Saturday, February 11, 2006

How News Is Made aka The Mysterious Missing Christians

"Muslims and Christians in protest march" - says the Scotsman website about this afternoon's march against "Islamophobia".

The icnews network proclaimed on its many sites "Christian groups are also joining the United Against Incitement and Islamophobia rally in Trafalgar Square to present a united front."

ITN stated that "Christian groups are also expected to join the United Against Incitement and Islamophobia rally in Trafalgar Square." Chinese news sites talked about the "united front". "Christian groups are also taking part in the rally at Trafalgar Square." said RTE Ireland.

Sounds like a pretty moderate event, if Christian groups are supporting it. UK Christians aren't renowned for extremism - or indeed for anything much- nowadays.

Trouble is, according to the websites of the organisers, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Islamic Forum of Europe, only ONE Christian group is backing the rally - Pax Christi, a 'peace group' wholly focused on Palestine and the Middle East and with an anti-Israel and anti-western agenda. One of the trustees of its educational arm is Norman Kember, currently a guest of an unknown Islamic group, the Swords of Truth Brigade, in Iraq. In such a circumstance the Pax Christi people probably feel attendance would not be unwise.

Organised by: Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), Da’watul Islam UK & EIRE, Federation of Student Islamic Societies in UK & EIRE (FOSIS) & The Islamic Cultural Centre and The Central Mosque Trust, Minhaj – ul – Quran International (MQI); Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), Friends of Al-Aqsa & UK Muslim Shi’ite Organisations

In coordination with: Pro-Hijab, Muslim Women Society, Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), London Muslim Centre, Al-Manar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, Council of Mosques, MAB Youth, Stop the War, CND, Operation Black Vote, PAX Christi, YMO UK, YMUK, Muslimaat UK, Stop Political Terror, Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT), North London Mosque, Muslim Welfare House, Mayfair Islamic Centre, Al-Habib Canning Town Masjid, Leeds Grand Mosque, Muslim College, Imans and Mosques Council UK, Muslim Directory

Supported by: Mayor of London & The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)
& British Muslim Forum (BMF) Sponsored by: Islam Channel, ARY Digital,
Channel S, Muslim Weekly & IWitness

Where are all these Christians coming from then ? Presumably from this BBC report last Thursday.

"The rally, 'United against Incitement and Islamophobia', has been organised by the Muslim Council of Britain (not true - as shown on the website they are 'supporters' - LT), the Muslim Association of Britain and a number of Christian organisations."

It appears other journalists haven't actually looked at the sites of the organisers and are taking the BBC word as ... er ... gospel.

Today it appears from the BBC that support has grown.

"The event was organised by the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain, with the backing of a number of Christian groups, peace organisations and the Mayor of London."

Peace organisations, eh ? Other than the one Christian group ? I suppose the Stop The War Coalition, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Socialist Workers Party, could call itself a peace group in that it doesn't want our soldiers to kill people in Iraq. They want people in Iraq to kill our soldiers. And the other 'peace' organisation, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, is currently led by someone who thinks the development of nuclear weapons by Iran should not be a matter for the UN Security Council.


Anonymous said...

This is good news. How many and who actually participates is questionable. However, them declaring support is a step forward. It is little known that christians and muslims lives together and support each other in places such as Irag and palestine.

Laban said...

Well, up to a point, Jamal. Iraqi Christians have been targeted by 'the resistance' quite a lot.

My mum got on OK with the locals when she did her pilgrimage to Bathlehem and Nazareth a few years back.

Do you think we could broker a compromise over control of Jerusalem by having a Christian administration, with equal rights for Jews and Muslims ? It didn't work last time but you never know.

Anonymous said...

Re. the BBC website howler.

Does no-one in the BBC monitor the website for egregious errors like this and if not why not? God knows they have enough staff.In this case it requires nothing more than the ability to read and count up to one.