Sunny Hundal gives a plug to Martin Bright and his forthcoming Channel 4 attack on the MCB and Mockbul Ali. “When asked his thoughts on whispered accusations of him being Islamophobic, he says he finds the idea ‘laughable’.”
Yeah, right. This would be the same Martin Bright who told a FOSIS conference last year that he had no problem describing himself as an Islamophobe because, he explained, there is a lot in Islam to be fearful of.
I note that on Wednesday Bright is addressing a seminar organised by Policy Exchange, the right-wing Tory think tank headed by the appalling Dean Godson. Godson is a notorious opponent of the Peace Process in the north of Ireland, and the purpose of the seminar is evidently to draw a parallel between the the UK government’s supposed capitulation to Irish Republican “terrorists” and its capitulation to Islamism. In both cases, Godson’s line is that the government should reject dialogue and co-operation with organisations that have mass support in the community and instead turn to other individuals with more “acceptable” politics who represent nobody but themselves.
People like … well, Sunny Hundal.
From: Dean Godson [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Fri 07/07/2006 20:43
Subject: Martin Bright on ‘Government’s flirtation with radical Islam’
Policy Exchange is delighted to invite you to a highly controversial lunchtime seminar with Martin Bright, Political Editor of the New Statesman — who will be launching his new pamphlet, “When Progressives Treat With Reactionaries: the British State’s flirtation with radical Islamism”. The seminar will take place at 12.30pm on Wednesday 12 July at our offices here in Westminster.
In his new pamphlet, Bright brings together his unique run of classified ‘scoops’ on the British State’s policy of accommodating Islamist reactionaries at home and abroad. With the aid of official papers that have never been published before, Bright will explain his concern that the Foreign Office is deeply involved in promoting radical Islamist influence inside Britain itself.
Bright, who was formerly Home Affairs Editor at the Observer, will discuss the story of these leaked and previously unpublished materials. He will also preview key extracts from his highly controversial 30 Minutes film for Channel 4, “Who Speaks For Muslims?” to be shown on Channel 4 on Friday 14 July at 7:30 pm. The documentary further investigates why a self-consciously progressive New Labour Government prefers to work with Islamist reactionaries rather than genuine Muslim liberals or secularists of Muslim origin.
To set this policy of accommodating radicals in a broader context, and to look at other examples of such late and post-imperial British approaches, Bright will be joined by a panel of experts. They will include Sean O’Callaghan, former head of IRA southern command and the highest ranking defector from Provisionals, who will talk about how Whitehall ditched Northern Ireland’s constitutional nationalists to make a deal with republicans; Haras Rafiq, a prominent Muslim businessman from the north west who served on the Home Office panel appointed after 7/7, “Preventing Extremism Together”; and Professor Neal Robinson, a leading authority on Islam.
I very much hope you will be able to join us for what I am sure will prove a fascinating and revealing event.
Dean Godson, Research director, Policy Exchange