Greetings ya all!! So, here we are again: (if you feel like you’ve been here before, …, well, you have, in a manner of speaking!), that is to say: you’ve never quite been ‘HERE Before! And neither has the man in question! I’m sure you’ll all recall the man who wanted to be, a ‘MSP! (woohooo that rhymes!). Yeah, of course we are talking about the Wahabi’s friend, Osama Saeed! After being kicked out of the Scottish Islamic Foundation, attacked by the Newspapers and losing out on the Central Glasgow seat in the General Elections to a fellow Muslim crook from the Labour Party, you might have expected me to be running in to MR Saeed during my weekly visits to the DWP!! But no chance!! Osama is above all that! The difference between he and I is that, he gets paid to waste time on Twitter: I don’t (yet!). Rolled up trousers has definitely brought home the bacon (bad euphemism I know, but made me chuckle). In a shock tweet this Afternoon, Osama informed his faithful that he’d be joining Al Jazeera as “their International head of Media Relations”, and he’s “really excited!”. I bet he is!! I mean, how many X-Ekhwan followers with fraud allegations to their names and an equally dodgy political past on the record get such a gig!! As I reflected on this news, and started forcing my head past ‘what the …., why? …, I started to try and picture the gig, I’m sure you can pretty much map out the job description can’t you? A man with a proven media track record, an accomplished journalist, some one who has a contacts book to kill for, and who has worked in conflict resolution (as apposed to conflict generation of course!), who is non-biased, qualification in International relations: …, I don’t need to go on do I? So, I’m sitting here in my freezing flat, thinking of all my super talented journalist friends who are still on the shelf, not recognised for their work, or else, stuck in third-rate positions because they are women, or disabled, or disabled women, or Muslim, or because their face doesn’t fit, …, and then, I’m imagining the ‘sofa talk at the top: “Hey dood, I know this dodgy guy, he used to be a terrorist, but then he realised hot air pays more, and of course you live longer: he’s always blogging, always on twitter, he ran off with allot of Scottish Government Money, but what’s cool about him is despite all that, the Governing SNP in Scotland still wanted him to stand for them! He lost! But who cares: he’s still among the top 10 most Influential Muslims in the UK! We need him on our team!! Some one who’s been there, who can equalise the Evil, you know what I mean? Some one who can talk, ‘Osama to Osama!”. If you are not familiar with this guy, you soon will be, he’ll be repeating on you like an overdose of achaar on a television screen near you!! And if you are familiar: its all one and the same isn’t it? how many of us, whether in the UK, the US, or beyond, suffer governments, religious leaders, self-proclaimed founts of wisdom who, just because they come from the ‘right families, or know the right people, develop ideas, and postings, way above their stations!! How many of us, despise and loathe these individuals, but when they make it in to the mainstream, those self-same haters contribute to their ‘saviour status, by bigging them up, or voting for them because ‘its better the devil you know than the one you’ve witnessed in embryo!
Cream ought to rise, but these days, its hot air that rises among Muslims: and for the most part, we silently suffer the kinds of leaders we generate. All the same, its very easy for a pumped up wonnabe to install himself as the leader of a poorly represented minority! Whether it be Islam, Disability etc, every community has them! What worries me however, is when once respected media outlets choose to install them based on their own adopted labels! People like this were laughed all the way back to their front rooms when I worked at the BBC, and though their impartiality has been called in to question in recent years, the Beeb have largely held on to their original stance on this. Al Jazeera however, has recently become the first port of call for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, looking for an honest, unbiased, alternative view of world events! Its an accolade they have gained, not through their political positioning, but through cutting edge reporting, the kind of content that attracts the Likes of David Frost and Rageh Omar! But …, Osama Saeed? I’m somehow not feeling it! I can’t make up my mind if it’s a box that needs ticking, or some kind of new Minority political affiliation designed to boost the rating figures! After all, who wouldn’t want a wahabi made good, (or not least, a wahabi who can string 3 words together and fake intelligence!). (if Al Jazeera want any more, I know a few BTW: and some of them were the real deal in Afghanistan too!).
On a serious note, what worries me is that, by appointing such self-styled leaders is that, their massive salaries and 24/7 blogs and twitter presence eventually dupes media bosses in to believing they actually know what they are talking about, and thus negates the need for journalists to engage with the real world, and actually talk to real Muslims, (the silent majority as it were). I’m ashamed to say that I know way too many journalists today who’s day begins and ends with the computer screen as they flutter their mouse between blogs and wires, basing a story entirely on hearsay, or online insults aimed at their opponents!
Reporting Islam is a complicated business these days. Saudi has one agenda, Iran has a very different one, but the severity contained in non-compliance is one and the same, and then there is the US and the UK pressure to ‘play safe and avoid all agendas in the East (and follow their own). People like MR Saeed might not be well-versed in media, in the common opinion, or in the real politics of conflict analysis, but they know how to shmoos, what to say and to whom they must say it, they know when to spout hot, and when cold, when to roll up the trousers, and when to keep them at ankle-length, and sadly, that, seems to be all you need! Good luck Osama, not that you’ll need it! how does that saying go: …, the System looks after its own!
Now excuse me, I need to get back to the Jobcentre!