Independent runs story about Muslim lobby group CAGE… written by its spokesman!

Newspaper fails to identify author's links with lobby group central to the story

Pictured: Asim Qureshi of CAGE, who called Jihadi John a ‘beautiful man’

The Independent has published a news story about a Muslim lobby group with links to Islamic State executioner Jihadi John – co-written by the group’s former spokesman.

Campaign group CAGE made headlines earlier this year after calling Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John, a ‘beautiful man’ who was harassed by the UK intelligence services into joining Islamic State.

The story today (12 June), about the suspension of three Muslim students from NewVic college in Newham, London, mentions CAGE as a key part of the story, but does not identify co-author of the piece, Amandla Thomas-Johnson, as its former spokesman.

Mr Thomas-Johnson has worked as spokesman for CAGE as recently as March 28 of this year.

CAGE confirmed to Left Foot Forward that Thomas-Johnson had been a spokesman, but is ‘no longer with CAGE’ having left ‘a few months ago’.

The Independent declined to comment when contacted.

Thomas-Johnson has the sole byline for today’s Independent story in the paper’s print edition, but shares a byline on the web version.

The story says:

“The three girls were then suspended on 22 May after emailing a four-page letter criticising the college and setting out a list of 12 demands, including that it make a public statement criticising the Prevent strategy and invite groups critical of its implementation, including the campaign group CAGE.”

The next sentence presents CAGE’s position on counter-terrorism, saying:

“The row underlines the sensitivities among Muslim communities about official efforts to combat radicalisation such as Prevent, which critics see as demonising Muslims and stifling legitimate debate but supporters argue is vital to counter the threat of recruitment by organisations such as Islamic State.”

Mr Thomas-Johnson also wrote a comment piece for the Guardian in 2010 saying he wanted his family to convert to Islam or be damned.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Cage: I hate to say we told you so

Not in my Name: the ‘Joint UK Muslim Statement’ offers no progressive solutions

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10 Responses to “Independent runs story about Muslim lobby group CAGE… written by its spokesman!”

  1. Saleem Shady

    CAGE the praisers of beheaders, have a strategy now to agitate at schools and colleges in this manner. This will all have been coordinated with the students, to provoke this kind of situation, which can then be used to agitate. The girls will have been in touch with CAGE, and their spokesman was ready to write about it. The media should have their wits about them over this strategy.

  2. P K

    The comment piece that Mr Thomas-Johnson wrote for the Guardian on his attempts to convert his family made abundantly clear that he did so with love, out of a sense of familial duty, and approached them with due deference. Hardly the ‘convert or be damned’ caricature implied by the glib final line of this article.

  3. GoingKnightly

    And I quote: “…because unless my family accepts it too, I believe that they’ll go to hell.” Seems pretty clear that he thinks his family is damned if they don’t stop being Christians.

  4. Billo Qasira

    it was a vile, sinister, disgusting, depraved, dehumanising article that summarised the bigoted hatred and inhumanity of CAGE and their creed, and the fact that it got published in the Guardian sums up how inverted and pathetic in its grovelling to far-right Islamist hate the liberal left is at times. This article is a very welcome corrective to that vile tendency in parts of the Left

  5. Godfrey Paul

    This is how islamofascism works its cancer into our society.

  6. Patrick Nelson

    Conversely, do not many, possibly most, Christian’s think that Muslims and all other non-Christians are damned if they don’t convert to Christianity?

  7. Fugstar

    Cage make some good points that white left liberal block is blind to and would prefer to cover up. I wonder if LFF is more interesting in taking out grudges against rights groups of colour than defending the rights of students in Newham to be entitled to some basic dignity in their education.

  8. Ummer Farooq

    So the claim that the left foot is from the same viral body of that right hand? Please if only both of them could be removed for creating mischief in the land.

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