ISLAMIC HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
21 March 2002
ALERT UPDATE: Chair of the Runneymede Trust makes Islamophobic programme
The programme ‘Who Speaks for Muslims’ broadcast on 15 March on Channel 4 raises serious concerns about the suitability of Samir Shah in continuing to occupy the senior position of Chair of an organisation committed to combating prejudice. His programme severely undermines the recommendations provided for in the Trust’s report on Islamophobia.
We urge campaigners to write to the trustees of the Runneymede Trust to request the immediate resignation of Samir Shah from the above-mentioned position.
Letter, faxes, emails can be sent to:
The Runneymede Trust
Suite 106, London Fruit and Wool Exchange
London E1 6WP
Facsimile: 020 7377 6622
See below for model letter.
To The Runneymede Trust
Dear Sir/ madam,
I am writing to you regarding the suitability of Samir Shah in continuing to occupy the position of Chair of the Runneymede Trust. His recent production entitled ‘Who Speaks for Muslims broadcast on 15 march 2002 went against the Trust’s own recommendations and can only be described as promoting Islamophobia.
The programme engaged in vilification of the Muslim Council of Britain and the Union of Muslims Organisations portraying these moderate organizations as being extremists. Moreover, it engaged in character assassination of some of their prominent members accusing them of supporting various ‘terror’ movements.
Furthermore, the programme contained serious factual inaccuracies. Not only does this show shoddy research work on part of his production team but that this was overlooked in the pursuit of an Islamophobic agenda.
It is wholly inappropriate for someone occupying a senior position in an organization committed to eliminating prejudice and racism engaging in productions that only promote such concepts. His role as a producer of such a programme highlights his attitude towards Islam and Muslims which severely conflicts with his role within the organization. I therefore urge you to request his immediate resignation from the position of Chair.