I watched the Despatches program last night, in which an undercover reporter went into Mosques around the country, presenting himself as a dutiful muslim. Now, I have to say, I am deeply sucpicious of documentary makers these days, knowing how manipulative they can get in the editing room, adding ominous background music, cutting soundbites out of context etc etc
With all that said, I found it to be quite unsettling. There did seem to be a very unambiguous message coming across, but that's just my interpretation. Watch some of it for yourself:
The Despatches program
As an interesting exercise, watch it back to back with this:
Griffin's Encitement speech
It's Nick Griffin's (BNP leader) speech for which he was arrested and tried. A very similar language being used, albeit somewhat codified and carefully couched...certainly more ambiguous (deliberately so) than the forthright opinions being expressed in the Despatches program.
I nearly didn't post this blog...because I was concerned that showing these two videos side by side, implied, albeit very tenuously, some sort of bias on my part. What I believe these two videos show are two equally despicable flavours of hate-talk.
So...what do I feel about this? Well to be honest with you, my first reaction on watching the program, was that I hoped the police were watching this too, and that the public speakers shown inciting violence will be paid a visit by the police and interviewed, possibly even charged.
But, thinking about it some more....I'm not sure there should ever be an opinion - no matter how reprehensible - that when expressed, will get you arrested. That's really the thin end of the wedge as far as I'm concerned.
With that logic stated, I can say without feeling like a completely rascist thug that...yup, Griffin should never have been arrested.
Wow, that feels weird saying that.