Controversial campaign group Cage brings in Muslim public affairs specialist

The campaign group Cage has employed the services of a specialist public affairs consultancy following a disastrous press conference in which it described the Isis terrorist 'Jihadi John' as a "beautiful young man".

Mohammed Emwazi: Was unmasked in February as ‘Jihadi John’
Mohammed Emwazi: Was unmasked in February as ‘Jihadi John’
Cage, which works with communities affected by the War on Terror, held a press conference in February after the British man Mohammed Emwazi was unmasked as the Isis executioner 'Jihadi John', in which it detailed his harassment at the hands of the British authorities and described him as a "beautiful young man".

The press conference gained worldwide attention and led to Cage being described as apologists for terrorist organisations. The major funders of the organisation later agreed not to give it money in the future after an intervention from the Charity Commission, which regulates charities.

Communica, a consultancy specialising in Muslim public opinion, carried out a review of the organisation in which it concluded that the press conference was "not planned, not structured, not scripted and too long – it came across as a lecture".

By failing to provide a simple soundbite to the media, Cage failed to distance itself from Emwazi’s actions and allowed itself to be portrayed negatively.

Communica said in its review: "These two shortcomings, along with a clear distancing from Emwazi’s actions, and the ‘beautiful young man’ comment allowed the media to easily portray Cage as being on the side of [Isis’ executioner]."

Communica was given access to confidential internal paperwork and allowed to interview key staff to arrive at its findings.

Adnan Siddiqui, the director of Cage, said: "This review was difficult to undertake, however it was important to help us learn and develop... On this occasion we made mistakes and we recognise this."

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