If you thought the Sunday Times‘ recent attacks on Jack Straw for consorting with Islamist extremists were bizarre, the Sunday Express has gone one better by levelling the same accusation against Boris Johnson, under the jaw-dropping headine “Boris’s terror link”! In Johnson’s case, the charge is that Mohamed Ali Harrath, CEO of the Islam Channel, spoke at Eid in the Square last month, where the Islam Channel was one of the GLA’s media partners along with the BBC Radio Asian Network.
Step forward Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens of the Centre for Social Cohesion, who tells the Express: “The invitation shows a worrying inconsistency in what the Tories have said about Islamic extremism recently.” It was notable that Meleagrou-Hitchens was one of the few people to treat the Sunday Times attack on Jack Straw seriously (“the noose is tightening around both the MCB’s extremist connections and government ministers who have been championing them. It’s about time…”). Even Harry’s Place baulked at reproducing that particular rant, though their co-thinkers at the Spittoon evidently had no problems with it.
The parallels between the present wave of Islamophobia in the UK and the 1950s Red Scare in the US are increasingly striking. In both cases the campaign began as an attack on the Left but then broadened out into a general assault on anyone who failed to join in the hysterical witch-hunt against Communism/Islamism. This was what eventually discredited and destroyed McCarthy. Surely it can only be a matter of time before Meleagrou-Hitchens announces that the British Army has been infiltrated at the highest level by Islamist fellow travellers who pose a threat to national security.
Update: See also Meleagrou-Hitchens’ piece, “Boris fails to tackle Islamic extremism”, ConservativeHome, 27 October 2009