You may have noticed that any newspaper articles or TV programmes exposing the doings of Islamist radicals – such as the ones about the Islamic Forum of Europe which I’m in the process of bringing out at the moment – always attract weirdly formulaic, oven-ready complaints (“what the well-known racist and CIA agent Andrew Gilligan conveniently forgets to acknowledge is the decisive role of the IFE in promoting community cohesion, ending world poverty, stopping climate change,” etc, etc.) Well, I think I’ve solved the mystery.
Someone not a million miles from the IFE has kindly shown me an email purportedly sent out by Musleh Faradhi, the organisation’s president, last Tuesday, February 22nd. “We need to ensure Channel 4 receives a strong message from the community by being inundated with complaints,” says the email. That was nearly a week before transmission.
Then there’s the email – also seen by me – circulated at 6.12pm yesterday (Mon) by the IFE’s chums at the Muslim Council of Britain. “Do everything you can to get articulate responses ready and distributed from as many of our affiliates as possible…In essence, we need to make a noise out there and we need everyone’s help. It is vital we do this for our collective interests,” says the email purportedly from Tufael Ahmed of the MCB’s media committee. Still almost two hours till airtime, Tufael!
Here is some free media advice for the media committee. It would have been better not to be cross until you had actually seen the programme. Any sense that complaints are being “ensured” or that “articulate responses” are being “got ready” hours or even days beforehand might lead the rest of us to conclude that the outrage is somewhat… well, manufactured.
I might also remind my new fans of something that a previous object of my attentions, Ken Livingstone, had to learn the hard way. We have amassed a great deal of material on this story, much of which has not so far emerged. Don’t rush in to any (further) denials which you may later come to regret.
I have no doubt that many of my “articulate responders” will complain on the grounds I’ve claimed that the IFE is at the heart of a giant Islamist conspiracy that Links Everything Together. I haven’t said that, in fact – but if I wanted to say it, I don’t think I’d need much better evidence than Mr Ahmed’s email, with its apparent claim that the IFE is at the heart of “our collective interests.”