A Lesson to Learn from the PE Fiasco

Dr. Marranci talks of A lesson to learn regarding the whole Policy Exchange Fiasco (also see: More on the Recent PE Report and Policy Exchange Exposed). The Dr. states,

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.

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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:

More on the Recent PE Report

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:

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The “Experts” are at it Again …

Much thanks to brother AbdulHaq for bringing a couple of things to my attention. The first was a report titled The Hijacking of Britsh Islam. Penned by Denis MacEoin, a so-called “expert” in Islamic Studies, and published just a few days ago (October 29, 2007 according to the document’s properties) by Policy Exchange, a British think tank, the report is being dubbed (by Policy Exchange themselves, no less) as,

[a]n authoritative new report by Policy Exchange, the UK’s leading centre-right thinktank, entitled The Hijacking of British Islam: How extremist literature is subverting Britain’s mosques, reveals the worrying extent of extremist penetration of mosques and other key institutions of the British Muslim community. The report is the most comprehensive academic survey of its kind ever produced in the UK and is based on a year-long investigation by several teams of specialist researchers into the availability of extremist literature and covers more than a hundred mosques and Islamic centres throughout the UK. (Source).

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