Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The BBC’s religious bias

A helpful communicant has drawn Cranmer’s attention to the BBC website on Religion, and observes evident bias. For Christianity, it states:

‘Christianity is the world's biggest religion, with about 2.1 billion followers worldwide. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago.’

This is factual and dispassionate.

Compare this with the description of Islam:

‘Islam began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).’

The BBC bestows and affirms the unequivocal status of prophet upon Mohammed, and emotively exhorts us all to wish him peace.

If one were looking for equality and impartiality, ‘the Prophet Mohammed’ would be counterpoised with ‘the Lord Jesus Christ’. At least then both would have the prefix accorded by their followers.

It is more theologically significant that the BBC refers to the revelation of Islam, while there is no mention of Jesus being the fulfilment of the revelation of YHWH to mankind. And further, they reiterate the point when they state: ‘Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia’. Balance this with what they say about Jesus: ‘His birth is believed by Christians to be the fulfilment of prophecies in the Jewish Old Testament. Of Hinduism, they sate: ‘Hinduism claims to have many founders, teachers and prophets who claim first hand experience of God.’

Islam’s revelation is an unequivocal fact; Jesus’ birth is only believed by Christians to be the fulfilment of prophecies; and Hinduism claims to have many founders who claimed to have experiences. Why is the phrase ‘believed by Muslims’ not used? What about ‘Islam claims that Mohammed is the last prophet’? Or even 'Mohammed claimed to have revelation from God', which would then be consistent with the statement on Hinduism?

This is not the first time that the BBC has placed Christianity in submission to Islam; Christian orthodoxy was dissected by the Muslim journalist Rageh Omar just a few months ago, with no reciprocal analysis of the claims of Islam by a Christian journalist. But even more bizarrely for Cranmer, the BBC’s history of the Church ends in 1054 with the Great Schism. There is absolutely no mention of the Reformation which, of course, had a far greater impact on Christianity in the United Kingdom. It makes one wonder what it was all for…


Anonymous Voyager said...

This has been a soyrce of much comment over time on

which indicated that the BBC Website area had Muslims editing it.........which in view of the output hardly surprises

Now wonder why Islam is given prominence on the page and Christianity slotted in with the rest

Jesus stated publicly that he spoke with the authority of God.

This claim angered the religious authorities in Palestine

Palestine did not exist - Jesus was in Judea under Roman Occupation

Then read the section in "Christianity" on Same-Sex Marriage which seems to be missing from "Islam"

Now look who wrote these items


6 December 2006 at 11:33  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

We are being taken over by stealth of our establishments greed and corruption
combined with Islams oil money speaks louder than indiginous peoples rights!

6 December 2006 at 11:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually hinduism.. if you look at texts they (people who claim to be the offcial heads of the sects these days), have officialy described as the religions basis.. (wonder who gave them the authority) you will actually find that no one (whou could actually be credited with founding it) claims to have founded hinduism nor do any of the people who helped devolop it such as various sages (brighu. etc) ever take credit except to say that 'were one to conduct one's life in this manner, it would be for the better.' You will find that it is the various priests and the temples that stood to gain both power and wealth from imposing these ideals upon the people who say so.. Even Manu (Laws of Manu) who could be credited (or discredited) with having created the caste system had behind it the fundamental goal of creating a more efficient society (i.e priest, soldier, merchant, worker, slave to ensure that all aspects of society have members to ensure the optimum performance of progress in society).. ofcourse one will find various interpretations done so to suit what they are saying, but if one reads the books themselves you will find that this is most untrue.. I shall refrain from commenting on the aspects of christian theology and islam for my knowledge in those areas is not sufficient to make a positive statement and hence it will but be normative.. & as for the bbc.. well everyone knows the factual accuracy it is renowned for :)

6 December 2006 at 11:42  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Cranmer, the more I read your addictive blog, the more depressed I get. I seem to remember the BBC recently admitted its religious bias (or was it its pro-EU, anti-US bias?), but I'm at a loss to know what they were going to do about it. I pay a licence tax to have Islam treated with supreme respect and Christianity degraded. I am dismayed by this post, and am going to write to the BBC asking for an explanation.

6 December 2006 at 12:01  
Anonymous John Reith said...

Your Grace

You have clearly not read the BBC Religion site very closely. Otherwise you would have noticed that each religion is described in the style of its adherents - and using the language/habits of that faith.

Hence, Mohammed is called 'the Prophet mohammed' on the Islam page (but not elsewhere) and that pbuh afterthought is added.

The BBC openly declares its policy:

"to write about each faith from the point of view of that faith - so that our explanatory pages were in essence, a particular religion explaining itself to the reader." pbuh.shtml

If your Grace were to stray into the Catholic pages, you'd find:

"Popes can speak infallibly on matters of faith and morals " re...atholic_1.shtml

I know that's not a statement with which a cleric of your persuasion will agree, but I hope you will now see that it is not a bias in favour of Islam that you have stumbled upon - rather a stylistic device called coloured narrative.

May the blessings of Almighty God and his Son Jesus Christ go with you.

6 December 2006 at 12:20  
Blogger Brituncula said...

Some of the beeb's stuff on Christianity is decidedly odd. I suppose the weird prominence given to St Hilary in their table of festivals is explained by Rageh Omaar being an Oxford man.

6 December 2006 at 13:50  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

How can "Hinduism claims to have many founders, teachers and prophets who claim first hand experience of God" be from the point of view of that faith??!

John Reith might just look at the rest of the site. Islam doesn't talk about the CLAIMS of Mohammed - it really is statements of fact. Likewise "Christians believe..." cannot be a perspective from WITHIN the faith.

And if it states 'The Pope speaks infallibly', that just goes to prove Cranmer's point about bias. What happened to the Reformation? What about the ongoing effects in Ulster or Scotland? The BBC is so London-obsessed and in awe of Islam (or political correctness) that it is PROTESTANT Christianity that is ill-served by this BBC website, not so much Christianity in general.

6 December 2006 at 14:43  
Anonymous DJ said...

so what's your point ulster man. you think that if christianity was given more attention and praise than Islam, it would somehow make things more balanced. your favourtism towards christianity can also be viewed as bias form an islamic (or any other religion's) perspective.

6 December 2006 at 15:01  
Anonymous david aberdeen said...

To our host, thank you for informing us of this situation.
I cannot but agree with ulster man's comments and shall follow his example in asking for an explanation from the BBC.

On a slightly different point, looking at the BBC religion site, how can anyone classify Jehovah Witnesses as christians when they deny the very divinity of Christ? I've got the distinct impression that if I look at that site in more detail it will just reveal more and more causes to be depressed...

6 December 2006 at 15:03  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

My point, DJ, is perfectly clear, and I don't understand your inability to see it!!

You state the religions are 'coloured narrative' - the perspective is from WITHIN the faith. So why does Hinduism only have CLAIMS? Islam has facts. Nowhere does it say Mohammed CLAIMED to be a prophet, etc. And I'd hardly be mentioning Hinduism if my only concern was Christianity. It's not bias. It just a request for fairness. You just can't see it.

6 December 2006 at 15:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

PROTESTANT Christianity that is ill-served by this BBC

It is Protestantism which was the defining characteristic of Britain as an identity...........the decline of Protestantism is the decline of Britain as an identity.............

Why not rename is simply STATE Broadcasting Corporation ?

6 December 2006 at 16:12  
Blogger Brituncula said...

His Grace might have views on the BBC versions of the creed

Have they no historical feeling?

6 December 2006 at 16:41  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It isn't just that they are laughable - this is nothing to do with Anglicanism or is BBC gibberish.

I suppose they get high on the cocaine embedded in the studio wallpaper.........I have a sense that most of them are glue-sniffers and probably working closely with cellulose thinners............

The BBC is a standing joke

6 December 2006 at 16:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Brituncula,

His Grace was intrigued to have his attention drawn to the BBC's section on the Nicene Creed, and finds himself in agreement with Mr Voyager.

Further, he wonders why there is not an equivalent page for the Islamic Shahada, where people may contribute alternatives to its declaration of faith.

Mr Reith,

Welcome to His Grace's august blog, and thank you for your blessings which are returned. He can give no better reply to your post than that offered by Mr Ulsterman. The inclusion of the 'claims' of Hinduism has no equivalent language on the Islam page, where everything is spoken of in absolutes. It is one thing to have 'a device called coloured narrative'; it is quite another for the colour to be reserved for Islam, while others are manifestly monochrome.

6 December 2006 at 16:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Jesus through Muslim eyes

6 December 2006 at 18:15  
Anonymous Colin said...

Well said and with style " It is one thing to have 'a device called coloured narrative'; it is quite another for the colour to be reserved for Islam, while others are manifestly monochrome."

6 December 2006 at 23:35  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

This from the wikipedia on words to avoid, "which can advance a point of view"

it carries a very strong connotation of dubiousness: by using it, you suggest that the assertion is suspect

or go to

They do this all the time. I have seen trash from the BBC's world correspondents full of "claims that" "denies" etc.
I dare say that Archbishop Cranmer denies beating his wife.

What of it Cranmer? Do you deny it?

7 December 2006 at 01:30  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace believes that the fair sex is equal to the male kind and should be treated courteously at all times and with supreme respect.

His Grace also believes that threads should remain on topic.

7 December 2006 at 10:04  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

One could hardly expect less from our national broadcaster. St Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus in chapter 2 verse 2 tells us about those whose ways are devilish: he talks about those who follow "the ways of the world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient".

Once we realize that the airwaves are under the control of Satan himself it becomes hardly a surprise that he should push the particular false religion that is most popular worldwide.

7 December 2006 at 10:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

that the airwaves are under the control of Satan himself .

Not sure I would go so far since i think the ether is neutral; I do however believe all man-made institutions have a tendency towards corruption and perversion over time rather like The Augean Stables.....................where the rust and moth doth corrupt

7 December 2006 at 11:21  
Blogger istanbultory said...

If the airwaves are not under the direct control of Satan, they are certainly under the control of a morally bankrupt, politically correct, self-appointed "elite". The havoc wreaked by multiculturalism, ethnic preferment and an all-encompassing hatred of Judaeo-Christian civilisation are now clearly to be seen. The Mohammedan, however, is unencumbered by any such self-doubt and weakness, fully perceives the decline of western civilisation and happily continues his advance through the institutions of state and society at the tax -payers expense.... 'time for Al-Beed to feel the chill wind of market forces I would say.

Your Grace, Did our Protestant martyrs die in vain?

7 December 2006 at 11:53  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

istanbultory might like to look at my "zeitgeist-O-meter"

7 December 2006 at 17:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

One of the BBC's favourite "Anglicans" and one who wrote sections of the BBC site on Christianity


10 December 2006 at 05:58  
Anonymous laocoon said...

You might wish to notice that the BBC website also refers to "the prophet Zoroaster". The BBC is certainly anti-christian, but your line of argument (e.g. refering to someone as an actual prophet) could equally be used to argue that the BBC places Zoroastrianism above Christianity. Given that it's the BBC, that might be true!

But seriously, your conclusion is right, but the argument is pretty weak.

11 December 2006 at 18:26  

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