Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More IslamExpo

Oddly this is the second time that a visit to London has turned into a tiny walk-on bit-part in the greater production that is the "British State meets Political Islam". The Guardian reports that the Department of Communities and Local Government told their ministers not to go to IslamExpo, and I reported yesterday on how various journalists had pulled out over the Harry's Place situation. In Comment Is Free, Seamus Milne puts the other side of the argument. Milne was on the panel discussion I watched this morning, and after in the Q&A he actually admitted that English libel laws are generally unfair tools accessible disproportionately to the wealthy. This was my little bit-part as I asked the question suggesting to Anas Altikriti that it was disingenous of them to not explain to the audience why Douglas Murray wasn't on the panel (because of the threat of libel action), and if Islamist groups such as his own want to be treated fairly by the press, bringing libel actions against a blog for - at worse - reporting a mistake made by an international news provider, is hardly the way to go about it.

Less depressing, and also more interesting, is the reporting about debates at the Expo from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Nesrin Malik.

Back to boring old Helsinki tomorrow, although I need the rest after about 234 large café lattes, too much good food from all around the world and too little sleep. Big Up the London posse (norf an' sarf') for beers, laughs and a space on the floor. You know who you are.


Anonymous said...

Hi Toby,

Thanks for your comment on the Centre for Social Cohesion's website. I got the impression that "fanatical Sufis" was Tikriti's own view - but am happy to amend that if I am wrong - don't want to misrepresent anyone. Do you want to drop me an email at james dot brandon at social cohesion dot co dot uk...


James Brandon

David T said...

"Some people clapped him, although some people clapped everything - even amusingly enough - in different lecture when I told them they shouldn’t sue Harry’s Place!"

Thank you very much for raising that!