More on the Recent PE Report
November 4, 2007 1 Comment
Dr. Marranci has written two entries concerning the Policy Exchange report by Denis MacEoin, which I wrote about earlier. The first is a critical review of the report titled Policy Exchange Hijacks Professional Research, where he discusses the methodology and ethics, or lack thereof, behind the report. The second is an Open letter to Dr Denis MacEoin, the author of the report, which is a reply to a comment MacEoin posted to Dr. Marranci’s blog.
Both are quite good reads, and in my opinion, rather enjoyable.
Update: I’ve found another blog entry, which I’ve added to this post. Enjoy.
From the first entry:
To conduct professional research is not easy, it’s difficult and in particular the most difficult thing is to plan the research and test these plans for accuracy. Another reason for which research is not easy is that it should be ethical; and I cannot emphasise this enough. For this reason, doctoral students are carefully trained. When research has an amazing impact on human beings (or even animals) the ethical concerns should be paramount. Today writing and research about Muslims, because of the political situation and increasing, highly concerning, anti-Muslim sentiments, should be of the most professional level and ethically and methodologically correct.
Indeed, this brought me to read all the report and conclude that ‘Policy Exchange’ hijacks professional research. The report is, in academic standards, extremely amateurish and I suspect even unprofessional and unethical. Of course, I can only base my observations about the report from the report itself. Only a serious investigation on how the research has been conducted could provide a final answer. Yet the report provides us with enough evidence to at least allege that whomever prepared the report did not know how to organise a serious research. To properly evaluate a report and a research, before even reading its material and conclusions, involves evaluating the methodology that has been employed.
From the second:
First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to read my post and for your comment as well as for summarising your Islamicist and Arabist credentials which, of course, I never challenged or questioned. For the benefit of the readers, I will recopy below your comment to my post :
Unfortunately, as by your own admission, before even reading my post, you have presented a defensive position thinking that, in your own words, I would have been ‘determined to attack the messenger instead of the message’. Of course, I am sure that you can notice from my post that I have challenged the very basis of your report, and asked clear questions, which if answered and substantiated will resolve my doubts.
Read on … Open letter to Dr Denis MacEoin.
I just found this and thought I’d post it for you guys. Garry Smith @ Big Sticks and Small Carrots has written a nice piece on the PE report titled Predetermined Outcomes. From the post:
The Policy Exchange report into extremist literature in British Mosques certainly got plenty of coverage in the media this week (as was the intention, no doubt).
Before looking at the report itself, it is worth taking a moment to highlight the general attitude of its author, Dr. Denis MacEoin.
Elsewhere, he has said:
Just as our parents and grandparents fought the dark ideology of Nazism in the 1930s and 40s, so I believe this generation has the heaviest of responsibilities face to face with this growing threat to all civilized values. Not just the West, but the peoples of the Islamic world too may see their way of life changed for ever should the totalitarian spectre impose itself and its deadening hatred of life on all we and they hold dear.
I don’t like to speak in terms of historic moments or symbolic conflicts, but I’m afraid that, as this struggle intensifies, I am bound to do so.
Civilization itself is at stake. The values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and the open society are as much or more at risk today than in the decades when we confronted, first German fascism and then Soviet communism.
He has also said:
I do not hold a brief for Islam. On the contrary, I have very negative feelings about it… I am pro-Israeli and involve myself in the defence of Israel…
To be fair, I should also mention that that second quotation was taken from a complaint Dr MacEoin made to Dhimmi Watch concerning the “gung-ho ignorance masquerading as informed comment” which appears in their comment threads.
Dr MacEoin’s attitude towards Muslims and his lack of any sort of ability to maintain perspective* is no reason to dismiss the findings of his report out of hand, of course. I include this merely as a context.
Read on … Predetermined Outcomes.