20th May 2008
Channel 4's Dispatches editors are accused of demonising rather than trying to understand the Christian campaigners its reporter followed for almost two years, and of being less than joined-up in their approach to Islam.
The programme, made by David Modell, who has won awards in the past, featured various Christian activists including Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice.
Modell was given a great deal of hospitality by those taking part but never got further than the 'these Christians are a bit scary' level.
And Modell's sycophantic acceptance of Islam and his castigation of Sam Solomon, an ex-Iman who was shown describing Islam as a religion of hate, and Stephen Green, who warned of civil strife if the demographics of Islam continued unabated, were in complete opposition to the approach taken in 'Undercover Mosque' , which has just been vindicated by the courts with a grovelling apology by West Midlands Police.
Stephen Green said today:
'Maybe I could have reacted better outside the Brighton Dome almost two years ago, but it's an intimidating situation when someone is stalking you like Modell does, refusing to take no for an answer, sticking a camera intrusively in your face the whole time without permission. And it wasn't the initial incident which made me distrust Modell, it was his evident delight in another's misfortune.
'I gave Modell consent for the later interviews, but I am startled now both at his duplicity and his shallowness. He gradually worms his way in, and appears to be all understanding and obsequiously courteous, until he has all the material he wants. Then he turns unpleasant and stabs people in the back. His treatment of Sam Solomon, whom he filmed on the strict understanding that consent to transmission had not been given, then broke his word, not caring whether he was putting the man's life in danger, was a case in point. Modell in my view is not a man to be trusted.
'As for the depth of his understanding, it was a bit like filming birds picking up sticks in total bafflement about their behaviour, when lifting the camera to the sky would reveal they are building a nest.
'Similarly, none of my concerns about the state of our nation, with disintegrating morality leading to rising crime, family breakdown being encouraged in the courts, the injustice of abortion, all of which I aired in the interviews, or any of our other social ills, made it to the edit. The twigs were shown, but the purpose for picking them up was deliberately ignored.
'Modell found it worrying that I spoke of a looming civil war over the expansionist aims of Islam, and thought we were intolerant to be praying at the site of the proposed West Ham megamosque.
'But only last week, another Dispatches programme, Undercover Mosque, was exonerated in the courts after West Midlands Police wrongly adopted the same politically-correct head-in-the-sand approach to Islam as Modell.
'Undercover Mosque showed the all the evils of Islam and the hatred against Jews and Christians being taught in mosques. Tablighi Jamaat, the group behind the megamosque plans, is part of the jihadist Deobandi movement. The 7th July bombers, Richard Reid the shoebomber, and those involved in a plot to blow up airliners were all Tablighi Jamaat followers.
'It is basic Christian theology that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, was crucified to forgive us our sins, was dead and buried, rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven. And it is simple logic that if Islam denies all that, which it does, that Islam is a false religion and that its deity is antichrist. Surely that could not have been too hard for someone of David Modell's intelligence to comprehend.
'The words of the prophet Isaiah are uncannily appropriate: 'Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.' (Isa. 6:10)
'it is rather sad that with all the time Modell spent and the access he was granted, he never managed to understand what any of us were about, or display any reaction above the knee-jerk 'dangerous Christians' level. What a pity to miss an opportunity like that, and sad for him as well to miss a golden opportunity to find salvation and forgiveness for his sins in his rush to make money.
'But what a peculiar editorial policy applies in Dispatches, where militant Islam in all its horror can be exposed one moment, then its peaceful Christian opponents are castigated the next.'