The Telegraph—A controversial project claiming to measure anti-Muslim attacks will not have its government grant renewed after police and civil servants raised concerns about its methods.
The project, called Tell Mama, claimed that there had been a “sustained wave of attacks and intimidation” against British Muslims after the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, with 193 “Islamophobic incidents” reported to it, rising to 212 by last weekend.
The group’s founder, Fiyaz Mughal, said he saw “no end to this cycle of violence”, describing it as “unprecedented”. The claims were unquestioningly repeated in the media.
Tell Mama and Mr Mughal did not mention, however, that 57 per cent of the 212 reports referred to activity that took place only online, mainly offensive postings on Twitter and Facebook, or that a further 16 per cent of the 212 reports had not been verified. Not all the online abuse even originated in Britain.
Contrary to the group’s claim of a “cycle of violence” and a “sustained wave of attacks”, only 17 of the 212 incidents, 8 per cent, involved the physical targeting of people and there were no attacks on anyone serious enough to require medical treatment.
There have been a further 12 attacks on Islamic buildings, three of them serious, including a probable arson attack on a Muslim community centre in north London, which burned it to the ground.
Tell Mama supporters launched a furious campaign of protest against The Sunday Telegraph after it disclosed the breakdown last week, with round-robin emails to the newspaper accusing it of behaviour “better suited to the days of 1930s Germany”.
However, The Sunday Telegraph has now learned that even before Woolwich, the communities minister, the Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster, called Mr Mughal to a meeting and said that Tell Mama’s grant would not be renewed.
The organisation has received a total of £375,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) since last year.
“Mr Mughal was giving data on attacks to DCLG which wasn’t stacking up when it was cross-referenced with other reports by Acpo [the Association of Chief Police Officers],” said one source closely involved in counter-extremism.
“He was questioned by DCLG civil servants and lost his temper. He was subsequently called in by Don Foster and told that he would receive no more money.” (Continue Reading.)
Sunday, June 9, 2013
"Tell Mama" Loses Government Funding
The British government has given "Tell Mama" hundreds of thousands of pounds to monitor anti-Muslim attacks. Much like CAIR in the U.S., however, the group instead focused on exaggerating and misrepresenting reports in order to stifle criticism of Islam.