Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jon Ronson: Tottenham Ayatollah Revisited

Aired: September 5, 2005 on Channel 4

In 1997, when Islamist extremism was still somebody else’s problem, Jon Ronson spent a year profiling cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed. In a post-7/7 world, the resulting film gets a re-screening with a new introduction from Ronson. The government says Bakri won’t be allowed to return to the UK and certainly his anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual views are distasteful; but Ronson (himself Jewish) also manages to convey, via mundane details, the absurdities of Bakri’s mission to turn Britain into an Islamist state — jihad training in a Crawley scout hut etc.

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