Monday, January 15

Dispatches: Undercover Mosque

It's tough to criticise a programme like this without appearing to be taking the content personally. But then as someone who's been to more than one mosque (including the Central London Mosque featured in the programme) where none of these kind of things happen at all, I think that it's reasonable to take issue at how some of the issues were raised.

Well it was never going to be surprising. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen this before. Tonight we saw the same editing techniques, the same calmly stern narrator and same dramatic background music. Honestly, it reminded me of an episode of 24 (which is not surprising seeing as that show comes from the likes of Fox).

But it wasn't the content I had a problem with; no, it was more the presentation. It was pretty tabloid in my opinion. We had the headline snippets and sound bites - and I suspect that even the token liberals were quoted out of context at some point. Remember guys: Muslims are either extreme or not. There are none in between.

What about other mosques? You know, the ones that don't do anything like the ones shown in this programme? I realise that this documentary was about the intolerance preached but it would have been nice to have been given examples the opposite - even within these mosques themselves - as an appendix. For example, my mosque sends out Christmas cards during the festive season; such an attitude is probably as prolific as the described angry one. Thirty seconds is all that would be required to give balance.

But no. Apparently, programmes like these are created to start debates, and I'm sure the makers are sleeping well, knowing that they've furthered social discourse by presenting the issues in this way. It's just a shame it was so done so shallowly, since it's unlikely that a non-Muslim would be aware of context in which these things happen. I just seems that some things are deliberately left unsaid.