A Lesson to Learn from the PE Fiasco
December 20, 2007 Leave a comment
As some of you may have noticed, I usually do not comment immediately upon events and news. There are two main reasons for this, firstly I am very slow in updating my blog, secondly I believe that to have a detached view and analysis of what is going on, you need to have some time for reflection. This is even truer when you, yourself, have been involved in the story.
As you can read in some of my previous posts, I was one of the first academics to question and criticise the formerly media-acclaimed Policy Exchange’s report on extremist literature in British mosques and Islamic institutes authored by Dr MacEoin. This led to a couple of exchanges with the main researcher and author of the report, who often had a certain goliardic attitude towards legitimate methodological questions. Finally, what was at first an academic analysis and criticism of a flawed methodology, a dodgy research ethic, and a sensationalist (politically driven) report, ended in being shamed by the same mass media which used to praise it.
On the 13th of December, Newsnight’s journalist, Richard Watson, has shown during the Newsnight program, how the researchers involved in the collection of the material for the report faked and falsified the receipts, the same ones which Dr MacEoin guaranteed, in his comment on my blog, would have proven the ethical basis and trustworthiness of his report.
Dr MacEoin argued that my criticism of his flawed work and his possibly undercover, unethical, and forged research brought ‘nothing but shame’ on myself since my criticism was actually tacit approval of the material ‘discovered’ in the mosque. I suppose that now Dr MacEoin has to work hard to clean his name for shamefully using his academic title for a what appears to be nothing more than a scam. Of course, we can only judge from what we have, the report, Dr MacEoin’s comments, and Newsnight’s investigation.
Read on … A Lesson to Learn.