The BBC wins a landmark victory in the fight against Islamic extremism, by Douglas Murray. Interesting story of an important dynamic of how news on Muslim extremists is not reported.
Shakeel Begg is an influential extremist who is also chief Imam of the Lewisham Islamic Centre. His radical views are readily available and well-known.
So how have Begg and his like hidden their extreme views and their urging of people to kill non-Muslims? By threatening to sue anyone and everyone who ever does any reporting on them.
They never really want to get to court, because they know if they do, they might be caught telling the truth on the record. But they do want to make the cost of questioning their views exceptionally high. Their long-term hope is that journalists get so fed up of the bother that they give up discovering stories about people who are trying to subvert our societies and report instead on what the Kardashians are doing today.
Begg tried this on the BBC, and the BBC decided for once to go to court, all the way as required.
For our national broadcaster refused to give in when — in the wake of an edition of the Sunday Politics in November 2013 — Andrew Neil … mentioned on air that Begg had described jihad as ‘the greatest of deeds.’ Begg sued for libel. And while most papers and broadcasters worry about the extraordinary financial and reputational cost and try to settle when something like this comes up, the BBC fought Begg all the way.
Earlier today the judge in the case dismissed Begg’s case and his judgement is damning. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described Begg as ‘something of a Jekyll and Hyde character.’ He went on:
‘He appears to present one face to the general, local and inter-faith community and another to particular Muslim and other receptive audiences. The former face is benign, tolerant and ecumenical.
‘The latter face is ideologically extreme and intolerant.’ …
Happily Shakeel Begg will now face a very large legal bill. I for one will be opening a bottle to celebrate that fact tonight.
What you need to know:
What the viewing and reading public often do not know is that because of two-faced Imams like Begg, for every tiny piece about some Islamist nutcase that does go on air, there are now often weeks or even months of costly work behind the scenes to respond to the resulting barrage of legal claims from the Islamists who use the law cost free most of the time. This is how they operate. And for once that fact has been exposed.
hat-tip Stephen Neil