Back in July I looked at how the Mail and its readers had put a characteristically reactionary spin on a report by 'think-tank' Centre for Social Cohesion regarding Islam, militancy, extremism and students in universities.
Here's an interesting look at how think-tanks are aiming their sights at Islam, over at the Institute of Race Relations - a think-tank in itself, I guess you could say, but one with a bit more of a history than "set up by wealthy right-leaning 'philanthropists' about a year ago".
As the writer, Arun Kundnani, notes, it's not just the right-of-centre think-tanks that are taking this standpoint:
What of the political magazines of the liberal centre and centre-Left? Again, rather than challenge the tenets of the Right's framework on these issues, the approach has been one of borrowing and adaptation.
It is of course true that some interpretations of multiculturalism have been counter-productive and that Muslim political leaders need to be held to account by the communities they represent. But that is a far cry from the political agenda implied by these writers. Certainly, their writings can be seen as contributing to an ideological atmosphere in which attacks on multiculturalism and demands to restrict civil liberties, suppress democratic Muslim voices and downplay the legitimate issues that fuel Muslim anger at western states all become increasingly acceptable and part of a common political agenda across the party divide.
That's a consensus that should present journalists, as well as politicians, with concern. But because of the agenda of certain newspapers, it is not a concern that is widely expressed in the media. What will we see instead of these legitimate questions - more documentaries on 'extremist Islam' on Channel 4 and Panorama? I imagine so. Much more scary, and easy, than challenging a consensus that allows the restriction of freedoms and presents a grossly misleading picture of an entire community.