Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph included an opinion piece titled “Hizb ut-Tahrir wants a Caliph”, supposedly written — and seemingly submitted to the Tele — by media spokesman for the Australian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Wassim Doureihi.
In fact, Doureihi confirmed to Crikey yesterday afternoon that neither he nor anyone else from his organisation submitted anything to the Tele.
So where did the Tele‘s Opinion Editor Tim Blair source this article? Well…Doureihi sees the article as surprisingly similar in content to a recent Hizb ut-Tahrir press release placed on their website.
If The Australian thinks Media Watch is suspect for dealing with alleged jihadists, the Tele must be equally as suspect for reproducing articles by Islamists. But more fundamental than this, what on earth was Tim Blair thinking when he decided to reprint (and almost plagiarise) a press release as an article without seeking the author’s permission?
I’ve had op-eds published in over 16 newspapers in Australia and New Zealand. I’ve never seen or heard of a paper editing and reprinting my stuff without my permission. In fact, most opinion editors ask me to approve the final version before it goes to print. Certainly Blair’s predecessor showed the same basic professional courtesy.