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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
What the papers say
The following is a list of recent press articles relating the the programme "A Question of Leadership", broadcast on Sunday 21 August 2005 at 22:20 BST on BBC One, and its subject.

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The Sunday Telegraph, 21 August 2005

Top job fighting extremism for Muslim who praised bomber

"News of his appointment comes 10 days after he wrote to Mark Thompson, the BBC Director General, accusing a forthcoming BBC1 Panorama programme of possessing "a pro-Israeli agenda'."

The Observer, Sunday 21 August 2005

Muslim leaders accuse BBC of witch hunt

"Row intensifies as broadcaster claims Muslim Council of Britain has put pressure on contributors to pull out of controversial documentary"

British Muslims are judged by 'Israel test'

"Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, responds to the Observer reports"

'We're not all hardline extremists'

"The Observer's report last week that the Muslim Council of Britain was accused of links with extremism abroad has stirred up a huge response. Here we print a selection of views in the debate"

The Independent on Sunday, 21 August 2005

"Do we all share a set of values which includes the obligation to report a suspected terrorist to the police, regardless of his or her religion? That is where tolerance quite properly draws a line, and tonight's Panorama suggests that we have yet to acknowledge the extent to which extremists have successfully promoted hatred of British culture among young British Muslims." - Joan Smith

The Guardian, 22 August 2005

Muslim Council demands BBC apology

"The Muslim Council of Britain is seeking a public apology from BBC director general Mark Thompson over last night's Panorama, which it called 'deeply dishonest'."

Throwing mud at Muslims

"Branding moderates as extremists will have disastrous consequences"

"Ware veered erratically from the McCarthyite absurd to some legitimate accusations. First on the charge sheet were examples of the former: the "conviction that Islam is a superior faith and culture which Christians and Jews in the west are conspiring to undermine", and a "distaste for western secular culture". This is ridiculous; I've yet to meet a member of any faith who doesn't believe in the superiority of their beliefs, while fear of being undermined is similarly common. Since when has "distaste" become a cause for suspicion?"

"On the other hand, where the campaign makes a legitimate accusation is that there is a virulent strain of anti-semitism and anti-Christian sentiment that appears in some Saudi-influenced strands of Islam. Ware points out that a Saudi imam invited to the East London Mosque had preached in just such terms in Saudi Arabia in sermons subsequently published on the web" - Madeleine Bunting

The Independent, 23 August 2005

Panorama was a hatchet job on Muslims

"While we might chuckle at Panorama's revelatory finding that Muslims, like Christians, Jews and Hindus, consider their religion to be superior to its rivals, Muslims will detect a more ulterior motive, namely an attempt to force a cornerstone of secular liberalism 'moral relativism' on the community." - Faisal Bodi

The Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2005

British Muslims forgetting their roots

"Sunday's Panorama programme presented the wretched spectacle of Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, wriggling on a hook of his own making."

"Listening to Sir Iqbal's weaseling - which will have failed to impress most Muslims, both "moderate" and "radical", as much as it will have irritated non-Muslims - I was reminded of another knighted Muslim of long ago." - Mihir Bose

Evening Standard, 24 August 2005

Not TV McCarthyism, just an overdue classic

"John Ware's Panorama about British Muslim leaders' attitudes to extremism has started a series of rows - most of them important and overdue... Ware, now clearly established as Britain's premier current affairs reporter, had been thinking and worrying about this issue for more than a year before the recent (bomb) attacks..."

"The pity is that it has taken the London bombings to get those of us in the mainstream media to look more intelligently at the diverse views of Britain's Muslim community. In the circumstances, the findings were inevitably worrying - but there must be opportunities for other perspectives. The sad truth is that there has not been the appetite until now."

The Spectator, 27 August 2005

"What was amazing about John Ware's 'A Question of Leadeship' on Panorama last Sunday was that it has taken nearly four years since 11 September for such a programme to be made. It simply and successfully did the basic journalistic job of asking difficult questions." - Charles Moore


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