Thursday, August 09, 2007

On Inayat Bunglawala

Christopher Hitchens called him a "sinister and preposterous individual" and anyone who visits here regularly - for, yes, there are some - will know I'm loath to ever disagree with the great man. Though can someone be both sinister and preposterous? For me it conjures up images of Sideshow Bob. Bunglawala does look preposterous; impossibly bookish. But that line of attack will win me few admirers so I'll desist. Even if he did recently say he was a bit of a daft lad back in his book-burning days and renounced book desecration as a little embarrassing. He stopped short of renouncing his endorsement of the Rushdie fatwa, but hey, some addictions are hard to kick.

The man crops up on the Grauniad's Comment is Free pages with an unparalleled ubiquity. Now, 'Bungle' takes a lot of criticism and in response he steadfastly ignores it. I was quietly pleased when I took a well-aimed shot at some of Conor Foley's sentences just recently. Ok, he was writing about a book that only he and I and maybe two others had read, but he took the time to respond. Bungle? Not a bit of it. I've just had a look on Fisking Central to see if Bungle's had the treatment but it appears not. In fact, it appears Fisking Central isn't fisking much these days. I hope someone has done him because I'm not about to. It's late and this chair's not comfortable. However, let's have a quick look at what Bungle turned his ever sharp eye on today.

Channel Four was in the news yesterday after West Midlands police complained that the broadcaster's 'Dispatches' film 'Undercover Mosque' had been edited in such a way as to distort and misrepresent certain of those individuals featured in it. Bungle was off like a shot. Today's offering was somewhat shorter and off-the-cuff than most of his scribblings but if he can make a point lamenting some failing in society and show that Muslims suffer the most for it, he will do so with relish. Bungle points out:

"While the original C4 programme will have reinforced some prejudices people have of Muslims, today's CPS/police statement will, I think more justifiably, reinforce the distrust with which many Muslims regard sections of our media.

Hate speech must be combated. Documentary makers have an important responsibility, however, to do their research properly and carefully identify those who actually incite hatred. They must take great care to avoid unfairly stigmatising whole institutions and groups of people."

Indeed, but when Channel Four news last night invited one of those featured in 'Undercover Mosque', Abu Usama, on to the programme to explain his comment he merely repeated over-and-over that they had been taken out of context. Oh, but homosexuals are indeed an abomination. And that kafirs are lesser humans than Muslims. And that Osama bin Laden is worth 100 Tony Blairs. And that women are 'deficient'. But that his comments on the programme were, again, taken out of context.

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