that extremists have material purchased using public tax payers money to further extremism should be shocking news and one to monitor closely and debate it, however I cannot seem to find any coverage of this anywhere.
Imagine if you would; that a public library in the UK was lending white racist lit, would that garner the same minimal coverage?
I think not.

  • 27.
  • At 09:12 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • rose wrote:

It was mentioned several times by the interviewees that the majority of Muslims are NOT radicals. So why didn’t Gavin Esler ask the young lady, who said that the Muslims would be upset if the government banned these books, whether the majority of Muslims who are not radical would actually be pleased if these books that promote hatred of the West and anti-Semitism should be banned?

  • 28.
  • At 10:23 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Anita Bullock wrote:

The Neocons are on the run in the US, from the courts for telling huge mountains of lies, from public inquiries about their "push to war" in Iraq, and from compelling evidence of involvement in the 9/11. So Britain is now their only hope and new play ground. Sadly the BBC is becoming their mouth piece. Everyday the Beeb is looking more and more like the Fox News Network, where anti-Muslim hate preaching Neocons are portrayed as objective "experts". Doughlas Murray is a perfect example of a Neocon whose real agenda is to attack anyone who opposes Israel. It is not beyond him to have arranged himself for those books to be donated to the libraries in order to justify his witch hunt. If the BBC was not partisan to the Murray campaign they would have, like good journalists,try to find out when were those books added to the libraries? The Muslim youth do not depend on books in public libraries for their religious education. Most the the radicals take their teachings from the internet and direct contact with other like minded individuals. This is story has an uncanny resemblance the activities of Daniel Pipes' anti-Muslim Campus watch in the USA...but who will tell the BBC about that?

  • 29.
  • At 10:29 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/000805.php
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1935547,00.html

Wasn't last night's introductory piece just another example of the 'pro-Israeli'/Neo-Labour lobby vilifiying 'Stalinist' Islam once again?

They are all for promotion of free speech and 'democracy' so long as this undermines the opposition (hence their NGOs promoting Human Rights etc in Russia). But domestically? You musn't challenge the interests of the neo-cons and Neo-Labourites. Do that, and you'll strangely find your 'offensive material' removed as being in breach of some 'Talk Policy' ('does this offend you, let us know' etc) which is just a catch all. Certainly the 'liberal' Guaradian Comment Is Free (CiF) censors if and when one crosses their politically correct line, and I've heard that some users end up with their IP addresses blocked. What's that other than confirmation of the media being a propaganda machine?

Another expose:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jonathan_cook/2007/08/the_propaganda_machine.html

The problem isn't that of well-organised political groups ('think tanks', some will be sheltered as charities given the new Act) having their say through the media, that's 'liberal democracy' (see last link). The problem is the censorship, and bias against any those who disagree with the suggestion that as critics they are just nazis, islamo-fascists, inciting violence etc. Any ideology other than Trotskyist/Anarcho-Capitalist ideology is vilified as Islamo-Fascist or Nazi. It's a clever game. It's an old game.

Take the clip of East London last night. At one point it subtly distorted history by stating that Mosley marched against the East End Jews. But the reality was much more complex (he was marching against Jewish Trotskyites the 'neocons' of the 1930s). By making out it was just irrational discrimination against nice Jewish people, Mosley was made to look like an ogre. The reality was that the East End Jewish community had a long history of activism in support of Bolshevism and anarchism. Something Stalin was not too keen on either!

Plus ca change?

Radical Islam today is the world's front line of Stalinism/Hitlerism. Note that Ahmadinejad was guest of honour, and note the trms of the SCO's pact.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/17/wputin117.xml
http://www.vdare.com/buchanan/070831_war.htm

Should we not be listening rather than painting Islam, Iran (and Putin) as the bogeyman? Or should the BBC etc just toe the party line in pursuit of 'our' interests?

http://www.hitler.org/speeches/12-10-40.html

  • 30.
  • At 10:57 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Anita Bullock wrote:

The Neocons are on the run in the US, from the courts for telling huge mountains of lies, from public inquiries about their "push to war" in Iraq, and from compelling evidence of involvement in the 9/11. So Britain is now their only hope and new play ground. Sadly the BBC is becoming their mouth piece. Everyday the Beeb is looking more and more like the Fox News Network, where anti-Muslim hate preaching Neocons are portrayed as objective "experts". Doughlas Murray is a perfect example of a Neocon whose real agenda is to attack anyone who opposes Israel. It is not beyond him to have arranged himself for those books to be donated to the libraries in order to justify his witch hunt. If the BBC was not partisan to the Murray campaign they would have, like good journalists, try to find out when were those books added to the libraries? The Muslim youth do not depend on books in public libraries for their religious education. Most the the radicals take their teachings from the internet and direct contact with other like minded individuals. This is story has an uncanny resemblance to the activities of Daniel Pipes' anti-Muslim Campus Watch in the USA...but who will tell the BBC about that?

  • 31.
  • At 11:09 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Zak wrote:

Douglas Murray (neocon)publishes report and newsnight make it their lead story, if you had seen DM on Question Time and read some of his literature you will find his true filling toward Muslims. When something get published that ridicule, criticize Muslim fundamental believe, Freedom of speech is branded around, but when Muslim publish thing that we don’t like, we are thinking about taking away that same freedom, you can have it both way

Ed Husain, is Newsnight his publicist for his book, they seem to dig him up on every so often

Used to be a grate fan of Newsnight, hard hitting, serious, objective news program, but this days it should be renamed to Newsnight lite, keep it up and Newsnight will end up looking like Fox "News"

  • 32.
  • At 11:25 AM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Zak wrote:

Douglas Murray (neocon publishes report and newsnight make it their lead story, if you had seen DM on Question Time and read some of his literature you will find his true filling toward Muslims. When something get published that ridicule, criticize Muslim fundamental believe, Freedom of speech is branded around, but when Muslim publish thing that we don’t like, we are thinking about taking away that same freedom, you can have it both way

Ed Husain, is Newsnight his publicist for his book, they seem to dig him up on every so often

Used to be a grate fan of Newsnight, hard hitting, serious, objective news program, but this days it should be renamed to Newsnight lite, keep it up and Newsnight will end up looking like Fox "News"

Douglas Murray is an active advocate of the neoconservatist philosophy. He lambastes leftists as nihilists and condemns multiculturalism as the ideology of Western suicide.

Having said that, Douglas Murray is a self-described liberal, like all neocons. He condemns anyone who doubts the staying power of liberal democracy in the Muslim world as racists. He believes, like George W Bush, that freedom is the highest human yearning in all peoples and all cultures, apparently not knowing that Islam means "submission", the exact opposite of freedom.

And, of course, like all neocons his silence on the crucial issue of Muslim immigration is deafening. In Douglas Murray's worldview, Muslims should be relentlessly bombed overseas while being welcomed by their millions as immigrants to the West. Neocon one-worlders believe, against all evidence, that all cultures can be easily assimilated into our societies, and any foreign nation can be transformed into a liberal democracy by invasion and regime change.

Douglas Murray and his neocon ilk are now beating the war drums over Iran and their nuclear program. If we can't allow unfriendly nations to possess nukes, then according to neocon logic we should bomb and invade North Korea, Pakistan, China, Russia, India and France. Their silence about Israeli possession of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is deafening.

Douglas Murray is an active advocate of the neoconservatist philosophy. He lambastes leftists as nihilists and condemns multiculturalism as the ideology of Western suicide.

Having said that, Douglas Murray is a self-described liberal, like all neocons. He condemns anyone who doubts the staying power of liberal democracy in the Muslim world as racists. He believes, like George W Bush, that freedom is the highest human yearning in all peoples and all cultures, apparently not knowing that Islam means "submission", the exact opposite of freedom.

And, of course, like all neocons his silence on the crucial issue of Muslim immigration is deafening. In Douglas Murray's worldview, Muslims should be relentlessly bombed overseas while being welcomed by their millions as immigrants to the West. Neocon one-worlders believe, against all evidence, that all cultures can be easily assimilated into our societies, and any foreign nation can be transformed into a liberal democracy by invasion and regime change.

Douglas Murray and his neocon ilk are now beating the war drums over Iran and their nuclear program. If we can't allow unfriendly nations to possess nukes, then according to neocon logic we should bomb and invade North Korea, Pakistan, China, Russia, India and France. Their silence about Israeli possession of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is deafening.


Newsnight's report leant heavily on views offered by Ed Hussain known for capitalizing with a hiss-and-sell approach since these days literary success is guaranteed for whistle-blowing or outright alarmist Muslims. Some individuals have criticise Ed Hussain for being opportunistic and profiteering from the current climate of fear and anxiety. He is happy to reinforce sterotypes and justifies this by saying he knows what inspires terrorists - the likely inference being that his book is an educational tool. Husain provides no new answers and no fresh information, notes Riazat Butt in The Guardian and asks why Ed Hussain is being greeted with an adulation that is both embarrassing and unwarranted? A review article in Australian Age speculates that individuals like Ed Harris are not bestowed media spots "because they are gifted writers but because their tell-all tales of Muslim woe capture the imaginations of morally outraged outsiders who have always suspected something was rotten with Islam but feel better hearing it from a purported insider."

Newsnight viewers are better served if reminded appropriately that Douglas Murray, is the author of Neo-Conservatism: Why We Need It.

At London's World Civilizations: Dialogue or Clash Conference in January 2007, Murray speaking as co-panelist for Daniel Pipes claimed that the majority of Muslims were on the wrong side of civilization and "Multiculturalism has been a disaster." Full text is at
[london.gov.uk/mayor/equalities/docs/clash-transcript-murray.pdf]

He has been criticising Ken Livingstone for promoting multi-culturalism in U.K.

If has wondered who would be more appropriate to talk about "social" and "cohesion" none could be farther from these concepts than Douglas Murray exemplifies an exact opposite of those terms. For Murray's open neo-conservatist biases see his speech at Hudson Institute:
[westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2007/07/douglas-murray-.html]

Later at the discussion, one could not get what makes Patrick Mercer relevent or qualified enough about influence of extremist books on young minds. The once shadow homeland security minister, has been axed from the Conservative frontbench after claiming racism is "part and parcel" of army life.

Let's suppose that the libraries of the Tower Hamlets council take off all those books that M/S Watson, Murray and Mercer find 'objectionable'. Let's replace them with equal number of copies of 'alternate' works, would it really keep fringe youth away from extremism?

  • 36.
  • At 12:04 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • KL wrote:

Maybe it is time for Oswald Mosley to be reappraised. Serial adulterer, failed politician, and naive enough to think that the presence of Hitler and Goebbels at his secret wedding mightn't be 'misinterpreted'.

Sounds credible.

  • 37.
  • At 12:38 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

If books are not powerful then restrictions are not necessary. If we say they are powerful [like handing out loaded guns] then there should be restrictions. In a good society we do not hand out loaded guns to people so neither should we hand out books?

Talking of wiki have you seen their list of banned books? It includes Call of the Wild and the Wealth of Nations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_books

  • 38.
  • At 02:35 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Eileen Regan wrote:

I find it ironic that politically correct local authorities would see fit to strip bare their library shelves of 'racist, sexist and outdated' Enid Blyton books, yet feel justified in replacing them with 'extremist Islamic literature'. I think I'd prefer to share my community with people who had spent their summer holidays reading about places like Kirrin Island, than with people who had swotted up on how to become a terrorist or visited a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

  • 39.
  • At 02:57 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Paula Varley wrote:

Isn't it about time Richard Watson was fully investigated, and the results exposed on Newsnight? What underpins his obsession with Islam? What on earth is going on at Newsnight these days? Why do you keep peddaling this inflammatory garbage? The passages which were read aloud, from the books written by "criminals", were banal. It became increasingly obvious as the piece went on, that there was nothing very much to support the shock/drama/horror.

The Nazis banned books. Aren't we supposed to be better than them? Why give a peripheral group, like this neo-con think-tank who produced this thinly veiled attack on our right of freedom of expression, such a prominent platform? And why pitch the emphasis in their favour?

Please explain the agenda you are working to. The recent reports filed by this reporter, Richard Watson, represent a sustained attack on a minority, who must feel isolated enough. But it's clearly a matter of editorial policy, and it is about time it was explained.

Finally, as far as I am aware, no-one banned Salman Rushdie's book. He was honoured for services to literature.

  • 40.
  • At 04:00 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Z Hussain wrote:

Newsnight - 5/9/07

Library in my town of Rochdale has some of the most extremist books ever written by radical muslim clerics. But it also contains books on Islam that contain some of the best material to prevent radicalisation on young muslims' mind. I believe that this is the type of balance that ought to exist in every library, school, and collage. We cannot start banning undesireable books; but we can counter their effect by other books. I believe our values are far greater; and so we can easily win without censoring or killing our enemies.

In a lecture to commemorate the death of Pim Fortuyn, Murray said, "All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop...Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. We in Europe owe—after all—no special dues to Islam. We owe them no religious holidays, special rights or privileges. From long before we were first attacked it should have been made plain that people who come into Europe are here under our rules and not theirs. There is not an inch of ground to give on this one. Where a mosque has become a centre of hate it should be closed and pulled down. If that means that some Muslims don't have a mosque to go to, then they'll just have to realise that they aren't owed one."

It was no surprise to me that Newsnight once again dragged out the ex-Jamaat Islamist, ex-HT, ex-ISB, Ed Husain to comment on the story - he made some silly point about Muslim extremists not listening to music and not allowing mixing between men and women.

Of course, I have little doubt that Husain hopes that libraries across the country will be pulling this 'extremist' literature from the shelves and placing large orders with Penguin Books for the much discredited "The Islamist". Incidentally, Murray is happy to promote Husain's book on the frontpage of the Centre for Social Cohesion website.

It was also little surprise to see Haras Rafiq of the widely discredited (even amongst traditional Sufis) Sufi Muslim Council. For those of you who are interested, the Centre for Social Cohesion has an interesting article about the Sufi Muslim Council and its links to neoconservatism.

  • 42.
  • At 06:53 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Alan C wrote:

This is a reasonable debate about the proper use of public funds, not about banning books. I think that was made clear in the discussions. Exposing, and countering, a dangerous trend towards militant Islamism in our immigrant communities is a public service that benefits everyone, except those who would kill and maim in the name of jihad. Well done Newsnight, keep it up.

#39 points out “as far as I am aware, no-one banned Salman Rushdie’s book...” Well, duh. They went one step further and banned Rushdie himself. He has lived under a death-fatwa since the Satanic Verses was published. The same goes for anyone brave or foolhardy enough to publish cartoons of Mohammed. What is wrong with you people, can’t you see who is doing the censoring?

  • 43.
  • At 10:19 PM on 06 Sep 2007,
  • Neal wrote:

I've often been critical of the BBC and Newsnight for its sneering liberal bias and its facile anti-war, anti-patriotic, anti-Bush agenda.

However, they have restored my faith (slightly) with their superb report on the proliferation of anti-Western pro-Jihad literature in a public library in London.

They quite rightly dropped the 'poverty causes terror' 'Bush causes terror' 'America and Israel are the real terrorists' mantra of the relativist Left and decided to take the totalitarian ideology of Islamic jihadism seriously.

The philosophical and intellectual roots of this movement are fascinating and the BBC (and the Centre for Social Cohesion) should be congratulated for exposing he dominance of jihadist propaganda on our bookshelves.

As is compulsory with the anti-American Left and the Islamist sympathizers, the BBC is hysterically denounced as 'racist', 'Islamophobic', 'inflammatory' etc....all the usual tactics to shut debate down and anathematize people.

When people spend their time attacking the BBC for being 'Fox News' (laughable), the Centre for Social Cohesion for being 'right-wing' (so what?), Douglas Murray for being a 'neoconservative' (not even relevant to the argument), democratic Israel for having nuclear weapons but not theocratic Iran (moral relativism at its most ridiculous), Ed Husein for being a whistle-blower and self-publicist (both false and contemptible).......then you clearly can see that the sensibilities of the anti-Western Left and their Muslim extremist friends are rattled.

And for those who are interested, Mr Murray's 'hate filled anti-Muslim neocon' speeches, articles and books are worth reading in their entirety (not just the out of context selective quotations posted which are a fatuous attempt to attack him).

And I would also recommend people not just read Ed Husein's superb book, but also Qutb and the jihadist literature itself - anti-democracy, anti-secular, anti-women, anti-semitic, anti-gay, anti-tolerance, anti-pluralism.........

That really is 'hate-filled', 'racist' and 'bigoted' and worth shouting out loud about.

Branding a book as 'balanced' or 'biased' is relative to one's perceptions and priorities.

In a zeal to make USSR's invasion of Afghanistan into a "bleeding wound"
those books cited by Watson were distributed globally by container loads.

According to Bob Woodward’s book ”Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987.” William Casey believed not only in the President Reagan’s ”evil empire” brand of anti-Communism but also in taking risks.
For pitting innocent minds against the Communists, motivational [Jihadi] literature proved an effective means to ensure supply of cheap cannon fodder.

According to the Houston Post, In Charlie Wilson’s War, George Crile reveals in extraordinary detail the over-the-top, under-the-table machinations of Charles Wilson, as he spearheaded what eventually became known as the Soviets’ Vietnam.”

CNN would recall interviewing Jere Van Dyk the author of “In Afghanistan” and a former reporter for The New York Times. In the early 1980s he covered the Afghan-Soviet war, living with the Afghan rebels.

Van Dyk recalls:
“In the mid-1980s, Pakistani and American military officers did train certain members of the mujahadin. We were introducing new weaponry to them, and we wanted them to win their war. So we did do some training. We did not fight with them. And bin Laden did, at the beginning, work with the Americans.”
Crile and the subject of the book, former Texas congressman Charlie Wilson, will speak to the Friends of the LBJ Library on October 7, 2003.
According to the book’s publisher, The Atlantic Monthly Press, “George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the Agency’s history. At a time when Ronald Reagan faced a total cutoff of funding for the Contra war, Wilson, who sat on the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee, managed to procure hundreds of millions of dollars to support the mujadiheen.”

Perhaps it is too early for Murray to have such historical hindsight and too late for Watson to recall any retrospective.!

  • 45.
  • At 05:09 PM on 07 Sep 2007,
  • Quevoni wrote:

All it Takes is some basic research to investigate the bias's of your own sources and how reliable they might be.

There's a new technology that makes the task all that easier, it's called a search engine, one such helpful tool is Google:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=sufi+council+britain&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sufi+council+britain&hl=en&start=10&sa=N

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufi_Muslim_Council

Anyone who's actually interested in balanced analysis/journalism can do their own googling and benefit by not suffering the day-2-day-like excitable bigotry of newsnight.

As for newsnight, what have you become?

One way of judging a person is by observing the company they keep; on that count objective viewers can see for themselves where newsnights heart now lies and how much it believes in journalistic rigor.


Will anyone from the newsnight production team comment on here; will anyone on it have the perspective to realise that watson's work ALL follows just one track.

  • 46.
  • At 08:20 PM on 07 Sep 2007,
  • dmatr wrote:

This is not a censorship issue. The issue here is public money being spent on Islamic extremist literature, seemingly to the exclusion of mainstream Islamic literature.

It is completely unacceptable for publicly-funded libraries to adopt such a strategy on any subject, especially so on Islam.

It mainstreams Islamic extremism and provides a misleading view of contemporary Islam to library users (both muslim and non-muslim alike), at a time when there are clearly significant problems with social cohesion in some communities.

It is absolutely right that Newsnight highlights this misuse of public funds, and it should redouble its efforts to identify who was responsible for this extraordinary decision in the Tower Hamlets council.

It is dispiriting the way some commenters appear to think bluster and sidestepping the issue are effective alternatives to a reasoned analysis of subject.

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