Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poisonous and dangerous

The constant regurgitation by the media of Muslim-baiting 'research' by right-wing think tanks misleads the public and is driven by a neocon political agenda

By Seumas Milne
The Guardian

"This week's forensic exposure by the BBC programme Newsnight of the apparent fabrication of evidence underpinning an inflammatory report into British Muslims by the Tory-linked think tank Policy Exchange has revealed the soft underbelly of what has become an increasingly poisonous and dangerous campaign.

Throughout this year, a steady stream of hostile and sensationalised stories about the Muslim community in both press and television - often based on research by apparently reliable think tanks - has helped feed anti-Muslim prejudice to the point where Britons were found this summer by a Harris opinion poll to be more suspicious of Muslims than Americans or citizens of any other major west European country......

A quick glance at the profiles of those involved in Policy Exchange underlines the point. Its policy director, Dean Godson, who blustered at Jeremy Paxman on Wednesday, worked for the Reagan administration in the US as special assistant to the secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, was a signatory to the The Project for a New American Century and was special assistant to the jailed former Telegraph owner Conrad Black. Charles Moore, the former Daily Telegraph and Spectator editor who has made the case for public debate about whether the prophet Muhammad was a paedophile, is the Policy Exchange chairman. And who did he replace? Policy Exchange's co-founder, Michael Gove - author of that rallying text for British neocons Celsius 7/7 - and now David Cameron's education spokesman."

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