Unhinder us!

Former top anti-terror police officer Peter Clarke says the anti-terror police are constrained by the Contempt of Court Act. Because of it, the police are unable to explain why they do what they do, and this discourages ‘the community’ from cooperating with them.
Citing the controversial 2003 police raid of the Finsbury Park Mosque, he said restrictions had actually forced the police to skew the conduct of operations.

The BBC has its own Restraining Act, and it implements this mysterious act when describing certain individuals.
Q. When is a Muslim not a Muslim? A. When he’s a terror suspect.
On such occasions he’s religiously de -religionised by the BBC, and ‘the community’ is just any old community. So as not to jeopardise community cohesion.

On the other hand, when it applies to something admirable, or something English, they go to ridiculous lengths to include the ROP.
A programme entitled ‘Morris and the Muslims’ is being trailed relentlessly on the radio.
William Morris, renowned 19th C. English designer of wallpaper and fabric, pioneer of the Arts and Crafts movement and Commie, was, according to the BBC, influenced by “The Muslim World.” This is the first I’ve heard of it. I thought stained glass, medieval history, the classics, French cathedrals, and visiting Iceland were the things that influenced him. His patterns emanated from natural forms, fruit, foliage etc.

Islamic art consists of repetitive patterning. Does this mean anything repetitive stems from Islamic Art? Patterned fabric is necessarily repetitive because of the manufacturing process. Manufactured and fabricated, as, I suspect, is this strange link. But what do I know?

Was the BBC’s reluctance to call terror suspects ‘Muslim’ merely because of the Contempt of Court Act all along? In which case a change in the law might liberate the BBC and they could unleash even more ‘Influenced-by-the-Muslim-World’ broadcasting, and like wallpaper; the pattern could be repeated over and over and applied wall-to-wall.

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52 Responses to Unhinder us!

  1. Martin says:

    This is just typical of the BBC. Remember when they were spouting the lie that the Muslims saved us from the Spanish Armada?


  2. Craig says:

    Yes Sue, the focus of this lunchtime's 'World This Weekend' (Radio 4) discussed the issue largely in terms of the 'Contempt of Court' Act's effect on the Police's relationship with the 'Community' – ie. the Muslim Community.

    The BBC has an extra stake in this, in that they would love to get rid of the 'Contempt of Court' Act. Then they'd be able to say anything they'd like about a defendant in a court case. They would, of course, pick on certain defendants only. Members of the 'Community' would not be high on their list.


  3. Craig says:


    I also share your skepticism about Morris being influenced by Islam. Sounds like Beeboid wishful thinking to me.

    What will the BBC tell us next? Is Minimalist music (Glass, Reich, Adams etc) Islamic in origin? Does it mean that UK Gold's endless cycle of repeats is inspired by Muslim civilisation? Does the red-amber-green sequence of traffic lights show that traffic lights were invented by Muslims?


  4. George R says:

    The BBC appears oblivious as to how the illustrious name of William Morris is used in England today. While the BBC contines with its usual pro-Islamic propaganda, the BBC omits to mention the crucial point that virtually everything which Morris wrote about democracy and freedom is in direct conflict with Islamic beliefs.

    And the BBC turns a blind eye as to how his name has been abused how the William Morris Community Centre (8 Greenleaf Road, London E17 6QQ), e.g. –

    "At a lesson at the William Morris Community Centre in London, for example, Omar gave a motivational lecture on Kashmir and the modern-day Western Crusade to an audience of mostly teenage South Asians.
    "He whipped the audience into an emotional frenzy as he outlined the Western Crusade conspiuracy and its connections to the conflict in Kashmir."

    (-from the book, 'Radical Islam Rising' by Q. Wiktorwicz, p.115; available online in PDF format.)


  5. disillusioned_german says:

    And at the same time they come up with a programme which blames "the British and Israeli Secret Services" for "7/7" – according to Jihadwatch:


    Any doubts that Al Beeb is being run by muslims???


  6. Anonymous says:

    I taught art history for 30 years & never heard this one.

    The BBC are in love with Islam just as much as with
    the Green party & the EU.

    Frankly, the BBC pumps out lies on these & related issues


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I heard that the idea of the BBC itself was inspired by the Muslim muezzin calling the public to prayer.


  8. Philip says:

    Ah yes – the 'Find me a Muslim who'll say they like Fish n' Chips' syndrome…


  9. JohnA says:

    The BBC have been pushing the William Morris nonsense all week. Just like climate warming – the BBC will run with any idea that fits its prejudices.


  10. George R says:

    "I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few."
    -William Morris.


  11. Anonymous says:

    I suppose they'll be saying next that the highly-structured repetitive patterns in celtic art, such as 'The Book of Kells' is based on Islamic patterns as well?

    I actually like the Islamic patterning, but don't forget that Islamic patterns are supposed not to show any living thing. That unpleasant WHWH/El/Allah (yes they're all the same nasty petulant little tribal god) forbids it.


  12. sue says:

    Craig 4:53
    Obviously influenced by Islam is composer John Cage. His silent symphony fits all the criteria.
    Then of course there’s the Queen.


  13. Jeff says:

    It won't be too long before someone at Beeb Towers discovers the astonishing similarities with Beethoven and the ROP's call to prayers. Then they'll be trawling through Shakespeare and Dickens and looking at the works of Constable and Turner to see any smidgeon of anything vaguely Islamic.
    Got a feeling they won't be mentioning Van Gogh though …


  14. Miv Tucker says:

    We have it on the authority of no less than Ayatollah Khomeini himself that,
    "Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious."

    So in case you were having doubts about the reliability of this prog…


    Shappi Talk
    Thursday 09 July
    6:30pm – 7:00pm
    BBC Radio 4

    Talented comedian Shappi Khorsandi has been about quite a bit recently – whether appearing on Have I Got News for You or giving interviews about her satirist father's longtime exile from Iran and her upbringing in the UK from the age of six (a rich source for her stand-up material). So I was a bit bemused by the first of her four shows – this one's about racism. Initially sounding like a traditional stand-up with an audience, her routine is then punctuated by an interview with Meera Syal, a short set by Felix Dexter and a comedy song from Hils Barker. There are some funny observations from Shappi about the "rainbow of thuggery" in today's multicultural gangs and what being of mixed race really means. Perhaps she should do more of the talking and less of the interviewing/introducing.

    …there's absolutely no need to worry as Ms Khorsandi clearly isn't a Moslem, otherwise the BBC would have mentioned it, wouldn't they?

    But wow – a satirical prog about racism. Cutting edge stuff, as ever, from the BBC!


  15. Anonymous says:

    Er, there's more than one defining characteristic to people. Religion is an irrelevance from the days when we didn't know better.


  16. adam says:

    One of the reasons i like religion is its great for showing the marxists up. Religion has always been more powerful than class.
    morris being a mussie is an improvement over Morris showing up the bourgeoise art market or something similar


  17. pounce_uk says:

    The bBC a prime example of how converts to Islam are more pious than real Muslims

    Am I the only who believes that all this pandering to Islam by the bBC pisses people that off, they start to gravitate towards the far right way of thinking towards Islam.

    I watched the 7/7 conspiracy files and even thou the bBC pours water on that DVD doing the rounds, the way it was presented downplays that result and instead promotes the view that the government does indeed have something to hide.

    In fact the one question it didn't ask the white non muslim who made that DVD is why did he do it?
    I have my own views (He wants certain muslims to conduct another attack thus polarizing British
    opinion against Islam. In otherwords he is a far-right racist getting the muslims to do their own dirty work)
    But did the bBC ask that question.
    No rather it centered on how they can be only victims and whitey is to blame.

    That stance can be seen on how they report from terrorist hotspots around the world. When deaths occur the bBC only promotes the view that the people fighting the terrorists kill civilians.

    Here is a link to a current bBC news story. From that who gets the finger of blame pointed at it?
    Somali civilians killed by shells

    In fact, from all the coverage the bBC does of terrorism it appears that the bBC is the terrorists primary port of call when they wish to send their odious message. I mean while Iran was kicking out journalists the other month which Journalist did they allow to enter and report. Abu Bowen anybody?

    The bBC a prime example of how converts to Islam are more pious than real Muslims


  18. Anonymous says:

    Pounce UK,

    I can't agree with your view that the BBC's Conspiracy Files programme promoted the view that the government was responsible for the 7/7 bombings; in fact, I think they did a fair job of debunking the claims of the internet film.

    However, where the BBC failed badly was not confronting the leader of the Birmingham mosque, who is using that internet film to teach his congregation that the government did the 7/7 bombings. Such a confrontation would have been a natural end to the programme and it is to the Beeb's shame that they did not do so.


  19. George R says:

    Will the BBC be showing a hour-long special documentary tomorrow, 7 JULY, indicting the Islamic jihadists and their supporters in Britain?


  20. disillusioned_german says:

    I think what Pounce means is

    "Al Beeb is complicit in strenghtening the BNP and therefore creating a climate in which people of colour have to look over their shoulders – muslims or not".

    I fully agree with that thought. Root out those who are not compatible with Western Style Democracies – that would be a start. But, no… Al Beeb are still portraying these vile muslims are victims.

    Sorry, I've got to puke.


  21. piggy kosher says:

    The web article that preceded the programmes airing was way too uncritical. It repeated the old conspiracy wet dream of British/ Israeli planning in the homicide in its first few lines.


  22. Craig says:

    Yesterday's 'World This Weekend' was tiggerish in its enthusiasm for a change in the law, but the BBC News Webpage shows that the 'Community' – or at least its self-appointed spokesman – is not happy about Peter Clarke's comments after all:

    "The police should deny false reports, but I don't think you need to do away with the Contempt of Court Act"
    Abdurahman Jafar, Muslim Safety Forum

    Expect the BBC to fall in line.


  23. Nightwatch says:

    This is actually quite terrifying.


    Because we aren't the audience for this one. Our next generation of children are.

    The first step in any revolution is a revision of history and the worldview to suit your ideals.

    Before you know it, this idea will creep into schools and art lessons and in 20 years be accepted knowledge…..How many other insidious ideas has the BBC introduced with an eye on the long war.

    …it shall be interesting to see whether the Teletubbies fall pro-or anti-islam though????


  24. Anonymous says:

    The BBC war on Christianity and Judaism continues….

    The rival to the Bible


  25. GaryO says:

    al-bbc is a shameless islamist organisation. I doubt anyone with a modicum of intelligence believe anything this "institution" – paid for by British taxpayers – says anymore.

    The only way to ease the pain of being robbed to treat these vile propagandists as clowns!


  26. Anonymous says:

    The BBC identifies closely with Islam because it's key staff are enthralled by it's similarities to to Gramsci Marxism and Authoritarian Socialism. Each are utopian, supremacist and contemptuous of other ideas. They will find a natural ally in a broadcaster hell bent on media colonisation, supremacy, power and influence.

    I recall at University, one of my tutors was a Russian who had lived under the Soviet system.

    He produced a book in which he exposed the falsehoods of doctrinaire sovietisation.

    Throughout the 1930s-60s, the Russian propaganda ministries had claimed that the Bolsheviks had invented television, radio, the submarine etc etc. It was all lies, of course but designed to created a heroic, mythological ideology around communism. It is the same mind-set that now promotes Islam.

    Islam did not invent many of the things it's fellow travellers claim for it. Algebra, the compass and the steering wheel all came from India, Greece and the Copts long before the desert warriors invented Islam.

    The BBC is disseminating fraudulent propaganda to cover it's real intentions. Time to call time on this pernicious and influential Evil Empire.


  27. Tom says:

    Miv Tucker

    …there's absolutely no need to worry as Ms Khorsandi clearly isn't a Moslem, otherwise the BBC would have mentioned it, wouldn't they?

    Actually Shappi Khorsandi isn't a Muslim. She was brought up in the UK and is an atheist. She even writes occasionally for New Humanist magazine.

    She's married to the comic/guitar whizz Christian Reilly.

    Her father was hounded out of Iran by the Khomeini gang, who branded him 'an enemy of Islam'.

    Ignorant prejudice isn't helpful in the battle against the beeb.


  28. Tom says:


    You're right. My mother is a serious William Morris aficionado ( I was brought up in a house that was wall to wall and floor to ceiling WM – and, as a result, can't stand it now).

    Anyway, she has read every word by and about the bloke and she says that he did admire some Persian carpets once and was sufficiently influenced by them to use repeating floral (though not Persian) designs. And he liked some tiles and weirdy columns in the Alhambra.
    And….er…….that was it.

    Quite how the BBC can make a documentary out of that, I dunno. Next, no doubt they'll be saying that the Brighton Pavilion is a mosque and that the Kings of England were crypto muslims.


  29. JohnA says:

    The Alhambra is presented as a peak of Islamic art and architecture.

    It is worth visiting, and certainly the workmanshipis impressive – but Venice or Hampton Court Palace or the Norman abbeys etc etc etc knock it into a cocked hat. Islamic art is very limited, and has stood still for centuries. Even the Blue Mosque in Istanbul is mostly a copy of the Byzantine Hagia Sophia cathedral built a thousand years earlier.

    Will the BBC ever screen a programme putting all these spurious claims about the supremacy of Islamic art and science back in the cupboard ? There are plenty of experts who could present such a programme. But maybe too "edgy" for the BBC cowards ?


  30. frankos says:

    The Pre Raphaelites in my opinion were a quasi Socialist movement that believed in the bucolic pre industrial age and the liberation of the peasants by agricultural toil.
    This smashing view of the world was mainly due to the fact that not unlike the Bloomsbury brigade who followed them they, grew up in self loathing middle class households who had no idea of the real agricultural poverty. (Sound familiar re BBC execs??)
    Morris + Co produced artificial Medieval products that no working class family could afford.
    The real (unintentional) champions of the poor were the mass produced furniture manufacturers who produced stuff they could afford.
    Morris was a vacant idealist who achieved very little of significance in either furniture or the art world, try looking at a Rossetti or Burne Jones painting without a sense of nausea –compare to say a painter of significance eg Turner.
    Anyway nuff said about the prat.


  31. Miv Tucker says:

    Tom –

    I stand corrected about Ms Khorsandi, but you still must allow that the BBC's making a prog about racism and multiculturalism is a very rare and welcome broadcasting event.

    Cheers –


  32. Anonymous says:

    There were two generations of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with the painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti being the only member to link them. He was not a socialist, and indeed was contemptuous of William Morris's sentimentality about the working-class. The latter was a rich man through family inheritance, and could afford to indulge himself. However, the claim that Morris was significantly influenced by Islamic art is BBC-type nonsense.

    Other Victorian painters did enjoy using Middle-Eastern themes — naked slave-girls, Bedouin encampments, afternoons in the harem — but no-one seriously thought that Islam as such had anything of value to offer the West.

    Indeed, the only reason why the Islamic world matters today is because of oil, which is a vital strategic resource for the industrialised world.

    Somehow one feels that we are not likely to see an intelligent exploration of the implications of that factor on the BBC, at any time in the near future.


  33. adam says:

    someone called Edward said complained about 'orientalism' and said was racism or something similar


  34. George R says:

    adam 4:46 pm

    You appear to be referring to Edward Said, without being aware of the searing critique of his position by Ibn Warraq.

    The BBC still indulges the Said position, and censors the views of IBN WARRAQ.

    Warraq's brilliant book is:

    "Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism".

    From 'Amazon' site, and ewditorial review:

    "Editorial Reviews:
    "Product Description-
    "This is the first systematic critique of Edward Said's influential work, Orientalism, a book that for almost three decades has received wide acclaim, voluminous commentary, and translation into more than fifteen languages. Said’s main thesis was that the Western image of the East was heavily biased by colonialist attitudes, racism, and more than two centuries of political exploitation. Although Said’s critique was controversial, the impact of his ideas has been a pervasive rethinking of Western perceptions of Eastern cultures, plus a tendency to view all scholarship in Oriental Studies as tainted by considerations of power and prejudice.
    "In this thorough reconsideration of Said’s famous work, Ibn Warraq argues that Said’s case against the West is seriously flawed. Warraq accuses Said of not only willfully misinterpreting the work of many scholars, but also of systematically misrepresenting Western civilization as a whole. With example after example, he shows that ever since the Greeks Western civilization has always had a strand in its very makeup that has accepted non-Westerners with open arms and has ever been open to foreign ideas. The author also criticizes Said for inadequate methodology, incoherent arguments, and a faulty historical understanding. He points out, not only Said’s tendentious interpretations, but historical howlers that would make a sophomore blush.

    "Warraq further looks at the destructive influence of Said's study on the history of Western painting, especially of the 19th century, and shows how, once again, the epigones of Said have succeeded in relegating thousands of first-class paintings to the lofts and storage rooms of major museums.

    "An extended appendix reconsiders the value of 18th- and 19th-century Orientalist scholars and artists, whose work fell into disrepute as a result of Said’s work.

    "About the Author:
    Ibn Warraq is the highly acclaimed author of Why I Am Not a Muslim and the editor of The Origins of the Koran, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, What the Koran Really Says, and Leaving Islam."


  35. Alex says:

    Morris may have studied Islamic art and he certainly bought a big ersian carpet for the V&A, but I don't see any particular Islamic influence in his work.

    If he was really a Socialist who valued the work of artisans then he wouldn't have bought the Arbadil carpet with 26 million hand-tied knots for only £2,000


  36. mickfly says:

    The creator of a bestselling comic designed to show the world the tolerant and peaceful face of Islam has written an open letter to his young sons explaining how the project grew out of 9/11.

    tolerant and peaceful face?

    Is this the news reporters opinion?
    Surely there should be quotes around it.


  37. George R says:

    Prof. G.P.Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University:


    " Like many major Victorian writers, including Carlyle, Ruskin, the Brownings, and Eliot, Morris grew up in an evangelical household, and like them, he abandoned his belief. However, unlike so many others with an evangelical heritage, Morris seems to have left behind his childhood belief without first undergoing the standard Victorian agonizing spiritual upheaval.

    "Unlike Pugin, his medievalism included no place for a revival of Roman Catholic or any other faith, and when he creates his ideal worlds in fantasies, religion never plays any role. In his mature years, Morris seems simply to have ignored religion and did not follow one of the usual Victorian paths — becoming an atheist (as did Swinburne and Thomson), or developing his own form of liberal Christianity (as did Ruskin, Tennyson). Unlike Swinburne, he saw no need to profess an aggressive atheism, and his literary works, particularly the great prose fantasies, such as 'The Water of the Wondrous Isles', devote almost no attention to religious belief at all. "


  38. Pax Britannia says:

    George R:

    This is the first systematic critique of Edward Said's influential work, Orientalism, a book that for almost three decades has received wide acclaim, voluminous commentary, and translation into more than fifteen languages

    As it happens, Said's phoney argument and bogus references have been exposed by many others apart from the excellent Ibn Warraq. Robert Irwin's Dangerous Knowledge takes apart Said's widespread errors, Bernard Lewis demolished Said's false claims, and there are even one or two critics in the Arab world, such as Mohammed Sharafuddin.

    One can usually tell an ignoramus today by their use of Said's polemic to back up their argument. The people who do so are usually either i) Islamic supremacists who co-opt Said to boost their anti-Western rhetoric, ii) unreformed Marxists who loathe the UK, iii) university students, usually in pseudo-subjects such as sociology or postcolonial studies, whose substandard lecturers haven't bothered to read around the subject, and iv) Leftie Journalists, such as Beeboids, who have come across Said's name being praised by the above.

    Serious commentators today dismiss Said as the fraud he really was.


  39. Anonymous says:

    Edward Said has been discredited see article http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=18117
    "In the September 1999 issue of Commentary, Justus Reid Weiner revealed that Said had "adjusted" the facts of his life to create a personal myth…to fit the myth of Arab dispossession. For decades he had presented himself as an exile, an Arab who grew up in Jerusalem but who, at age twelve, when Israel was established, was (along with his family) driven out of the Talbiyeh neighborhood of Jerusalem. In fact, as Weiner massively documented and irrefutably demonstrated, Said's tragic tale was largely a fabrication. He grew up in a wealthy section of Cairo, son of a Palestinian Arab who emigrated to the U.S. in 1911, became an American citizen, then moved to Egypt. Said was educated in Egypt, not Jerusalem. His family occasionally visited cousins in Jerusalem, and Said was born during one such visit in 1935."

    And I am getting fed up with the constant "trailing" of the William Morris/Muslim programme on Radio 4. This evening also on R4, I heard a trail for a prog about "Muslim comic strip super heroes" – did I hear aright?


  40. John Horne Tooke says:

    "An address delivered at the distribution of prizes to students of the Birmingham Municipal School of Art "

    Morris does not seem to mention Islam once in this address to students of art – the overwhelming impression I get is that he is infleunced by nature and not relegion.

    But leaving this to one side – art and architecture are influenced by many things but in Europe the biggest influences have been from the Greeks and Romans, you may get a smattering of Arabic influences but this does not make it Islamic.

    Is this BBC programme by the same person who said that Offa of Mercia had converted to Islam. Yet the only evidence was a coin that had Offas head on it with an Arabic inscription.


  41. mickfly says:

    anon 8:30 PM, July 06, 2009

    "This evening also on R4, I heard a trail for a prog about "Muslim comic strip super heroes" – did I hear aright?"

    Yes, and they wear very tight costumes, very un-islamic, it might even offend me.

    I alluded to that in my post above yours.


  42. Anonymous says:

    I caught the end of the radio documentary on the comic strip produced by a Kuwaiti businessman featuring 99 Islamic superheroes.

    The weirdly manic presenter was describing a publicity event where people dressed as the superheroes would appear – he chuckled about how surrealistic it was to see such a crowd of women in burkas.

    The 99 heroes are based on the 99 names of Allah.They include a burqa-clad Batina ("the Hidden"), and apparently teach "virtues valued by Islam"

    There was a feature on the comic in Jihadwatch 6/08/08:

    "The 99", a comic-book series based on characters that each personify one of the 99 qualities that the Koran attributes to God, met early resistance in places like Saudi Arabia. Local authorities worried that the series might mock Islam. But after Mutawa guaranteed that he would remain respectful of religion and won backing from a major Islamic bank, the series took off around the Gulf. Initially given away for free with Arabic versions of Marvel comics (the license for which Mutawa owns in the region), The 99 is now a stand-alone success, with some 500,000 copies given away and sold across the region in the past two years. […]

    The "99" epithets of Allah include al-mudhil ("the Humiliator"), al-khafid ("the Abaser"), al-muntaqim ("the Avenger"), and al-darr ("the Harmer"). Wonder if the two heroes — "the Humiliator" and "the Abaser" — focus solely on dhimmis?"

    I doubt if the issue was discussed in the bit I missed.



  43. deegee says:

    I don't see why the possibility that an artist is influenced by another culture's graphic production should get anyone's knickers in a knot. Much of the art of the 18th and 19th century was influenced by the Orient or at least Western fantasies of it. So what?

    Let us concede that William Morris had seen examples of Art coming out of Islamic countries as he had seen Art from China and Japan. If it influenced him, it was in the most minor and superficial way. The failure to find even a single mention in this prolific writer's work would suggest how little influenced he was. Possibly, although there is no concrete evidence, he saw the repetitive patterns of some Islamic art as the answer to the technical problem of mass production without compromising individual workmanship. It is equally as possible he came up with the idea independently or even more likely he was influenced by Folk Art from closer to home e.g. Viking carving. It has been said that, William Morris almost single-handedly invented the medieval-flavored imaginary world fantasy. Medieval tapestry is full of repetitive images.

    Most importantly, he was totally uninfluenced by the ideology of Islam and the religious reasons for producing these geometric forms. He had no problem reproducing human, animal or plant forms; did not work with tiles and rejected religion.

    Once on a visit to Istanbul I saw a collection of paintings of Turkish Sultans, high officials and their families. It may have been in the Topkapi Palace although I stand to be corrected. Apparently it was the custom long before Kemal Ataturk for important people to import artists from Europe to paint their portraits. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts says, Mehmed II (15th Century) drew from Turkic, Perso-Islamic, and Byzantine artistic repertoires. He was also interested in developments in western Europe. Ottoman, Iranian, and European artists and scholars flocked to Mehmed's court, making him one of the greatest Renaissance patrons of his time.

    I don't expect to see a BBC production on Islamic borrowing from the West any time in the near future. Pity.


  44. JohnA says:


    The Venetian Bernini's portrait of Mehmet II ?





  45. piggy kosher says:

    GeorgeR and Anonymous:
    Thanks for the Said clarification on his early life. Edward Said is arguably still regarded by the liberal establishment as the totally acceptable face of progressive Palestinian / Western -Oriented academic Islam.
    There is a deep vein of untruth in Palestinian Arab uttererances, evident in the "peace process" and sometimes elsewhere. Said symbolises that, it would seem.


  46. sue says:

    I don't see why the possibility that an artist is influenced by another culture's graphic production should get anyone's knickers in a knot.

    The programme is actually called “Morris and the Muslim World” and has been trailed on radio 4 with soundbites from Muslim art aficionados telling us ‘The Muslim World’ influenced Morris. Not even Islamic art – ‘The Muslim World.’

    If it was a programme that mentioned “the possibility that an artist was influenced” by any art form you care to mention, it would be an entirely different matter. And wouldn’t have been trailed in the way it has.

    So if you are thinking anyone has their knickers in a twist at the outrageous idea that our very own English artist is tainted by the influence of Islamic art’ you’ve got it wrong, If you’d heard the trails in question you would understand.

    We are subjected to an onslaught of pro-Islamic broadcasting which actively promotes the virtues of Islam and its cultural practices. Most of the negative aspects are swept under the carpet.

    We’ve only had the trailer so far but if this programme lives up to the trailer it oversteps the mark. Maybe the actual programme will be O.K. who knows. You recognise that Morris was uninfluenced by the ideology of Islam, but the programme makers evidently don’t.


  47. sue says:

    Such a shame Daniel Barenboim was led astray by Edward Said.


  48. JohnA says:


    Only one trailer for the William Morris programme ? I have heard the same trailer at least 5 times, like it is the event of the week !


  49. adam says:

    Thanks George R

    I mention him only to stir up the pot and contribute to the debate.


  50. Anonymous says:

    Navid Akhtar’s programme about ‘Morris and the Muslims’, ( R$, 11.30AM, Tue)which the according to the iplayer introduction was about the “impact of Islamic design and values on the life of the Victorian designer etc’ was apretty bizarre production, even by the standards of the BBC’s extreme Islamophilism.

    Three minutes before the end, the resident Muslim convert in the Arts Council summed up the whole thing by saying that you can’t talk about the direct links between Morris and Islam because they aren’t there. Any influence of Islamic patterns on his design would have been purely of an aesthetic nature.
    Morris once referred to Persia as the place where art began (rather as someone might say that civilisation originated in Mesopotamia) and recommended the purchase of a particularly fine Persian carpet to the V&A and err…. that’s it.

    So what was the justification for the programme? Apparently the presenter thought he would be a good role model for young Muslim men. A fondness for biomorphic repeat patterns would, of course be too tenuous a connection for him to be an obvious choice – but there is more. Morris became a believer in jihad – the struggle for justice and rights for all (presenter’s definition). In the 1880’s he ended up plotting in dingy backrooms with foreign revolutionaries, the complete overthrow of British society: he was regarded as an outcast by the British establishment. Apparently the Koran is anti-capitalist too, therefore ( the implication being, I suppose), wow, he was practically half way to being like some bedsit-bomb-making jihadi. Some youth who has ideological objections to the way British society operates and would like to violently overthrow it might therefore be encouraged to turn his hand, in stead, to designing wallpaper, translating eddas or producing books on a hand printing press. Or at least the Muslim equivalent if I’ve got the rather upside down logic of Akhtar’s thinking correct. He also had a rather impressive beard.

    What was really creepy about this programme was the unspoken and possibly unconscious assumption made by the presenter and its Muslim contributors, that all that is non-Islamic is ignorance and that all men are really Muslims who have gone astray through error or wickedness. Thus in his opposition to industrial capitalism, his love of traditional arts and crafts and his fondness for mediaeval guilds it seems to be tacitly assumed that this the real Muslim inside Morris trying to get out. If nothing else it was a chance to peddle a lot of soothing propaganda on behalf of a religion which (deservedly in my view) has a bad reputation with many people. All in a day’s work for the BBC.

    Apologies for my verbosity.