Three months after Dispatches: Undercover Mosque won a police apology and libel damages, Channel 4 has announced it is returning to the subject in Undercover Mosque: The Return. Earlier this year West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service paid out a six-figure sum to Channel 4 and Undercover Mosque Hardcash, the independent producer responsible for the documentary, after falsely accusing the programme of misleading viewers. The documentary, an undercover investigation into extremism in mainstream British mosques, featured preachers calling for homosexuals to be killed, espousing male supremacy, condemning non-Muslims and predicting jihad. Last August, West Midlands police referred the critically acclaimed programme to media regulator Ofcom and, in conjunction with the CPS, issued a statement saying the words of three preachers featured had been “heavily edited” so their meaning was “completely distorted”. However, Ofcom cleared Channel 4 and Hardcash of any TV fakery and ruled they “dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context”. The two companies subsequently launched their libel action. Tara Conlan reports. It has now emerged that the same Hardcash production team have revisited the subject to “see whether extremist beliefs continue to be promoted in certain key British Muslim institutions”.
Channel 4’s Dispatches programme was awarded _100,000 in court on Wednesday from police after they were falsely accused of faking TV footage. _Undercover Mosque’ won a public apology from West Midlands police service in the High Court in addition to a six figure settlement. A press release issued by police and the CPS in August last year claimed that the Dispatches programme misrepresented the views of Muslim preachers and clerics recorded undercover. Police reported Channel 4 to TV watchdog Ofcom for “heavily editing” the words of Islamic imams to give them more sinister meaning in Dispatches: Undercover Mosque – isolating five instances in particular. After investigating, Ofcom rejected the complaints in a decision published in November 2007. Police spent around _14,000 on the investigation, which first looked at whether three of the individuals shown in the programme could be prosecuted for inciting terrorism or racial hatred. But then they announced offences may have been committed by Channel 4, specifically in stirring up racial hatred. Muslim Weekly->http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=571A48FD761E353E26DF659F&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News [Guardian Online->http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/may/15/channel4.television1?gusrc=rss&feed=uknews