Life On Gilligan’s Island (Part 20) or Join the Dots with Gilly

Britain's premier investigative journalist or a figure of fun?

Today, Kennite turns his attention away from his favourite twin obsessions and focuses on a group called iEngage whom he describes as “an organisation of Islamist sympathisers”. Why? Because they challenge Islamophobia? or is it the fact that they have met with some parliamentarians that concerns Gilligoon. Turns out, that’s exactly the case. Kennite blasts,

A body called iEngage (also known as Engage) states in a press releasethat it will be acting as the secretariat to a new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, whose inaugural meeting was held yesterday in the Commons. The group is chaired by a Tory MP, Kris Hopkins. The Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes and the Labour peer Lord Janner are vice-chairs. Sources say that the inaugural meeting was attended by the Tory MPs Angie Bray and Eric Ollerenshaw, and the Labour MP Lisa Nandy, among others.

Then he says,

I’m quite certain all these people are sincere individuals who would have no truck with Islamism or extremism. Indeed, at least one of them is Jewish. But they are being used. They need to look much more closely at who they are getting into bed with.

Do you expect me to take this stuff seriously? I have actually had a good look around iEngage’s website and nowhere on that site is there any praise for ‘Islamism’, ‘terrorism’ or any other ‘ism’ for that matter. I think what irks Silly Gilly is the fact that Mohammad Sawalha recently won a libel case against Mad Mel Phillips and Kennite’s other employer, The Spectator. The reason for his blog therefore is obvious: it’s an attempt to smear iEngage because they had the ‘temerity’ to take on a libel suit against a right wing journalist and a right wing magazine and win. There’s a smell of hubris about Gilligan. I wonder if he realizes this?

Once again, it appears that Gilligan has produced a story (for that is what it is) without leaving the comfort of his home. He says that iEngage,

It attacked the BBC’s recent Panorama documentary on racist Muslim schools – showing that some children are being taught anti-Semitism and Sharia punishments – as a “witch-hunt.” Typically, it launched its attack before even seeing the programme. It was almost alone in this criticism – faced with Panorama’s clear evidence, even some of the usual Islamist suspects kept quiet.

They have a right to their opinions. Indeed I only saw part of the programme and I thought it was sensationalist tosh. Panorama has really gone down the pan since it returned to our screens. Anyone who has studied Media Studies will tell you that there is a disappointing lack of hard news on television these days. Sensationalism is no substitute for real  news.

It doesn’t end there.

It attacked me for writing about the East London Mosque’s hosting of the terrorist preacher, Anwar al-Awlaki, in 2009.

And,

It peddled the straightforward lietold by the mosque that no-one had realised Awlaki was a bad egg at that stage. In fact, Awlaki had been identified by the US government two months before as a spiritual leader of the 9/11 hijackers – and the mosque knew this.

Really? You’re going to have to produce some evidence and not the usual fact-free nonsense that you spew out to your audience. This is all personal. It’s all about him. He’s hurt. Tough shit.

He produces this red herring,

There is no question that Muslims face substantial bigotry and discrimination in this country – although the claim, often made by Islamists, that it is “rising” flies in the face of all the empirical evidence. Hate crimes against Muslims have fallen, often dramatically (in Tower Hamlets, for instance, London’s main Muslim area, hate crimes are down by 50% in seven years.)

He appears to offer the hand of friendship to Muslims, then swiftly kicks them in the teeth. It’s the way he says that “Muslims face substantial bigotry” without a trace of irony that’s the kicker. His contribution to Islamophobia in Britain is well-documented.

The rest of the blog is muddled, directionless and vague. I won’t bother quoting all of  it here but it is safe to say that Kennite is looking increasingly desperate. He talks about the BNP being “Britain’s main anti-Muslim party” and how they lost spectacularly at the last general election. He suggests that because of this drubbing, Islamophobia has gone away. I’ve got news for you, it hasn’t. Joining the dots is easy. Anyone can do it. Anyone with half a brain that is.

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Filed under Media, Society & culture, Yellow journalism

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