Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Trevor Phillips, C4, And Muslims

The publishing of a survey taken in support of upcoming Channel 4 feature What British Muslims Really Think has already set the tabloid press off on a series of rants about how all those Scary Muslims (tm) don’t fit in, are allegedly fomenting acts of terror, and refuse to venture down the Rub-A-Dub and get Elephant’s Trunk And Mozart like normal people are supposed to do. But there is a problem with both survey and programme.
Trevor Phillips, former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), won praise from such luminaries as the Daily Mail’s unfunny and talentless churnalist Richard Littlejohn, and disgraced former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth, both of them Muslim bashers of no fixed bigotry. The survey of Muslim attitudes was clearly to their taste. And it is that survey that is now coming under fire for the way it was performed.

Maha Akeel, in a post for Independent Voices, has told thatPhillips’ poll only interviewed Muslims from areas of Britain which are at least 20 per cent Muslim, though there is no explanation of what constitutes an ‘area’ - a street, an apartment building, a neighbourhood, a city? The vast majority of British Muslims, let's remember, do not live in areas that are 20 per cent Muslim”. Why this criterion?

As Ms Akeel goes on to point out, “A more honest write up of the survey would have been titled, 'What do British Muslims living in marginalised Muslim ghettoes really think? … A more meaningful and useful study would compare Muslims to other Britons within similar areas of the country, or Muslims with other faith communities”. This deliberate skewing of the survey sample should have rung alarm bells with Channel 4.

But then, Phillips and that broadcaster go back a long way: he was the one they turned to in the wake of the Celebrity Big Brother row over the treatment of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty back in 2008. He provided paid consultancy via his own firm when still chair of the EHRC. An internal review suggested he was guilty of a conflict of interest.

Michael Rubinstein observed “To act for part of the time as the regulator, and also to run a profit-making business advising the regulated, is very different … Some of the organisations under consideration may be clients of Mr Phillips's consultancy. How will this affect the views of Commission staff who have to propose priorities for action?

And it got worse: when the EHRC board met in Cardiff in July 2008, “Most commissioners attended a dinner at Cardiff’s Village Hotel on July 16 with guest of honour, Wales’s Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones. Mr Phillips did not attend the dinner … Some commissioners were surprised to learn later that he had spent the evening addressing a Channel 4 meeting in London on the findings of his privately commissioned research on race equality for them”. Another potential conflict of interest.

The impression is given that Trevor Phillips and Channel 4 may be a little too close for the broadcaster’s comfort. The methodology of the poll on Muslim attitudes appears highly questionable. Both of those together, and the glee from the Pundit Establishment’s Muslim bashers, do not look good.


Anonymous said...

A question for you: if we don't know what the definition of an area is, how do we know that 'the vast majority' of Muslims don't live in 20 percent Muslim areas? I'm also surprised to find you implicitly supporting the notion that a 20 percent Muslim area equates to a 'marginalised ghetto'.

The figures themselves are in line with other polls over the past few years: if anything, they're slightly more positive than you might expect.

Anonymous said...

Channel 4 has long been a bad joke.

Its employees are beginning to panic now privatisation looms, especially in the newsroom - most of all in its foreign "reporting" from the appalling Hilsum, Rugman and Miller.

So this latest "development" is no surprise at all to anybody who kept themselves alert as the Channel 4 managers got ready for the sell off.

It was only a matter of time before they got round to Muslims: They've already "done" the unemployed and poor.

A "commercialised public broadcasting service" my arse. It's just another propaganda arm run by a gang of sell out employees who wear stupid ties and socks and think that makes them "characters."

All of which opens up the possibility of John "Whoring" Whittingdale selling it off to the Nazi Murdoch. You know, roughly where Jeremy "Clown Grin" Hunt left off when he was giving the media to his bezzy meeja chum.

SteveB said...

@anon1 : we know where virtually everyone lived in 2011 because of the census which required amongst other things religious affilations and postcodes. Then number crunchers put all of that through a computer system and can ask for any combination of things. It would possible (subject to funding) to ask how many people have the surname Phillips and what sort of concentrations they live in. The stats can be used for other purposes, like asking how many registered as Muslim live within a number of miles of a planning application for a mosque to (dis)prove whether there is a local need. I know 2011 was 5 years ago but government stats are like that, until the 2021 returns are sorted the official answers are set (and reality may be officially wrong, but that's life).

Anonymous said...

At the moment the Muslim population in Britain is said to be around 1-2%. So when questions are asked as to whether the Muslim population may one day ‘take over’ Britain, we can probably conclude any possible Islamic take over is far down the line.
However, there is a possibility that the wrong question is being asked; because I think what most people are concerned about is something more realistic.
And I would formulate the question like this:

I acknowledge that the British Muslim population currently sits around 2%. And yet I am acutely aware of the affects of their presence, and the exponential influence of the Muslim demographic in Britain is already quite assertive, widespread and overt.
So I must ask - what will the exponential influence of Muslims in Britain be like when their demographic reaches 10%?

Of course this question isn’t being asked. Because it is both symbolic of a future that will most likely occur, and therefore exists as a difficult sell for the left.

And this brings me to my next point:
Anti-Islam organisations like PEGIDA are not just protesting Islamic extremism - and the component of terror associated within, they are protesting against the literal transformation brought about by a perceived Islamisation of European towns and cities.

And I would have to query - are they wrong?
And if a local, indigenous European feels their city is slowly transforming into a non-European, Islamic enclave, due to the many changes implemented upon the request of a continually growing, influential - yet imported Muslim community, is it right to simply tarnish this individual as a ‘racist’?
I would say no. And I suspect if a Muslim nation was forced to undergo drastic religious and cultural changes for the benefit of an imported European influx, I suspect the left would feel an obligation to support the indigenous Muslims.

Back to my first question:
UK and European politicians are refusing to have a conversation about the possibility of a future that most researchers estimate will be felt by Europeans within only 30 years. It is a future in which imported Muslim communities are no longer stuck at the minimal 2% margin, and have actually grown to 10% or more. Therefore the Europe many of us have always known, will no longer be the same.

And this is where the left - and the establishment right, would rather openly describe those with intellectual concerns as ‘racist’.

Jonathan Anthony said...

Not sure why the jump to attack the polling, the results and the methodology, let alone press and editors not of your political persuasion. Other similar polls, including that of Pew Research revealed very similar findings. It is extraordinary the lengths the left will go to, to excuse or apologise for distinctly illiberal attitudes within the muslim community as revealed by these polls. Genuinely baffling.

Anonymous said...


I'm curious (I'm not being contrary) but can you provide at least 5 examples of how "the exponential influence of the Muslim demographic in Britain is already quite assertive, widespread and overt" and what form this "literal transformation" takes?