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?