Between naiveté and intellectual dishonesty: debating Shari‘a in the UK

Recently in the UK the debate, started by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments on the so-called Shari‘a Law, has seen a new wave of discussion following the publication of Sharia Law or ‘One Law For All by the controversy-seeking  conservative think tank Civitas. The author of the report, Dr Denis MacEoin, is not new to readers of my blog and also quite well known for his questionable (if not creative) social scientific skills and methodologies in a previous publication byPolicy Exchange.However, Dr Denis MacEoin has this time honestly admitted that his methodology has been based on what I can only call ‘analogical induction’. Continue reading

A lesson to learn

As some of you may have noticed, I usually do not comment immediately upon events and news. There are two main reasons for this, firstly I am very slow in updating my blog, secondly I believe that to have a detached view and analysis of what is going on, you need to have some time for reflection. This is even truer when you, yourself, have been involved in the story.

As you can read in some of my previous posts, I was one of the first academics to question and criticise the formerly media-acclaimed Policy Exchange’s report on extremist literature in British mosques and Islamic institutes authored by Dr MacEoin. This led to a couple of exchanges with the main researcher and author of the report, who often had a certain goliardic attitude towards legitimate methodological questions. Finally, what was at first an academic analysis and criticism of a flawed methodology, a dodgy research ethic, and a sensationalist (politically driven) report, ended in being shamed by the same mass media which used to praise it. Continue reading