has plenty to say about “Moonbat” Mahathir, premier of Malaysia and believer in every anti-semitic conspiracy theory going, who the BBC bizarrely picked as one of their experts on Islam. (See Toby Blyth’s post of Sep 02 for earlier commentary on Charles Krauthammer’s appearance then disappearance on the same billing.) The BBC’s page called “Mahathir in his own words” is somewhat more honest than I expected, and does include two of his milder anti-Jewish statements.

It’s good they are finally being reported. No, my quarrel this time is with the flattery of his ravings that his appointment as an expert implies.

Can you imagine the outcry if the BBC were to appoint as an “expert” on anything a white BNP member who held the same views about Jews as Mahathir does? For they do hold the same views: Mahathir is a great recycler of the screeds of Western anti-semites, being a particular fan of various writings of Henry Ford.

This on-line forum or whatever it is is supposed to take place on Oct 12th. By now the BBC will already have appointed and briefed some smooth-talking gnome to sit behind Mahathir and respectfully say, “Ah, no, Mr Prime Minister, we can’t really say that here.” I wonder if they’ll pull the plug on him if he really goes ape.

I’d rather he were not censored. Let the world see him for what he is. But the fact that the BBC has appointed him as one of its two designated experts on Islam is odd on several levels. I wish I could say that my objection was he was unrepresentative of Islam as it stands today. He is not. The Islamic world is awash with crude anti-semitic conspiracy theories. I don’t want the BBC to paper over this fact as they usually do. Yet at the same time I feel that it is – and I really mean this – disprespectful of Islam to blandly choose this addled old Alf Garnett figure as one of its two representatives as if that was all there was to it. It’s as if a real Alf Garnett were solemnly instated as an expert on Britain. He might, at certain times have been a fairly representative representative but, well, you’d kind of hope that they’d hunt aroud for someone better than that. Experts are meant to be above average.

I am dumbfounded, actually. Who on earth first thought of ringing up the old git and asking him, hey, you wanna be our expert on Islam? Did he volunteer himself and the Foreign Office were too polite to refuse? It doesn’t seem to advance the BBC agenda at all. Paradoxically someone like Daniel Pipes, who is a hate figure to to the progressive/Muslim nexus, would actually give an account of Islam that would be less likely than Mahathir’s to arouse contempt for the religion.

I can’t see this as ending in anything other than a huge row and considerable embarrassment for the BBC.

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4 Responses to LGF

  1. Susan says:

    As crazy and as nasty as Mahathir is, he is probably the most presentable Muslim “world leader” that the BBC could put up. In other words, he’s democratically elected, his nation is not a poverty stricken hellhole, and his opposition is much, much scarier than he is. (PAS, a hardline Islamist party.) In the Islamic world, these are scarce attributes indeed.

    Who else could they get? Iran’s Khatami? Yassir Arafat? Hosni Mubarak? Mushareff? Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia? Dictators all, some with copius amounts of blood on their hands. The whole point of this “special” is to get Westerners to like Islam, and Mahathir and the Jordanian royals are, in the BBC’s condescending estimation, the most likely to be considered acceptable by Westerners.


  2. Sandy P. says:

    Off of Zogbyblog:

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ — Nearly two years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, higher numbers of Americans believe that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its followers, a recent poll reveals.
    The survey, conducted June 24-July 8 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, shows that 44 percent of Americans say that Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions, up from 25 percent in a March 2002 Pew Forum/Pew Research Center poll. This opinion is as prevalent among better-educated individuals and those who are more knowledgeable about Islam as among the less educated and less knowledgeable.

    40%, we’re almost to the 1/2 way point. Hope we don’t have another 9/11 to push it to 1/2 to 2/3rd.


  3. ed says:

    I think the BBC’s use of ‘experts’ (note the use of scare quotes) is collaborative and despicable. Those cunning socialists have lost no time in discovering the potential of ‘outsourcing’. The same experts they call on also rely on the Beeb to create a profile which will boost their next book sale and create demand on the lecture circuit. The Beeb can cover any sort of person with their aura of respectability. It’s just another example of an over mighty PUBLIC sponsored broadcaster that they can command the services of Malaysia’s premier. How will the BBC ever remain neutral in their coverage of Malaysia or any other international arena if they are playing political games like this? Thank God the Internet will provide opportunities to ‘spoil their little game’.

    BTW- does anyone object to the sanctification of Baghdad BC’s Rageh Omar? I do. It’s another example of the BBC’s gung ho battle against the wrong sort of Britishness and sticking their tongue out to the Government’s objections to their coverage of the War in Iraq. These Beebites are soo childish that they have to make sad little gestures on our screen at every opportunity. Poor little Rageh, eh? Had a very tough war being got at from all sides- give the man a teddy bear and a TV documentary to kiss it better.


  4. Dave F says:

    Mahathir is against a lot of people. He’s the Robert Mugabe of Malaysia. He has spent much of his premiership rectifying control of the economy, which he considered to be unacceptably influenced by the “cosmopolitan” Chinese citizens of his country. He has succeeded to a large extent in his racist project to tilt the playing field in favour of echt Malays. His views on Jews ae pretty widespread in Asia, even in Japan. These countries, unlike old Europe, have not experienced the bracing corrective action that followed the second world war. Indeed, many in this region still believe the Holocaust conspiracy theories. And the infamous and discredited tract called “The Protocols of Zion”.