Newsnight’s coverage of Muslim community issues over the years has been interesting to say the least. Last night we had the newly reformed Hassan Butt ridiculously alleging that “most Muslims” believed that terrorist activity attracts divine pleasure and admission to paradise and that “anything that is not an Islamic way of life” is a legitimate target for attack. I remember last year’s hilarious piece on HuT that suggested, of all things, that they were going around mugging old grannies.
Shiv Malik, the journalistic darling of the neocons, has certainly changed his colours over the last 6 years or so. Some have accused him of having previously justified 9/11. After 7/7 Malik telephoned a lot of employers of Muslim activists, to tell them that they were employing ‘extremists’. He was he pioneer of the “Shock Horror – Muslim doctor works for the NHS” tabloid stories that have dominated the papers in recent days.
On tonight’s Newsnight, I found Malik to be immature, childish and remarkably inarticulate for a journalist. He just asked stupid questions about what Bunglawala had been doing as a teenager with some old quotes from Trends magazine (those of you who are old enough will remember “Around the world with Inayat Bunglawala”).
On another note, Ali Eteraz has written an excellent article on the media’s recent love affair with “former jihadists”.