Saturday, August 20, 2005

This the fox guarding the henhouse?

UK: This is a bad awful idea.

A Muslim accused of anti-Semitism is to be appointed to a government role in charge of rooting out extremism in the wake of last month's suicide bombings in London. Inayat Bunglawala, 36, the media secretary for the Muslim Council of Britain, is understood to have been selected as one of seven "conveners" for a Home Office task force with responsibilities for tackling extremism among young Muslims, despite a history of anti-Semitic statements. ....Mr Bunglawala's past comments include the allegation that the British media was "Zionist-controlled". Writing for a Muslim youth magazine in 1992, he said: "The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green of the Tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade [then the chief executive of Channel 4 and now BBC chairman] and Alan Yentob [BBC2 controller and friend of Salman Rushdie]." The three are reported to be "close friends… so that's what they mean by a 'free media'." In January 1993, Mr Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye, the satirical magazine, in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman "courageous" - just a month before he bombed the World Trade Center in New York. After Rahman's arrest in July that year, Mr Bunglawala said that it was probably only because of his "calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere". Five months before 9/11, Mr Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, who he regarded as a "freedom fighter", to hundreds of Muslims in Britain. ...Mr Bunglawala's job at the Home Office will be to help to organise a programme to tackle radicalism and extremism among young Muslims. News of his appointment comes 10 days after he wrote to Mark Thompson, the BBC Director General, accusing a forthcoming BBC1 Panorama programme of possessing "a pro-Israeli agenda". Although the programme had yet to be completed, Mr Bunglawala said that the BBC had allowed itself to be used by "highly placed supporters of Israel in the British media to make capital out of the July 7 atrocities in London".
So much for thinking UK officials had a clue.

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