Let’s be honest…there ARE problems with the report.
In my chapter – chapter 2 – a lot of relevant information is overlooked or edited out including two very important pieces, especially if you’ve read the criticisms shown on this blog.
First, the report fails to include the typology employed to highlight how ‘positive’, ‘negative’ and ‘neutral’ were identified, leaving a void that the critics have rightly capitalised upon.
Second, the report fails to include the overwhelming fact that in comparison with research that was undertaken a mere decade ago by Elizabeth Poole, the amount of articles about Islam and Muslims in the press has increased by nearly 270%. This piece of information alone is staggering and why it was left out of the final publication absolutely astounds me.
Some other criticisms that I think are fair include the fact that the report…
Was edited, edited and re-edited, then left for months, then edited, edited and…you get the picture;
Had – in my opinion – been the subject of too much behind closed doors politic-ing and was used – or not – accordingly;
Was somewhat out of date by the time it came to press;
Focused on far too many things that were ‘personal’ (interpret that as you see fit) to some of those involved and/or commissioning it;
And – along with the al-Qaradawi chapter that was sensibly axed – needed to have the Panorama chapter cut or at least heavily edited also.
There were also a lot of people named in the writing of the report that if honest, rarely attended the meetings and so wonder what their retrospective influence/ involvement was. Were they the ones inside the report’s inner sanctum? Who knows…
Maybe all this is a little controversial and too soon after the report’s publication to be completely objective, but could it be that this report is open to the same criticisms that I made in my ‘The first decade of Islamophobia’ think-piece? Surely if nothing else, we need to re-think how we talk about Islamophobia if nothing else…
Actually, if you take the chapter out about the Panorama programme, the report is not much worse than many other reports that see the light of day. It just seems to be who were or at least perceived to have been pulling the strings that has caused the problems.
Further evidence for me to think that it’s not worth getting involved in work such as this…