BBC Newsnight Exposes Policy Exchange Report

Much thanks to brother AbdulHaq for bringing this BBC Newsnight programme to my attention; may Allah reward and bless him with good.

From “Mimaro” on Dr. Marranci’s blog:

and the latest unravelling of the ‘anonymous Policy Exchange researchers’ flawed methodology has been exposed on newsnight[12/12/07] by a forensic scientist showing that several receipts for ‘inflamatory’ literature were forged receipts – same handwriting for different institutions, even the institutions addresses on the forged receipts were erroneous as were the letterheads…

Watch the programme. It’s well worth the time.

Related Links: 

  • Policy Exchange Interview – Jeremy Paxman interviews Dean Godson, Research Director of the Policy Exchange, following an investigation by Richard Watson. (This one’s quite amusing).

From Dr. Marranci’s blog:

From your’s truly:


About Rasheed Gonzales
My name is Rasheed Gonzales. I’m a Muslim convert of Filipino descent. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I was guided to Islam through one of my younger brothers and a couple of friends, all of whom had converted to Islam sometime before me (may Allah reward them greatly). I am married with four children (and the praise is Allah’s) and also a volunteer for the Qur'an & Sunnah Society of Canada, based in Toronto.

8 Responses to BBC Newsnight Exposes Policy Exchange Report

  1. Aboo Uthmaan says:

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum

    What is the link for the video clip of the Newsnight interview? And was it Mr. Paxman who conducted the interview?

  2. Aboo Uthmaan says:

    Ah, Just found it in your post, don’t worry about it!

  3. konservo says:

    Actually, Newsnight didn’t prove anything in regards to the conclusions of Policy Exchange.

    Fact: 25% of Islamic centers and mosques that were surveyed in Britain were distributing extremist literature.

    Oh, and the brothers across the pond at MPACUK aren’t doing British Muslims any favors by calling for a “hunt” for the Sufi “traitors.”

    It’s pretty pathetic actually, first Inayat Bunglawala went on Al-Jazeera and tried to say that the report was false because it was published by “Israel supporters” and “Iraq war supporters.” That didn’t work. Now you have Newsnight and MPACUK calling for a “hunt” for the researchers who gathered the evidence.

    Also, at most 5 receipts are questionable, that means that instead of 25% it’s 20% of the Islamic centers and Mosques that distribute extremist literature.

    But you don’t really mind that little fact, do you?

  4. Fact: 25% of Islamic centers and mosques that were surveyed in Britain were distributing extremist literature.

    That “fact” becomes suspect when you take into account that some of the receipts where they claim to have gotten the books are forgeries.

    It also becomes suspect when you take into account the fact that officials from some of those institutions deny having or distributing those books.

    Then there’s also what I mentioned in a previous post regarding the PE report:

    As is usually the case with these types of presentations, the author takes several books (80, to be exact) and presents one or two isolated quotes from each without any sense of context whatsoever, and based on these very few quotes, brands the books they’re being quoted from as being “separatist and hate literature,” “extremist” and “radical”.

    Dr. Marranci has addressed the concerns with this report and its “conclusions” in the various blog posts he’s written on it very nicely. Newsnight’s programme only highlights the legitimacy of these concerns.

  5. Abu Musa says:

    Sorry Konservo but if the research methodology has shown to be falsified then it brings into question the authenticity of the whole document.
    You can’t just say ‘oh this bit was made up but the rest of it is pukka….honest’ – it just doesn’t work that way.

    Another couple of excellent posts on UmmahPulse

  6. konservo says:

    Abu Musa,

    That’s true, but even if I came out with a B.S. theory of how the Earth revolves around the Sun, and my theory was demonstrably false, that doesn’t mean that the Earth doesn’t revolve around the Sun. If Newsnight wants to prove that PE’s methodology is poor, that’s one thing, but if it wants to prove that the conclusions are false they have not yet done so.

    And the fact that “those books can be found in any generic bookstore” is beside the point. One can find Mein Kampf can be bought as an historical document at Barnes and Noble (a common bookstore here in USA), but it’s a different situation if it’s being sold at a Catholic bookstore.

  7. One’s theory being false and one’s sources being forged are not quite the same.

    PE’s honesty and intergrity, or rather, their lack of, is quite evident.

  8. Thanks to joe90 who posted a link to the following article from Comments is Free on Dr. Marranci’s A Lesson to Learn post.

    Much more than receipts
    Policy Exchange’s report on offensive Islamic literature has been challenged over dubious receipts, but the whole report was flawed

    December 17, 2007 3:00 PM
    Despite the evidence casting doubt on research methods in Policy Exchange’s recent report, Hijacking British Islam, the fact remains – as Brian Whitaker noted on Cif last week – that Muslim literature carrying offensive ideas is widely available.

    Religious books carrying repugnant views are far from unique to one particular religion. Indeed, Policy Exchange makes the point that “adultery, apostasy and homosexuality, for instance, are deprecated by all the Abrahamic religions, and many others besides”, but the others “do not respond to these spiritual challenges with either an implied or an explicit threat of violence”. What the report tries to tell us is that the literature “discovered” by Policy Exchange is an actual cause of “violent extremism”.

    But the report tells us nothing about the likely influence of such material: there is no examination as to who reads the stuff and how they are affected, what other material is sold in the “offending” bookshops, and indeed what is the context of some of the “offending” passages and how it is interpreted by readers, and importantly whether similar material may be found in literature associated with other religions. (The Bible, too, is replete with implied and explicit threats of violence against non-conformists.)

    In the end, the report delivers what it initially promises it would not: excerpts from books embodying the stupid irrational sentiments you can expect from an ultra-conservative and dogmatic religious perspective about women being inferior and religious segregation. The vast majority of the offending material (about 93%) is authored by Saudi state-sponsored writers who – from my experience – have negligible uptake in Britain. Then there are tracts from Mawdudi’s various writings, which you may not agree with or even like, but the idea that these should be banned or that they are the source of some form of social isolationism is as abhorrent as it is absurd.

    Read on … Much more than receipts.

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