The Evening Standard, Mad Mel and the Muslim Council of Britain

Flames of HateOn 20 May, during a protest outside the US embassy in London against the desecration of the Qu’ran at Guantánamo, a minority of demonstrators chanted extremist slogans. The Evening Standard reported:

“Led by a man on a megaphone, they chanted, ‘USA watch your back, Osama is coming back’ and ‘Kill, kill USA, kill, kill George Bush’. A small detail of police watched as they shouted: ‘Bomb, bomb New York’ and ‘George Bush, you will pay, with your blood, with your head’.”

Though the Standard mentioned that only “some among the crowd” were responsible for chanting these slogans, the overall impression given was that the demonstration was dominated by such elements. If more moderate voices were present, you’d never have known it from the Standard report.

Evening Standard, 20 May 2005

Predictably Melanie Phillips leaped on this. Basing herself on the Evening Standard report, she claimed that “among the organisers of this revealing hate-fest” was the Muslim Council of Britain.

Melanie Phillips’s Diary, 24 May 2005

Yeah right, Melanie. The MCB is well known for its support of Osama bin Laden and its enthusiastic endorsement of 9/11. But why let facts get in the way of an outburst of anti-Muslim prejudice, eh?

For the MCB’s letter to the Evening Standard, see here.

See also Yusuf Smith’s comments, though he mistakenly accepts as good coin the Standard‘s false report that the MCB helped organise the demo.

Indigo Jo Blogs, 25 May 2005