Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Guardian man fired after blog attack

Rhys Blakely:

The Guardian has terminated a reporter's one-year training contract after a blogger revealed the writer was a member of a extremist Islamist political party and had not declared his interest to the newspaper when he wrote for its comment pages after the July 7 attacks.

The Guardian's move - according to the newspaper, taken after reporter Dilpazier Aslam refused to resign from the party, Hizb ut- Tahrir - echoes recent media oustings in America, but is the first time a British journalist has been forced to step down after coming under fire from bloggers - independent web diarists.

Scott Burgess, who runs the Daily Ablution blog, revealed Mr Aslam’s ties to Hizb ut-Tahrir, which operates legally in Britain but is banned in several other countries.

Hizb ut-Tahrir has courted controversy for campaigning for a global Islamic state under sharia law, with its publication The Inevitability of the Clash of Civilisations.

According to a 2003 BBC report, the Hizb ut-Tahrir's website "promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs, and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people".

It is described in an internal Home Office briefing note as a "radical, but to date non-violent Islamist group".

The note described the organisation as "an independent political party that is active in many countries across the world. HT's activities centre on intellectual reasoning, logic arguments and political lobbying. The party adheres to the Islamic sharia law in all aspects of its work."

The note adds: "It probably has a few hundred members in the UK. Its ultimate aim is the establishment of an Islamic state (Caliphate), according to HT via non-violent means. It holds anti-semitic, anti-western and homophobic views."

Aslam Roundup

L'Affaire Aslam: The Ablution Responds

The Independent claims credit for Scott Burgess's work

Background: the Guardian and Dilpazier Aslam

Dilpazier Aslam leaves Guardian

The Guardian falls to blogs

'The Guardian' of the Caliphate

Waging the war of words


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