In search of moderate Islam

The Observer has published its investigation of the extremist links of Great Britain’s “moderate” Muslim Council of Britain: “Radical links of UK’s ‘moderate Muslim group.” In a companion piece, the Observer reports on the MCB’s complaint that the BBC’s Panorama program on MCB affiliates has a “pro-Israel agenda”: “Muslim leaders in feud with BBC.” Martin Bright reports on a letter sent by the MCB to the BBC regarding an upcoming BBC Panorama program:

The BBC programme is thought to be highly critical of some MCB affiliates for their links to extremist Islamic ideology. Panorama, reporter John Ware is thought to challenge Sacranie over his boycott of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, his attendance at a memorial service for Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin and his equivocal stance on Palestinian suicide bombers.
The letter from Bung-lawala, sent last Thursday, repeatedly refers to the ‘pro-Israel lobby’ at the BBC, which is said to be behind the programme, although it does not specify who it means. Bunglawala says: ‘It appears the Panorama team is more interested in furthering a pro-Israeli agenda than assessing the work of Muslim organisations in the UK.
He regrets that ‘the Panorama team seem intent on creating mistrust by serving the interests of the pro-Israeli lobby and undermining community relations’.
The letter goes on: ‘The BBC should not allow itself to be used by the highly placed supporters of Israel in the British media to make capital out of the 7 July atrocities in London.’

It would be funny, if only…
In the New York Times Week in Review, Richard Bernstein takes a look at radical imams around Europe: “What is free speech, and what is terrorism?” Bernstein’s focus is the European reaction to calls for the murder of non-believers, but his piece also bears on the subject of the Observer’s articles.

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