Melon Farmers Original Version

Undercover Mosque

Police made false accusations re Undercover Mosque

16th February

Update: Ready for Complaints...

Channel 4's Dispatches uncovers intolerance being taught in islamic schools

An Islamic school in Birmingham says it is drafting a complaint to Ofcom in light of a Channel 4 Dispatches show.

Lessons in Hatred and Violenc e, aired on Monday evening, showed footage of a preacher at Darul Uloom School with extreme views.

Dispatches said it stood by its investigation and that numerous adults had been filmed teaching contempt for other religions.

The programme captured a class leader making offensive remarks about Hindus. He ranted that: Disbelievers are the worst creatures .

Head teacher Mujahid Aziz said the school had been misrepresented.

A spokesman for Dispatches, which used a hidden camera installed by a reporter at the school, said its investigation had shown footage of numerous adults, on different occasions, teaching pupils as young as 11 contempt for other religions and for wider society: We stand by our investigation and think the programme speaks for itself .

See  article from

Meanwhile police have arrested a man over alleged assaults on children at aMarkazi Jamia mosque in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

The Dispatches documentary filmed what appeared to be a preacher hitting and kicking children during Koran lessons at the school.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed they had arrested a 59-year-old man in connection with the incident after viewing the secretly filmed footage.

Update: Charged

25th May 2011. See  article from

A 59-year-old man has been charged with 10 offences of common assault on children at a mosque, police said.

The charges follow a police investigation into allegations of assaults on children made in a Channel 4 documentary broadcast earlier this year.

The Dispatches programme, Lessons in Hate and Violence, secretly filmed a man allegedly hitting and kicking children during Qur'an lessons at the Markazi Jamia mosque school in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in December 2010.

West Yorkshire police said the man, who was arrested in February, had been released on bail to appear before Keighley magistrates on 2 June.

Update: Jailed

27th November 2011. See  article from

The religious teacher who was caught on a secret camera kicking and slapping children in a Keighley mosque was jailed for 10 weeks.

Sabir Hussain admitted four charges of assaulting boys at the Markazi Jamia Mosque, in. Keighley, West Yorkshire, as they learned The Koran.

He was arrested after secret filming was screened on a Channel 4 documentary earlier this year.

He immediately lodged an appeal against his sentence but an application for bail was rejected.


24th November

 Offsite: Rocking the Social Cohesion Boat...

An insidious argument for censorship

See article from


5th November

Update: Taking the Rap...

Chief Constable decided to complain to Ofcom about Undercover Mosque

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police was personally responsible for the disastrous decision to complain about Channel 4's Undercover Mosque documentary exposing extremism in a Birmingham mosque, an inquiry has been told.

Paul Scott-Lee, head of the region's force, approved the decision in a conversation with another senior officer, the Home Affairs Select Committee heard.

But nobody has been disciplined for the humiliating incident, which led to the force being sued for libel in the High Court and forced to offer a grovelling apology.

Philip Gormley, Deputy Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, was quizzed in Westminster by MPs conducting an inquiry into the way forces work with the media.

Instead of prosecuting the preachers, West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service issued a press release accusing programme makers of distorting comments, and reported Channel 4 to TV watchdog Ofcom for heavily editing the words of imams to give them more sinister meaning.

But Ofcom dismissed the complaint, while Channel 4 and documentary-makers Hardcash Productions successfully sued for libel.

Gormley told MPs the Chief Constable, who has announced plans to step down next year after seven years, was responsible for the decision: He was involved in the conversation that came to that determination. The senior investigating officer at the time, in terms of the officer in overall control, was the assistant chief constable. It was at that level.

Conservative MP James Clappison asked him: So the assistant chief constable referred it to the chief constable, and the chief constable agreed? To refer it to Ofcom?

Gormley replied: Yes. Asked whether anyone had been disciplined, he said: No, nobody has been.


31st August

Diary: More Undercover Mosque...

Violent, intolerant prejudice continues to be preached

Dispatches: Undercover Mosque: The Return Channel 4 on September 1 at 8pm.

The follow-up to Undercover Mosque is to be broadcast tomorrow.

It shows that - despite all the promises that the books condoning terrorism would be removed, as would the preachers advocating the rigid enforcement of the narrowest interpretation of sharia law and the overthrow of our liberal democracy - violent, intolerant prejudice continues to be preached, this time by women, in centres of "moderate Islam", such as the Regent's Park Mosque.

In one scene, as hundreds of women and some children come to pray, a preacher calls for adulterers, homosexuals, women who act like men and Muslim converts to other faiths to be killed, saying: Kill him, kill him. You have to kill him, you understand. This is Islam.

In revealing this, Channel 4 has performed an important public service. Surveys of Muslim opinion reveal the scale of the problem: almost a third of Muslim students believe that killing in the name of religion can be justified, and 40% support the introduction of Sharia law for British Muslims.

Channel 4's programme does not explain how we can diminish this kind of narrow bigotry. But it does make it impossible for anyone to deny the continued existence of extremism in some British mosques. That is the critical first step necessary for finding policies which will combat it.

Update: Whinges

7th October 2008

Channel 4 received 156 complaints about Dispatches: Undercover Mosque: The Return .


22nd August

Diary: Undercover Mosque: The Return...

Lifting the veil on intolerance

Dispatches: Undercover Mosque: The Return Channel 4 on September 1 at 8pm.

Three months after Dispatches: Undercover Mosque won a police apology and libel damages, Channel 4 has announced it is returning to the subject in Undercover Mosque: The Return .

Earlier this year West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service paid out a six-figure sum to Channel 4 and Undercover Mosque Hardcash, the independent producer responsible for the documentary, after falsely accusing the programme of misleading viewers.

It has now emerged that the same Hardcash production team have revisited the subject to see whether extremist beliefs continue to be promoted in certain key British Muslim institutions.

In the new documentary, a female reporter attends prayer meetings at an important British mosque which claims to be dedicated to moderation and dialogue with other faiths.

According to Channel 4, she secretly films sermons given to the women-only congregation in which female preachers recite extremist and intolerant beliefs.

In one scene, as hundreds of women and some children come to pray, a preacher calls for adulterers, homosexuals, women who act like men and Muslim converts to other faiths to be killed, saying: Kill him, kill him. You have to kill him, you understand. This is Islam.

The undercover reporter also films inside a key Saudi-funded Muslim organisation, which claims to promote tolerance and integration yet distributes literature which promotes intolerance for non-Muslims, an extreme version of sharia law and teachings which support discrimination against women.

In addition, Undercover Mosque: The Return also investigates the role of the Saudi Arabian religious establishment in spreading a hard-line, fundamentalist Islamic ideology in the UK - the very ideology the government claims to be tackling.


24th May

Update: Undercover Investigation...

Parliamentary call for investigation into police action against Undercover Mosque

The National Secular Society invite you to write to your MP and suggest signing Roger Godsiff's Early Day Motion (no. 1586)  which criticises West Midlands Police for its behaviour over the Channel 4 Undercover Mosque programme. The matter is one of immense public importance going to the very heart of the Justice system.

The motion reads:

That this House welcomes the unreserved public apology given by the West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service and the six figure libel settlement paid by them to Channel 4 over the Dispatches programme broadcast on 15th January 2007 which contained covert filming inside mosques in Birmingham and Derby; notes that the comments and allegations made by West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service had already been dismissed by the industry regulator, Ofcom; further notes that the individuals shown in the programme broadcast were using highly derogatory and racist language against a variety of non-Muslim groups which included Christians, Jews, homosexuals, lesbians and women and were in clear breach of existing legislation in respect of incitement to religious and racial hatred; calls on the Home Secretary to launch an immediate investigation into why the West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service chose to attack the programme makers at Channel 4 rather than investigating and prosecuting the individuals who were shown in the programme; and asserts that incitement to religious and racial hatred has no place in British society.


16th May

 Offsite: Time to Say Sorry...

About attempting to prosecute the messenger re Undercover Mosque

See article from


15th May

Update: False Accusations...

Police to cough up for their accusations about Undercover Mosque

The Crown Prosecution Service and West Midlands Police will apologise in the High Court today for wrongly accusing a Channel 4 film of faking an exposé of Islamic extremism.

The producers of Undercover Mosque , a Dispatches investigation that showed preachers predicting jihad and calling for the murder of non-believers, have also accepted a six-figure libel settlement reported to be £100,000

The programme, screened last January, showed footage gathered at a number of mosques in the West Midlands using hidden cameras. It included one preacher who praised the Taleban for killing British soldiers.

Another, Abu Usamah, a preacher at the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham, was filmed saying: If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that is my freedom of speech isn't it?

However, instead of pursuing a prosecution of the preachers, police and the CPS began an investigation into the producers, accusing them of selective editing and distortion. The film-makers were accused of undermining community relations.

The police took the highly unusual step of referring Dispatches to Ofcom, the media watchdog.

Ofcom threw out the complaint. It found that the programme had accurately represented the material it had gathered and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context. It was a legitimate investigation, uncovering matters of important public interest. Each quote was justified by the narrative of the programme and put fully in context.

Hardcash Productions, which made the film, joined Channel 4 in a libel complaint against the police and CPS over the “distortion” claim.

West Midlands Police and CPS will apologise unreservedly for comments that they accept were incorrect and unjustified. They said that there was no evidence that the broadcaster or programme-makers had misled the audience or that the programme was likely to encourage or incite criminal activity”.

Kevin Sutcliffe, deputy head of current affairs at Channel 4, said: This is a total vindication of the programme team.


28th February

Update: Writ Dispatched...

Undercover Mosque team to sue police and CPS

Channel 4's Dispatches editor Kevin Sutcliffe and the programme makers behind Undercover Mosque are pursuing a libel claim against West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The documentary makers were cleared last November by media regulator Ofcom of allegations of misleadingly editing the Channel 4 programme about extreme Islamic preachers.

Undercover Mosque aired in January last year and featured footage filmed undercover in several mosques in the Midlands. The documentary featured footage of preachers calling for homosexuals to be killed, espousing male supremacy, condemning non-Muslims and predicting jihad.

Channel 4 announced today that Sutcliffe, and production company Hardcash Productions, have now initiated libel proceedings: The statements made by both the West Midlands Police and the CPS were completely unfounded and seriously damaging to the reputation of the programme makers.

The broadcaster also released a statement on behalf of co-claimants - David Henshaw, Andrew Smith and John Moratiel - from Hardcash Production: The statements made by both the West Midlands Police and the CPS were completely unfounded and seriously damaging to our reputation. We feel the only way to set the record straight once and for all is to pursue this matter through a libel action.

In August last year West Midlands police complained to regulator Ofcom about the editing of the Dispatches documentary. But Ofcom said the programme was a legitimate investigation uncovering matters of important public interest in a subsequent ruling in November.

The regulator also said there was No evidence that [Channel 4] had misled the audience and the broadcaster had accurately represented the material and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context.

Channel 4 said any payment of damages will go to charity.


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