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Focus on Islamism
Wednesday 14th July 2010
David Miller only raises more questions

SHIRAZ MAHER

UPDATE: The final paragraph relating to the source of David Miller's funding has been edited.

Professor David Miller, who operates the SpinWatch, SpinProfiles and Neocon Europe websites, has responded to a piece by my colleague Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens. At best, Miller's answers are evasive and inadequate.

In the comments section of Alexander's article, Miller writes:

Meleagrou-Hitchens argues that his profile should not appear on our website Powerbase, because he did not want to feature on a site which in the past ‘published' the work of racist academic Kevin MacDonald.

Meleagrou-Hitchens well knows that - to our regret - one of our researchers did quote MacDonald on one of our sister sites - as opposed to ‘publishing' anything by MacDonald.

This could be seen as misdirection by Miller. The difference between ‘quoting' and ‘reproducing' would be the terms in which the selected material of MacDonald was represented on the website. As it was, MacDonald's views were reproduced, at length, and without challenge, on Neocon Europe. The passages appeared in terms which not only seemed to approve of - but also approbated - MacDonald's views.

The Spittoon points out:

NeoCon Europe still decided to present MacDonald's views on their website as an objective commentary on Irving Kristol's ‘The Neoconservative Persuasion'.

It is the representation of MacDonald's views as authoritative and objective commentary that is problematic. Miller cannot deny this, and it goes much further than merely quoting something distasteful.

Miller goes on to say:

The person involved is no longer a contributor to our wiki projects. Note also that our project is a wiki with literally hundreds of registered users, many of them volunteers.

Again, there is reason to suspect misdirection from Miller here. Neocon Europe might well have ‘hundreds of registered users' but even a cursory glance of the website reveals that it has only a handful of regular contributors. The most prolific are David Miller, Tom Griffin, Idrees Ahmad and Tom Mills.

As a result, the individual involved in this case should be named. This is surely a natural course of action for any group which concerns itself with full transparency and disclosure - something I know Professor Miller values highly. We should also be given an opportunity to speak with and interview the individual concerned. I look forward to receiving this information soon.

Miller simply cannot continue claiming dispassionate objectivity while refusing to answer the simple questions put to him by Faisal Gazi and myself.

Again, for the sake of convenience, I reproduce the questions here:

1. Who posted the material by Kevin MacDonald on Neocon Europe?

2. What disciplinary action was taken against this individual? Do they still write for Neocon Europe? If so, why?

3. What steps have been taken to review all other material contributed by them to the site?

4. Neocon Europe claims to have ‘tighten[ed] the editorial process governing the posting of material'. Please explain, in detail, what new processes have been introduced.

At best, it seems only the second question has been answered. Even then, no documentary evidence has been forthcoming. For a group concerned with absolute transparency this is most disappointing.

 
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About Focus on Islamism

Focus on Islamism is a blog dedicated to analysing and exposing the modern ideological phenomenon known as Islamism.

Shiraz Maher is a writer and broadcaster.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens is a PhD student at King's College, London.  He has contributed to various online and printed publications including, The Daily Telegraph, Lebanon's Daily Star, Standpoint and NOWLebanon. 

To contact the authors, click here

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