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    • thorgalle
      ScoutScribe
      7 months ago

      I binged this podcast in a few days around the weekend. It was gripping for sure, but I thought informative as well.

      Ultimately, one false narrative – that there was a problem of violent extremism in these schools – is never improved by another: that beyond Islamophobia there was nothing much to see here at all.

      I don't think they conveyed that there "was nothing much to see here at all". Indeed, it’s true the podcast doesn't talk at length about the various (true) testimonials and other whistleblowing that did come up after the hoax letter surfaced, but they do mention some important ones. They focused on the origin and motivation behind the letter, and tried to connect the dots to such a widespread overblown response that made the whole Muslim subculture suspicious by default in education and elsewhere. I don't think they contend that an intervention was necessary, they seem to suggest it could have been more localised and excluded the terrorism stamp.

      Even though Reed and Syed later concede the accuracy of the female whistleblowers’ account – that pupils were taught that wives cannot refuse their husbands sex – the journalists use three sources to try to undermine other aspects of the women’s testimony. But they fail to reveal pertinent information about the sources which raises serious questions about their credibility. And the whistleblowers are named in the podcast, even though they had understood they would be contributing anonymously.

      I think it's fair that every aspect of a testimony is evaluated individually. Of course, lying about anonymity, and some more points here, ARE problematic with the podcast. Always good to see other views on a gripping story!

      1. Update (2/22/2022):

        Some things seemed really good in the podcast. For example, that they show that the suspected hoax letter was used in so many cases (legal cases, reports, police questioning) where it shouldn't have been.