Downplaying the threat of Islamism while simultaneously disparaging Western culture is the stock in trade of countless media outlets, but few have pursued this task with such vigor as the BBC. Though its well-documented bias in covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict serves as Exhibit A, the same worldview is expressed in the BBC's broad deference to Islam.
Islamist Watch highlighted two examples in 2008: comedian Ben Elton's assertion that "the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass," along with a Christian party's protest that the network was censoring criticism of the London mega-mosque. Other cases from the IW archive include Hindus and Sikhs accusing the BBC of favoring Muslims and the head of the BBC arguing that Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity.
News items from May and June demonstrate that the broadcaster has only accelerated its descent into dhimmitude:
- The BBC Trust has rejected complaints against a 2008 Bonekickers episode that, in the words of the Daily Mail, depicts a Christian extremist graphically "hacking off a moderate Muslim's head in an unprovoked attack." Telegraph columnist Damian Thompson writes, "Only a BBC drama series would, to quote the complainant, 'transfer the practice of terrorist beheadings from Islamist radicals to a fantasized group of fundamentalist Christians.'"
The BBC has apologized to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and offered £30,000 in compensation after a panelist on its Question Time program accused the organization of supporting attacks on UK troops. The most interesting aspect of this surrender is that the British government largely shares the guest's viewpoint: it suspended links with the MCB in March because one of the group's leaders, Daud Abdullah, had signed a statement endorsing such violence in defense of Gaza.
Most significantly, the BBC has appointed Aaqil Ahmed as its new chief of religious programming. Ahmed's Muslim faith is not a problem in itself, but his work in a similar post at Britain's Channel 4 raises concerns. First, the series Christianity: A History, which he shepherded into existence, has been criticized as a ridicule-filled "showcase of dumbed-down religion." Second, Ahmed oversaw the discussion show Shariah TV, which Muslim theologian Michael Mumisa once slammed as a "fatwa machine." In one episode, a Birmingham cleric says that "Islam allows a man to beat his wife"; in another, a Brixton cleric outlines the virtues of female genital mutilation.
To add insult to injury, British households with color TVs have the pleasure of paying £142.50 per year to subsidize the BBC's whitewashing of radical Islam and besmirching of Judeo-Christian civilization. However, one suspects that the ultimate cost to the UK will be far greater — and not quantifiable in pounds.