Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The pro-Islam bias of the BBC

Cranmer wonders what the BBC is playing at with this sort of headline. Is there some pro-Islamic agenda? Is there some covert educational plan to indoctrinate viewers? The BBC has already admitted that it accords the Qur'an more respect than the Bible, and that it is biased against the state religion. This sort of reporting simply confirms the admission.

It is quite wrong to demonise an entire faith group because of the actions of a minority of its adherents, but neither can it be right to convey without critical analysis the impression that Mohammedans are ‘more loyal’ to the United Kingdom than the rest of the population. More loyal to which aspect? Its traditions? Culture? Freedom of speech? Its enlightenment libertarianism? Its morality?

According to a Gallop survey, sections of which have been reported to the BBC, ‘Muslims in the UK are more likely to identify strongly with Britain and have confidence in its institutions than the population as a whole’, they are ‘more likely to take a positive view of living side-by-side with people of different races and religions’, and the majority ‘do not believe the veil is a barrier to integration - unlike most of the wider population’.

How can this BBC headline have any credibility at all when the article goes on to include questions relating to the Islamic understanding of Islamic cultural practices? It stands to reason that more Muslims will not believe the niqab to be a barrier to integration, just as Sikhs would believe the turban to be consistent with their sense of British identity, or Christians might deem the wearing of a cross to be a necessary expression of their faith. That these things do not seem so to the outsider is hardly newsworthy.

And why is the BBC not reporting on the more contentious issues of the integration of Mohammedans with contemporary British culture? The Times has a much more impartial reporting of this survey, including facts such as only 5% of Mohammedans find homosexuality ‘acceptable’ (compared to 65% generally), and that more Mohammedans accept ‘honour killings’.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 69% of ‘identify very or extremely strongly with their religion’, and 82% ‘respect other religions’. What is the meaning of this ‘respect’? Were any of them asked what should happen to Muslims who convert to Christianity? Were any of them asked about Shari’a principles of law being introduced into UK law? Public beatings, stoning, hanging? Were any asked about the role and status of women compared to men, or what they thought of the faith that inspired September 11th, July 7th, the planned bombings to bring down trans-Altantic jets, or those who demanded the beheading of Muslim British servicemen for fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq?

The BBC ought at least to take this Gallop poll and present it impartially, and then compare like with like. Or is it that they dare not compare Islam to other faith groups, because to do so might yield a thoroughly unpalatable set of statistics?


Anonymous Voyager said...

The British poll was carried out only in Greater London

So how is it "British" ?

Presumably it was a survey in Broadcasting House

17 April 2007 at 22:17  
Blogger C4' said...

If I were Prime Minister, I would privatise the BBC and force it to compete in a market economy. If the BBC didn't adapt to that new reality, it wouldn't bail it out.

18 April 2007 at 10:51  
Anonymous Tanfield said...

Now that the BBC Charter has been renewed is there any way available to outsiders to pressurise it to remove this bias short of privatising it which the present or any Brown government certainly won't do?

18 April 2007 at 12:28  
Blogger AntiCitizenOne said...

the BBC does not need to be "privatised" (sold for the states benefit).

It would be far better to turn it into a mutual society, owned by former license fee payers (now subscribers). These owners would vote the BBC board in, and hopefully correct it's woeful problems, or let it die.

18 April 2007 at 13:20  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace has just found this interesting snippet:

The identification with Islam by some (non-Muslim) BBC staff seems to grow by the day, as is shown by the following email exchange between a BBC listener and news executive on the use of the word inshallah -- an Arabic phrase meaning "God willing" or "If it is God's will" -- by a star BBC Mideast reporter on the station's Radio Four's PM program.

Full story here.

18 April 2007 at 16:47  
Anonymous Observer said...

Hugh Sykes has form on such things...

18 April 2007 at 17:40  
Anonymous miss jelly bean a.k.a the green bean said...

Cranmer, you said that according to The Times, only 5% of Muslims find homosexuality 'acceptable'.

That which is acceptable can be interpreted as either tolerable, or agreeable. Indeed it may be true that only 5% of Muslims agree to the concept of homosexuality, but that doesn't mean that only 5% are willing to tolerate homosexuals, right?

18 April 2007 at 18:01  

regarding "accepting other religions" some of my wife's relates were beheaded in turkey (in kappadokia) 90 years ago because they were christians, then they had to remove from their homeland that used to live for 3000 years during the population exchange, is this how they perceive 'tolerance'?

18 April 2007 at 18:11  
Anonymous Colin said...

Hello Miss Jelly Bean a.k.a the green bean, glad that you are back and did not abandon us poor chaps here. A club entirely without female companionship is rather boring. Apparently the jelly bean is green. Is it because of environmental (global warming) concern or because of the colour of Islam?

Politics and free thinking,

I am sorry to hear that your relative have been beheaded in Turkey 90 years ago. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Here the lastest news from the BBC concerning Islam: "THREE KILLED AT TURKISH PUBLISHER -Three people have been killed at a publishing house in Turkey that produced bibles, in an apparent attack on the country's Christian minority. They were bound hand and foot and their throats had been slit, officials said."

By comparison, the related news in German and American media are longer and more detailed. Here the report of "Die Welt" "Bound and the throats slit":

"The "Zirve" publishing company, apparently run by free-ecclesiastical protestants, had been threatened in the past repeatedly, also in Internet forums. It had become a political issue in Malatya, after local media asked whether it is unlawful. Spreading Christian writings to non-Christian counts in Turkey as proselytization and hence as a crime. On the other hand, spreading Muslim writings to non-Muslims is legal."

"USA Today" reports "Bible publishers killed in Turkey": "The attack added to concerns in Europe about whether this predominantly Muslim country — which is bidding for EU membership — could protect its religious minorities..."

18 April 2007 at 21:31  
Blogger Cedars School P5/6 said...

Interesting and challenging material your Grace. It seems to me that to value tolerance as highly as we now do - it appears to be our most prized virtue - is leading to a profound intolerance towards what would have traditionally been thought of as 'normality.'
If I happen to be a straight, Christian man, the husband of one wife and the father of all my children, never having had sex outwith marriage or considered any extra-marital affairs. If I consider that the building block of healthy society is a 'traditional' family life and hold to 'fundementalist' Christian moral on subject like sexuality and homosexuality.
I am increasingly, of all men most despised.

Queer eh?

18 April 2007 at 23:35  
Anonymous Colin said...

Cedar school p5/6,

Congratulations for your interesting website (www.andrewjewell.com) and your happy family. After all, that's the most important asset in life.

19 April 2007 at 00:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Is there some pro-Islamic agenda?

Yes. Blame Jack Straw.

ALL public bodies must report to The Home Office (Mountain of Doom) annually on progress in meeting race and ethnic quotas....the Diversity Agenda.

I have no doubt that the BBC has been most assiduous. They already have BBC Radio dominated by women; and no doubt they have filled the lower ranks of the BBC with quota-matching staffing.

It would nt be a surprise to find the BBC Website as a standalone company using freelancers loading content from home for editing at BBC HQ.......or that on matters regarding Islam they use exclusively Muslim staff

19 April 2007 at 07:21  
Anonymous Colin said...

The BBC bias is further evidenced by the lack of a report about another killing in Kashmir:

"A Christian evangelist was beheaded and his head kept in a polythene for display outside a mosque allegedly by Kashmiri militants April 14, in Pulwama district in Kashmir.

Police recovered the head of the 33-year-old Manzoor Ahmad Chat in a polythene bag outside a mosque and the rest of the body from the paddy fields in Pinglana village."

19 April 2007 at 18:58  
Anonymous billy said...

Perhaps it part of a secret deal to win the release of their jounalist. Unless the Israelis have him, in which case it won't help at all.

19 April 2007 at 22:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The case in Turkey is interesting in that previous investigations have run into a brick wall when they find the police involved in the murders of Christians...a fact Die Welt reports but the BBC fails to report

20 April 2007 at 03:00  
Anonymous Observer said...

From Laban Tall's Blog

think there is very good reason to doubt the impartiality of those responsible for devising and for interpreting the poll, and hence to mistrust any claims about what it supposedly has revealed about the opinions of Muslims.

The reason to mistrust the impartiality of some of those connected with the poll is that, as stated on its own website, in developing and analysing data from the World Poll, the Gallup Organisation has relied 'on a panel of world–renowned scientists … [who] include John Esposito'. Now, John Esposito, as I explained in a related posting about the Gallup poll in February, is the founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington DC which changed its name to its present one, after his university where it is based received a gift of $20 million from the man to whose name his centre changed its own.

As I reported in my posting about the Times' encomium of Ken Livingstone last week, this Saudi benefactor is known to be someone who is prepared to use his fabulous wealth and great influence to shape world-opinion in a way favourable to Muslims in general and to the Saudi Wahhabi regime in particular. He also happens to be the single largest share-holder in the holding company that owns, among many other news-media, ... the Times.

Posted by Laban at 7:01 AM

23 April 2007 at 08:56  

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