‘A Brilliant Past That Vanished’



Richard dawkins has stirred up a bit of a Twitterspat with a completely innocuous comment.


Richard Dawkins offended people on Twitter yesterday when he posted this comment


 Caitlin Moran decided Dawkins was declaring war on Muslims:

Writer Caitlin Moran joined the debate and asked someone to turn Dawkins off and on again

The Telegraph’s Tom Chivers put a but more effort into coming to the same conclusion:

Please be quiet, Richard Dawkins, I’m begging, as a fan

Dawkins may believe that he is criticising only the religion, and its effects on the people who hold it, rather than the people themselves (“don’t hate the player, hate the game”), but his gleeful hurling of rhetorical stick-bombs doesn’t make that sort of distinction. Is he being racist? Maybe not, depending on how narrowly you define it. But whatever he’s being, it’s not nice, and it certainly isn’t advancing the various causes of secularism, atheism or everyone just bloody getting along.


Richard dawkins replies:

Calm reflections after a storm in a teacup


Funny that Steven Berkoff said something very similar about ‘the Theatre’  a few days ago whilst also criticising the BBC:

‘….his criticism was not reserved for the corporation as he claimed that in the last 30 years the theatre has not produced a single actor of worth and there is more talent in street performing.’


No one seems to think he was declaring war on the Theatre loveys.

By the by, the BBC reported the Telegraph’s version of Berkoff’s comments but failed to mention that he also said this:

Berkoff also reserved criticism for the “cringing banality” of Twitter, claiming that Stephen Fry is a fan “because this man loves attention. He has a million, million and half dopes listening to the utterly crawling banality of this man’s mind.”



The BBC has so far failed to mention the row over Richard Dawkins Tweet.  I wonder why…is it like the UKIP member who wanted to introduce Sharia law and chop off hands that they also didn’t report on?….the BBC seems not to report things that don’t reflect their view that Islam is the Cradle of Civilisation from which everything good springs.


Perhaps they realise that Dawkins isn’t actually being controversial and that he speaks the truth…if so the BBC might not want to draw attention to that.

Is Dawkins speaking the truth?


What has Mehdi Hasan got to say?  I’m not sure you could accuse him of launching a war against Islam:

He states that there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world….and between them they have a total of 10 Nobel prizes.  The Jews, with a population of 12 million have 150 Nobel prizes.  All 6 Jewish Universities are in the top 20 in a world ranking.  There are no Muslim universities in the top 200.

 He goes on to say:

We wonder why we are losing battles, we are not being out fought, we are being out thought.

We are not under armed, we are undereductaed.

We have lost the ability to think, to acquire knowledge, to advance intellectually and then we wonder why our community is in such decay.


Which is why you might wonder why Hasan has recently Tweeted this praising the pompous  Owen Jones for calling Dawkins a racist bigot because of his Tweet about Islam’s lack of Nobel prizes:

Mehdi Hasan@mehdirhasan 8h  Dawkins dresses up bigotry as non-belief – he cannot be left to represent atheists” – a superb @OwenJones84 on fire:

Not in our name: Dawkins dresses up bigotry as non-belief – he cannot be left to represent atheists

His anti-Muslim tweet is only the latest in a catalogue of smears



Hasan also quotes from this fellow , who must presumably also be considered an anti-Muslim bigot…despite, like Hasan, being a Muslim:

Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of nuclear and high-energy physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. This article is based on a speech delivered at the Center for Inquiry International conference in Atlanta, Georgia, 2001.


Fearful of backlash, most leaders of Muslim communities in the US, Canada, and Europe have responded in predictable ways to the Twin Towers atrocity. They have proclaimed first, that Islam is a religion of peace; and second, that Islam was hijacked by fanatics on the September 11. They are wrong on both counts.
First, Islam – like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or any other religion – is not about peace. Nor is it about war. Every religion is about absolute belief in its own superiority and its divine right to impose itself upon others. In medieval times, both the Crusades and the Jihads were soaked in blood. Today, Christian fundamentalists attack abortion clinics in the US and kill doctors; Muslim fundamentalists wage their sectarian wars against each other; Jewish settlers holding the Old Testament in one hand and Uzis in the other burn olive orchards and drive Palestinians off their ancestral land; Hindus in India demolish ancient mosques and burn down churches; Sri Lankan Buddhists slaughter Tamil separatists.
The second assertion is even further off the mark: even if Islam had in some metaphorical sense been hijacked, that event did not occur on September 11, 2001. It happened around the 13th century. Indeed, Islam has yet to recover from the trauma of those times.


In the twelfth century Muslim orthodoxy reawakened, spearheaded by the cleric Imam Al-Ghazali. Al-Ghazali championed revelation over reason, predestination over free will. He refuted the possibility of relating cause to effect, teaching that man cannot know or predict what will happen; God alone can. He damned mathematics as against Islam, an intoxicant of the mind that weakened faith.

Islam choked in the vicelike grip of orthodoxy.

It was the end of tolerance, intellect, and science in the Muslim world. The last great Muslim thinker, Abd- al Rahman ibn Khaldun, belonged to the 14th century.

For Muslims, it is time to stop wallowing in self-pity: Muslims are not helpless victims of conspiracies hatched by an all-powerful, malicious West. The fact is that the decline of Islamic greatness took place long before the age of mercantile imperialism. The causes were essentially internal. Therefore Muslims must introspect, and ask what went wrong.


Today Muslims number one billion, spread over 48 Muslim countries. None of these nations has yet evolved a stable democratic political system. In fact, all Muslim countries are dominated by self-serving corrupt elites who cynically advance their personal interests and steal resources from their people. No Muslim country has a viable educational system or a university of international stature.
Reason too has been waylaid. To take some examples from my own experience: You will seldom encounter a Muslim name as you flip through scientific journals, and if you do, chances are that this person lives in the West.

Though genuine scientific achievement is rare in the contemporary Muslim world, pseudo-science is in generous supply. A former chairman of my department has calculated the speed of Heaven: it is receding from the earth at one centimetre per second less than the speed of light. His ingenious method relies upon a verse in the Qur’an which says that worship on the night on which the Qur’an was revealed is worth a thousand nights of ordinary worship

A more public example: one of two Pakistani nuclear engineers recently arrested on suspicion of passing nuclear secrets to the Taliban had earlier proposed to solve Pakistan’s energy problems by harnessing the power of genies. The Qur’an says that God created man from clay, and angels and genies from fire; so this highly placed engineer proposed to capture the genies and extract their energy.


We have but one choice: the path of secular humanism, based upon the principles of logic and reason. This alone offers the hope of providing everybody on this globe with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.



Note that all important phrase: Islam choked in the vicelike grip of orthodoxy.


Orthodox Islam…in other words fundamental Islam, the real Islam.  In other words all those scientific advances  of the ‘Islamic Golden Age’ were performed under an Islam that wasn’t really ‘Islam’…it was a loose, convenient interpretation that allowed Jews and Christians a great deal of freedom which they used to further their interests in science and learning with the side effect of helping the imposed ‘Islamic’ regime. 

 The real Islam choked such advances in a ‘vicelike grip’.

 The reason people like Caitlin Moran feel able to attack Richard Dawkins and claim he is racist or anti-Muslim for his completely sensible comments is because organisations like the BBC have refused to delve into the history and meaning of Islam, the real history not the hagiographys that they produce deifying, ironically, Muhammed and glorifying Islam whilst hiding its darker side.

An example of which might be that whilst the BBC has covered extensively Stephen Fry’s comments about homophobia in Russia they refuse to acknowledge the very same thing on our own doorstep amongst certain communities as revealed by the ubiquitous Mehdi Hasan about his own homophobia as induced by Islamic teachings:

So let me be clear: yes, I’m a progressive who supports a secular society in which you don’t impose your faith on others – and in which the government, no matter how big or small, must always stay out of the bedroom. But I am also (to Richard Dawkins’s continuing disappointment) a believing Muslim. And, as a result, I really do struggle with this issue of homosexuality. As a supporter of secularism, I am willing to accept same-sex weddings in a state-sanctioned register office, on grounds of equity. As a believer in Islam, however, I insist that no mosque be forced to hold one against its wishes.





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79 Responses to ‘A Brilliant Past That Vanished’

  1. Glenn says:


    For gods sakes stop going on about Islam. This site is supposed to be about BBC bias. Most of your posts are so tenuous as to be a joke.

    I support a lot of what you say but it has no business on a BBC bias site. Join me on the politics forum.


    • Alan says:

      It has all to do with the BBC which fails to ‘educate’ people about Islam which enables people like Moran and Owen Jones to label Dawkins et al ‘racists’ and ‘anti-Muslim bigots’.

      It also allows Mehdi Hasan to pose as something he is not and to be given respect and authority that he is not due…even now he is on Twitter calling Dawkins a racist and anti-muslim when Hasan himself has said exactly what Dawkins said.

      Mehdi Hasan is the BBC’s favourite Muslim ‘spokesman’…..therefore he needs to be challenged on what he says and the question asked as to why the BBC supports his view of the world so often when he is quite obviously ‘gaming’ us all.


      • 45543 says:

        “BBC which fails to ‘educate’ people about Islam” – it is not failure, it is intention.

        The interesting point is why?

        Your mention of Owen Jones reminded me of an article comment I read on “The Commentator” some time ago:

        “I was in the SWP in 2000 in 2001 John Rees gave a speech . The speech was focused on why we need to stand firm with the muslim community. John Rees argued that the muslim community offer us the biggest hope of revolution in this country. The far left/Islamis coalition has one aim and that is Revolution. The left I feel are playing a very dangerous game. Ger Francis and Lynsey German argued after the revolution muslims would join the socialist ideals and we would be united.”


      • noggin says:

        “stop going on about islam – its about bbc bias” ?? …
        this very morning BBC BREAKFAST NEWS
        rants at length about some discrimination in
        Russia over gays re – the winter Olympics,
        trumpeting organised protests, media involvement in this, Stephen Fry comparing it to Nazi Germany droning on and on, and on.
        ya da ya da ya da
        and so … Qatar and the world cup?…………….?
        homosexuals terrible persecution, the death erm “penalty” (excuse the pun)?? …
        hello? … anyone home? … no?
        why? … islam.

        al bbc reports increasing threat to US, the West from Al Qaeda …. read Islamic Mass Murderers ….
        spreading out from al bbc fave moniker
        “the muslim world” … oops! only this is yet another negative story, so we now have “the Arabian Peninsula”
        … why? … islam.

        don t want to go all through this again, theres loads of info on my other posts, but
        muslim acid attack, on two jewish girls,
        again lots of head scratching, navel gazing
        at al bbc, this morning? (commissioner of zanzibar police the other day a “known occurrence” for ahem “some girls”) …
        bbc no … no idea why WHY?
        yep! why? … islam

        that is bias, bbc bias, bbc Islamic bias
        wake up or go back to CIF


        • noggin says:

          apologies on Qatar,
          BBC tv news this morning …
          Greg Dyke – BBC anchor 10 mins cosy chit chat … conclusion
          Qatar its hot in the summer … ?!*?*!**!
          followed by ….
          the thoughts of Simon “Fanny” Fanshawe
          on “uman rights”
          ……. off switch!


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘For gods sakes stop going on about..’
      As a matter of interest, are you aware of the BBC’s policies and responses regarding editorial selection?
      Have you raised this with them as a licence fee payer?
      If so, care to share the response, if any, assuming you were not blocked or expedited.


      • Glenn says:

        I have complained to the BBC on four occasions. As I am sure you are aware, after that many it gets boring. The same crap replies.
        I have even complained to my MP (a Tory) and he did not want to know.
        I wasn’t having a pop at Alan, I just feel that his anti-Islam posts make this site look like swivel eyed nutters. As I said he has a very good point but it should be on a politics site.

        Come and join me over at http://www.politicsforum.co.uk. I could do with the support.


        • Guest Who says:

          ‘As I am sure you are aware, after that many it gets boring. The same crap replies.’
          Indeed. That’s what they rely on. Probably the specific brief behind the design of their system and site*.
          Four should see you good for a few more, but catch them out too often and they’ll ban you for their being unable to weasel out any other way. They’re unique like that too.
          If you were not having a pop at Alan, fair do’s, but I must beg to differ on what can, can’t, should or should not be on a site that is David, DB, DavidP & Alan’s, etc to play with as they will as owners/admin/topic starters. They are all individuals, as are posters, so trying to swivel-eye all who come here is overly all-inclusive and frankly inaccurate. As well as still oddly familiar. Maybe you heard it enough somewhere to believe it to be true?
          They can all post recipes for all I care; it’s their site. If not to taste, I’ll ignore a specific thread, just as I would on any site, Graun, Guido or BBC. All of whom have their pet topics and also may offer shorter shrift for any critique than here.
          And as the BBC does focus on certain topics, so it does not seem unreasonable if what they obsess about, push, conceal etc, gets raised here too to match.
          For instance, I just saw this:
          Zero to do with BBC bias… if a real hoot.
          But wait. Is not the gent in the shot one the BBC has turned to on occasion for guidance on carbon reduction. Hence I’d (well, I would) claim that makes him a dodgy dude at best, and the BBC at best credulous with the folks they wheel out as impartial, uncompromised expert advisors.
          I know what you mean about the MP classes. Of any hue. Mine’s an ‘up and coming’, but is also addicted to the DP sofa. Hence any bang to rights share on how the BBC behaves that will see him unemployed next election, gets blown off with a nervous ‘envy of the world national treasure’ with a bit of waffle about staying alert. He deserves all he and his party will reap if they think this pathetic Danegeld appeasement will buy any favours in face of the ideological commitment the BBC wallows in. I also asked him about his leader’s naked UAF support in face of their activities, which I would have been unaware of but for sites like this. His answer was ‘guarded’ at best. He may think it was a nifty dodge, but actually damned him in my eyes even more.
          I’m not overly party political, so joining you (as ‘Glenn’) on the site presented may not be in a form you wish or guarantee of support, but will have a gander. How this country is (mis)run is a matter of concern. I have a dim view of all parties equally at present.
          *Meanwhile why not share the results of your exchanges here? They can be more than interesting, especially when template brush-offs or sulky takings of ball away are laid bare.
          They hate those going public as the paucity of their arguments really stand out for all to see.
          Just strip away personal stuff of yours… and theirs. Names, codes, etc. They will try and use such shares as signs of ‘bad faith’ beyond having the temerity of making what they feel should be their little secret public. As with Messrs Savile & Hall (not Lord), that is no longer reliably par for a different time.
          They are finding they can, are and will more often get held to account.
          And that 20M+ counter top right suggests a fair old audience finds this little site effective in that role.


          • Glenn says:

            You Sir are an gentleman and a scholar (I think that is how the advert went).
            As I say, I support all of what Alan says but it is difficult to quote this site without the Lefties giving it the swivel-eyed. And there is an awful lot that Alan brings up and others that I would like to ram down their throats.
            I take it you have also complained to the BBC. It’s pitiful. They have always got it “about right”.
            As an aside, I am I the only one who is surprised that the BBC haven’t given more prominence to Stephen Fry’s cultural imperialism?


  2. Down the mountain Glenn says:

    Glenn, if you’ve observed anything about the BBC then you’ll hopefully realise that Islamic grovelling is the most frequent and abject bias the BBC manifests. You don’t like, you don’t read.


  3. George R says:

    “Atheists and disbelievers are ‘cattle’ and ‘of no intelligence'”

    Mehdi Hasan.




    • George R says:

      BBC-NUJ, Guardian, Labour Party, etc, politically reject Godfrey Bloom for saying ‘bongo, bongo’, but politically embrace Mehdi Hasan for saying: Atheists and disbelievers are ‘cattle’ and ‘of no intelligence.’


  4. Alex says:

    I am in full agreement with Alan on this topic. We shouldn’t obsess over the nature of a topic but whether it meets the bias criteria. The crux of the BBC and Left’s bias ideology orbits around multiculturalism (to the detriment of the host nation and its traditions) and therefore the corollary of this tenet materializes on our screens by way of ethnic minority censorship, subtle indoctrination and, in some instances, blatant propaganda. We have seen this biased hypocrisy explicitly in the case of numerous BBC gay rights discussions, of which last night’s Newsnight was a particularly shining but abhorrent example: why should the BBC and its Leftist supporters be able to demonize Putin regarding gay rights when the local mosque can say whatever it likes about same sex relationships with impunity, Glenn? Hardline gay activists have targeted Christianity but not mosques and the BBC never dissect this selectivity. That, in my opinion, is appalling bias and worthy of serious critique.


    • Phil Ford says:

      “…Hardline gay activists have targeted Christianity but not mosques and the BBC never dissect this selectivity. That, in my opinion, is appalling bias and worthy of serious critique.”

      Well said. As a gay man myself I deplore such cowardice from the so-called ‘gay community’. Yet another conspicuous example of the double-standards, rank hypocrisy and spineless f*ckwittery of the ‘liberal left’.

      Iran is busy hanging its gay teenagers (these are somebody’s sons) and our noble, professionally outraged gay activists have little to nothing to say about the continued abuses, right across the Muslim world, against gay men in particular.

      Cowards, all. And the BBC is the most craven of them all.


      • Alex says:

        Yep, totally agree Phil. I for one am a keen gay rights supporter but so long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ rights and views, too. Peter Tatchell has, to his credit, done a lot to confront Islam but the liberal establishment stay completely silent out of sheer cowardice both of being branded racist and beaten up. The bias is utterly sickening! If you attack Christianity then you must attack other relgions as well. You cannot pick and choose which is what the BBC and the Left are doing.


      • Deborah says:

        I was in the Albert Hall the night some ‘kind’ people thought it was an appropriate time and place to demonstrate against Israel and pro the Palestinians. It was a horrible horrible place to be. I was there again last week for the most fabulous music but every time anyone coughed, or dropped a tissue I became tense. When one of my companions asked what I thought about a boycott of the Russsian olympics it was my memory of that dreadful prom that came to mind and my thoughts are that politics should be kept out of sports and music.


  5. Deborah says:

    This summer seems to have been a slow news summer. The BBC has been short of news and therefore small stories that fit the BBC’s agenda are being blown up beyond any importance eg dead polar bears, bongobongo land, Peter Cruddas, gay rights in Russia. advertising boards telling illegal immigrants to go home or even the opposition by a black group to stop and search of people at tube stations . Now what is happening in Syria, or Egypt or even the Australian elections? No I don’t know either. The BBC and the Labour Party are testing every anti-government story they can whip up to see if any of them fly.


    • noggin says:

      just shows how far the termites have got
      those “go home immigrant offence vans” … (so called)
      judging by their airing and column inches, are an undoubted success., maximum impact from tiniest outlay.
      AND … never mind the handwringing squealers of political correctness like the bbc and channel 4 … and all those comfortably riding the erm … “rights” train.
      The vast majority in our nation want this, the strong horse, a no nonsense message followed by no nonsense action on immigration
      yes where? is all their airtime? on the bbc? on ch4? eh!
      every hour on the radio?


      • Guest Who says:

        ‘handwringing squealers of political correctness like the bbc and channel 4’
        It can be interesting where their areas of focus get shared.
        Some have noticed this story by reporter Fatima Manji from last night, as emailed and tweeted as lead by anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy:
        As an ad man I am fairly aware of the ASA review system, and ‘probe’ already seems to be pushing it. They are a committee (much like the Trust), who meet to decide retroactively if ads have met or breached guidelines, and then… usually much too late to matter… arbitrate. They do of course garner input from other parties, such as expert opinion and seeking proof of claims.
        Seeing them elevated from dodgy soap stats to a suddenly convened high court when it suits a media narrative is quite funny already.
        What does intrigue is this reporter’s own story, which seems either contradictory or lacking in source material she appears privy to but fails to specify.
        She says the ASA is investigating (actually may not yet have started: ‘to be investigated’), which indeed they will do on receipt of complaint. And she concludes by saying the findings will be published in due course.
        Making it odd that she appears already privy to the findings, and in some considerable detail.
        How did she get them, in advance?
        At least she has identified the party affiliations of Lord Lipsey, who in no way is interest conflicted or abusing his past position. Maybe he tipped her the wink?
        If, so, is that how things work now between political parties and tribally-affiliated media?
        It would be interesting how much of this story is actually factual, and how much based on the C4 editorial team’s (Michael ‘Deep divisons’ Crick well excited, and soon to be joined by Paul ‘Anger & Protests’ Mason from Newsnight) projections or ideology.
        All the more as she seems keen to play up the importance of accuracy by all responsible parties.
        Have to say I don’t know, but is there a C4 version of BBC Black Hole one can ask questions of to try and solicit an answer? There may be a good explanation, so I’d be keen to hear it.
        It has also gained a new piece of video since last night, with a ‘lifelong Tory voter’ (where I have I heard that before?) & ‘Former Conservative Adviser’ working in concert with the anchor getting PC knickers in a twist.
        Interesting last line from the C4 anchor, who knows whose opinions really count and where the power really lies.


    • David Brims says:

      You forgot about the panda !


    • The beebinator says:

      slow news summer because the politicians are on holiday. There are no spin doctors around to manipulate the agenda. Hence the onslaught of moonbatism from al beeb


  6. stuart says:

    see here is the thing,we have had all these debates about muslim terrorism,muslim child grooming paedophile rings,muslim intolerance and racism towards non muslims,them debates we have had and in the future there will be many more,but here is what really confuses me about islam ,who the hell was this prophet mohammed dude who muslims hero worship,i think he did not exist and was just made up to control the uneducated masses in the muslim and arab world .there has never been a picture of this dude,muslims forbid this and says its haram,jesus,moses ,john were all prophets peace be upon them have all visual pictures of them.you can see them in the bible or in the churches but no pictures of the prophet mohammed,how can you worship somebody that you dont have no visual record of,i think that muslims have been conned into worshipping a fake prophet that never existed.if you are a muslim and you believe he did exist,all i ask,what did he look like.was he white,was he black,was he pakistan,i just need to know.


    • Or says:

      See here is the thing. We have had all these debates about Muslim terrorism, Muslim child grooming, paedophile rings, Muslim intolerance and racism towards non-Muslims.

      Those debates we have had already and in the future there will be many more but this is what really confuses me about Islam, who the hell was this prophet Mohammed dude that Muslims hero worship?

      I do not think he existed and that he was just made up to control the uneducated masses in the Muslim and Arab world. There has never been a picture of this dude. Muslims forbid this and say its haram. Jesus, Moses, John were all prophets peace be upon them, they all have pictures. You can see them in the bible or in the churches but there are no pictures of the prophet Mohammed. How can you worship somebody that you don’t have a visual record of?

      I think that Muslims have been conned into worshipping a fake prophet that never existed. If you are a Muslim and you believe he did exist all I ask is, what did he look like? Was he white, was he black, was he Pakistani? I just need to know.


      • ron todd says:

        The evidence for Jesus being real is not any more solid.


        • Rufus McDufus says:

          Evidence is slim on the ground for Jesus admittedly but what we have does tend to point to a large probability that he did exist. He would’ve been Jewish and Christianity didn’t come about until a few years after his death mainly as a result of Peter/James & in particular regarding the version of Christianity we have now, Paul’s preaching & teaching.
          There are some quite exciting developments regarding the historical Jesus. Check out James Tabor and various others who are popularising the whole thing but I like to think also making progress.

          As for Mohammed – doing the same kind of research on him would be a death wish, which tells me all I need to know about that religion.


  7. Josh Fuller says:

    Stuart, you don’t need to know simply because, like all religions, it falls under the heading “sky fairies” and therefore is totally irrelevant except to the gullible who consider themselves so intellectually weak that they need a “crutch” and a pack mentality to guide themselves through life.
    Religion is very subtle psychologically, it says “look, believe this and you will be a better person, better than the other lot that don’t believe this and look at all these lovely people around you that believe the same thing, now don’t you feel better?” and the weak willed think “yes I do”. The strong willed just think “what a load of tosh” and just get on with their lives, naturally knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and bad etc.
    I suggest you fill your head with more important,relevant things like….the new football season that’s about to begin.


    • Doublethinker says:

      Football, the opium of the British masses.


    • Joshaw says:

      “I suggest you fill your head with more important, relevant things like….the new football season that’s about to begin.”

      A huge improvement. Spitting snarling footballers, unbelievably childish behaviour, regular arrests for assault and similar incidents, expensive tickets but ridiculously high salaries, surly managers, constant squabbling.


  8. Rufus McDufus says:

    Fabulous post Alan. I’m an atheist and have very high respect for Dawkin’s views. I also happen to really like the pomp and ceremony of religions and the strength of community it gives so in that respect I think it can be a good thing. Christianity & Judaism are two perfect exampes of this. Islam seems divisive to me in comparison.

    Dawkins is brave to highlight this issue – one of the most important facing us nowadays. You have one side which is viciously anti-education, dumbing down to the lowest level, provoking violence against non-believers, bigoted against sections of our society, and then you have the enlightened side who use science and reason as a way forward.

    The BBC fits into the former camp perfectly. Sadly it should be in the latter. It does produce good documentaries & science programmes occasionally without any kind of doctrine, but these are becoming sadly few and far between compared with the elephant of partisan political & pro-Islamic output.


    • johnnythefish says:

      Rufus – I’m not sure what ‘atheist’ means these days. Is it just non-belief in a religious God or non-belief in any kind of creator? Because if it’s the latter, wouldn’t it be just as illogical and dogmatic as what religions believe in? After all, none of us know how the universe(s) got here, do we? And interestingly when asked on Radio 2 whether or not there is a creator, Brian Cox said he could not dismiss the possibility.


    • Stewart says:

      “I’m an atheist and have very high respect for Dawkin’s views”
      Well I to am an atheist but I have very little respect for
      dullard dawkins 3rd form rant against the R.E. master
      Its little wonder that his juvenile anti Christian ranting is so popular on Radio 5 (constantly referring to flying spaghetti monsters and invisible friends as they are).
      In the past the zoologist has tiptoed around Islam (calculating, I suspect, that it would be dangerous to both his person and his career) as have most of the so called ‘new atheists’ ,with the notable exception of the late Christopher Hitchens, which leads me to think that most of them are old fashioned vicar haters (At some time caught by the verger no doubt)
      In fairness the BBC have not elevated him to the same level of sainthood that Channel 4 have (that position they have reserved ,unwisely, for Darwin) It seems that state of affairs is now in the balance.
      What intrigues me is what prompted his twitter comment, what lead up to it? He must have realised it would dismay his legion of fawning fans (your good self excluded from that description) and threatened his liberal icon status
      Was it just hubris or an act of intellectual conscience I wonder, will others follow suite ,The BBCs favourite faux rationalist Tim Minchin perhaps?


  9. John says:

    The Telegraph, whose Tim Stanley has been discussed in a recent thread on here, have come up with another gem in today’s comments section written by Matthew Norman.

    (sorry no link – paywall)

    This piece, in response to Richard Dawkins completely accurate observation, includes the following comments:-

    “This observation is too plain dumb to detain us for long (are you sure you don’t work for the BBC Matthew?). It needs no spelling out that the Muslim world is dramatically less wealthy (oh dear, better put the oil price up) and academcially well served than in the West (so why spend so much on certain “schools” in this country and many others) as a whole, and the Oxbridge candidate pool in particular (does anyone know if the presumed ban on Muslim students, lecturers and professors at Oxbridge will be raised anytime soon?)”.

    His following comment is even dafter:-

    “…….Islam is a religion, not a race. So is Judaism of course and one doubts he would have the courage to make any such incendiary (does he mean indisputably accurate albeit highly inconvenient?) remark about The Jews”.

    Yesterday I defended the Telegraph for at least allowing a divergence of opinions. There is clearly a place at their table for all, no matter how blinkered.


  10. Alex says:

    Note the kid gloves with which the BBC deal with this issue,


    If this were a part of white Christian tradition then there would be outcry from the liberal luvvies!


    • Old Timer says:

      Yes this was on the BBC Skinny Latte show this morning as well. There was definitely something missing from the commentary. The was a lot of waffle about sensitive community feelings but we were left in limbo as to the type of British people behind these forced marriages of children. Normally called kidnap & rape of course. Could the elephant in the room have possibly been the ‘M’ word.

      I really don’t understand what is wrong with these presenters that they cannot just come out and say it? Are they so afraid of being beheaded?


    • John Standley says:

      Not one mention of the “M” or “I” words in that article.


    • Deborah says:

      Yes heard the story on Today Radio 4 this morning. Reported without any reference to which communities it referred – it just sounded ridiculous.


  11. Timbo says:

    A classic example of lefty hypocrisy.

    When Dawkins was mainly attacking Christianity they couldn’t lap it up fast enough. He was a hero to BBC employees and guardian readers everywhere.

    Then when he started having a good go at Muslims too (and therefore showing that his hatred of religion is refreshingly all-encompassing and unbiased), they start frowning and calling him a bigot.


  12. ember2013 says:

    I wish I had the intellect and balls to do what Dawkins says publically. At least I know he shares something with me – I’ve encountered it dozens of times online, in forums.

    Which is he says something factually correct but which makes some people uncomfortable. They are then unable to think rationally. Most likely because they have their own baggage of prejudice.

    Instead, they pursue a typical leftwing obfuscation: they throw an “-ist” in your direction.

    It’s the same at all levels of debate, sadly.


    • Dave s says:

      This is where liberalism meets reality. To the Western liberal 2 plus 2 does not necessarily = 4. It depends on the context.
      DawKins cannot be refuted rationally so the liberal resorts to abuse.
      It is poisoning life in the West . It will have to be confronted and bought to an end. Reality will out. I hope the West is still there when this happens.
      On that day the Guardian/BBC world view will be history .


      • Ian Rushlow says:

        As George Orwell wrote in 1984: “How many fingers are there? 4 or 5? You will see what I want you to see” (paraphrasing here).


  13. dave1east says:

    when dawkins was dumping on christianity he was their darling, now that he has started on islam, dawkins has become a pariah. no bias there of course


  14. GCooper says:

    Even if Alan’s post were not wholly worthy it would deserve an accolade for that wonderful quote about the odious egomaniac Stephen Fry.

    I see the BBC is breathlessly reporting that Call Me Dave has rejected the puffed-up wonder’s cal for an Olympic boycott. Which tells one more about both the BBC and David Cameron that one would want to know.,


  15. stuart says:

    @ john.is that the same matthew norman who is george galloways best mate who used to work for the ultra left guardian,very strange how all these middle class sneering lefties like posh boy timmy stanley and mathew norman end up working for what i thought was a conservative paper called the the telegraph.@ or,thanks,your so superor to me in posting comments,


    • John says:


      I wasn’t aware of the Galloway connection but a 10 second google has confirmed you are correct! I am sure Matthew admires George’s courage (along with his strength and indefatiguability) in making the very occasional incendiary remark about the Jews.


      • Buggy says:

        For those who didn’t see it earlier this year, here’s an article of mind-boggling moral relativism from the pen of Mr Norman, in which he aids and abets the escape of the (black) who’s just stabbed him and fractured the skull of his host, and then expresses sympathy for the violent thug.

        Should stick to restaurant reviewing. Seriously.


        • Buggy says:

          Sorry, should be ….escape of the (black) intruder……


        • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

          Well, that is a kind of stockholm syndrome, in a loose kind of way.
          Helping to push the intruder back through the grille? After he had potentially killed two?
          Nah, something here does not compute. This bloke is either mad or lying.
          What a knob.


          • Buggy says:

            I’d go with ‘mad’, personally since he rationalises his actions as some sort of atonement for apartheid, and is clearly proud enough of what he did to re-heat it for national consumption two decades later.

            Yesterday had him excusing Monty Panesar drunkenly urinating on nightclub bouncers on the grounds that MP is a ‘character’ and has lots of nicknames to prove it, which by some logic makes him a valued member of the England set-up.


    • Andy S. says:

      The Daily Telegraph hasn’t been a “Conservative” paper for years – neither has The Daily Mail.


      • Banquosghost says:

        I agree, the Telegraph with the odd notable exception is becoming as liberal as the Spectator, now what it the connection there? Are the Barclays George Soros in disguise?

        Personally I would like Fox to set up Fox News UK and challenge the lefts hegemony over the media in this country, try and get through to the masses as the one thing the media and especially the BBC are not is Fair and Balanced.


  16. F*** the Beeb says:

    Believe me, Dawkins was too kind if anything towards Islam. Most people wouldn’t suggest for a second that Islam has had ANY positive impact, past or present, on civilisation. It is true that there were many, many wonderful and important scientific and cultural discoveries in Islamic countries leading up to around the time the Mongol Empire invaded Baghdad and destroyed it, which has proven a major setback for the middle east. However, those improvements were IN SPITE of Islam, not because of it. The majority of Islamic texts of the time from those areas suggest that more than half of all Muslims from that area were moderates who accepted and embraced the scientific method. You can’t apply that now – the overwhelming majority of Islam, or at least that which is dominant within the media, takes the Quran entirely literally and wants nothing less than the complete domination of the northern hemisphere, and the homogenisation of European Caucasians with African and Asian Muslims. And for whatever reason, mainstream pro-Europe politicians seem to want this to happen. I still have no idea why. Still, at least it keeps the unthinking far-left fascist idiots at Cracked happy.

    I have a friend who’s a Muslim who hates what’s happening to this country. He represents the values of Britain better than the spineless, sycophantic twats in the Labour/Lib Dems and in the BBC or the Guardian.


  17. johnnythefish says:

    ‘The majority of Islamic texts of the time from those areas suggest that more than half of all Muslims from that area were moderates who accepted and embraced the scientific method.’

    Yes, The Royal Society used to embrace the scientific method too until it got taken over by environmentalists. Funny how these totalitarian mindsets tend to group together. I think the movement, broadly speaking, is called ‘The Left’.


  18. Daniel O'Flaherty says:

    It’s a pity that the whole post was not about Steven Berkoff’s excellent remarks which sadly have become lost in yet another Islam thread. The Berkoff telegraph article and the comments beneath it are well worth reading. My own present antipathy towards the BBC are as much their dumbing down agenda as their overt bias. ‘A brilliant past that vanished’ sums it up well.
    I grew up in a working class household and can remember the days when the BBC produced educational programmes which I can honestly say, changed my life. Not any more.
    Berkoff is rightfully sneering about watching Strictly Come Dancing on saturday night, but by comparison to what the BBC does now, even that looks almost like an intellectual programme.
    Take tonight’s line-up.
    7 O’Clock, That Puppet Game Show…this is how far the BBc has sunk, it now cannot be bothered to think up titles for its output.
    7.30 I love my country, yet more celebrity obsessed dross.
    then over to BBC3 at 9 for ‘The Urban Prom’ live from the Albert Hall…pretty much sums up the BBC’s approach to ‘high culture’
    Then over to the ‘serious’ channel BBC4 for 2 hours of 1970s pop nostalgia, or watch Russell Howard on BBC3 or a Steve Coogan film BBC2 or the football league show on BBC1
    Another typical Saturday night on our national broadcaster.


    • Banquosghost says:

      When you see that lot as the BBC’s output for a Saturday night it appears they have simply given up.

      Mind you if they pay Graeme Norton £2.6m per year it tells me that they gave up a long time ago. You just know the schedulers wet dream would be to poach Ant and Dec and change the name of BBC 1 to ‘We don’t give a flying monkeys about quality or our mission statement we just want ratings full of the kind of people who think a fart and a dodgy accent is the height of sophistication. One’


  19. John Wood says:

    And it appears that they can’t even run game shows fairly. Perhaps they have to cut down on expenses.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Rina, 40, said: ‘The episode is a fake – it’s complete deception for the viewer. It is not something I would ever have expected from the BBC and people need to know the truth.’

      The BBC has form on faking competitions. For example, this, this, and this. They even had to do a special training course to learn that it’s wrong to lie to and steal money from children. Clearly the only lessons that have been learnt are the ones about how to quickly draw lines under controversies and move on without suffering any serious consequences.

      Why can’t they just report that they made a mistake and give them the money and be done with it? Why go through all the expense of flying them back down and reshoot the whole thing? Wrong priorities, as usual.

      Having said that, it’s kind of hard to get too worked up about the women’s complaint. They got the money after all.


      • Jack McT says:

        So let me get this right…Rina was given one opportunity to win which she botched. She was then given another, easier opportunity to win and botched that up too; then she complains! We have a tradition here in Britain of losing graciously. Perhaps that doesn’t apply in the USA David?


        • Guest Who says:

          ‘So let me get this right’
          A noble aim.
          Were the BBC so keen to ensure they are too.
          One presumes you hold them to the highest of standards and task them when they err?
          So we can look forward to seeing the resulting exchanges?
          Or are you contributions likely more to be unidirectional?


          • Jack McT says:

            They should be held to account Guest Who, but comments such as ‘arrogant t**t’ which I’ve seen on this site aren’t really going to do that. I simply do not watch tv ‘as it is broadcast’ and so I don’t pay the licence fee. I suggest you do the same, along with all the other people posting here.


            • Guest Who says:

              ‘They should be held to account Guest Who’
              Good to hear, and as none… yet…. have told me off for engaging (even ‘management’), I’ll indulge you and my own entertainment a wee while longer, though you already seem bent on emulating Japanese knotweed in volume, spread and effect.
              As it happens, I have only recently ‘cut the chord’, and also do not now pay the licence fee.
              I do miss some quality broadcast offerings lost as a consequence. Few however from the BBC, though ironically iPlayer currently is the most packed resource online by far.
              However, as the BBC carries the name on my passport and presumes to speak for me, and to others, at home and abroad, I continue to take a keen interest in what they get up to, and too often fail in delivering in the name of the British people, so this site serves well to keep that account holding public.
              What you choose to sample and share is your own affair.
              I notice you only mention what you have seen here, and still nothing from any claimed exchanges with the BBC.
              That may suggest account holding as you define it is more with critics of the BBC (and I doubt the Mail, Mirror, etc have been troubled today by your input either) than of the ever less trusted national media monopoly. It rather screams ‘evening shift’ in fact.
              Which places you in other company, and a less than stellar, familiar variety.
              How long this incarnation of entity that suggests others do the same lasts, will be interesting if only as another footnote.


              • Jack McT says:

                Good on the licence fee thing. And you’re right, not much missed. As for the other, I, like many people, have never engaged directly with the Beeb or any media outlet for that matter. One tends to shake one’s head and move on. That’s why this site interests me. The reason I criticise is because I would imagine my opposition to the BBC is as valid as that of anyone else around here; unless there is some specific membership criteria that I’ve missed? I discovered this site yesterday and have made some valid points, I haven’t been rude, but I’ve already been told to leave. Am I missing something? People decry the ‘groupthink’ mentality of the Beeb and then condemn anyone that differs even in the slightest from their view. I’m surprised.


                • Guest Who says:

                  ‘Am I missing something?’
                  From your body of work so far… and there is a lot already… it’s hard to imagine you have.
                  Save that which you don’t fancy going near.
                  ‘have never engaged directly with the Beeb or any media outlet for that matter. ‘
                  I am shocked, shocked I tell you.
                  You should. Maybe more… what’s that word you used… ‘positive’… than kicking off (in all sense of the word) on small forums?
                  ‘I’ve already been told to leave.’
                  I haven’t. Most others haven’t.
                  Yet you conflate all here with one who suits your narrative, and focus on that ignoring all else to obsess on your own prejudices to make the point you so wish to push.
                  Meanwhile you could be a Newsnight Producer listening to a BIJ pitch.
                  Don’t worry, I predict you’ll soon get the ‘robust’ response you seek and crave. It’s inevitable.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Jack McT, I see you are unable to address the issue of BBC fakery. Perhaps BBC fakery is okay by you? Or do you simply not understand what’s happened?

          If it was simply a case of Rina having “botched” her first opportunity and complaining about it, as you claim, why did the BBC change the rules and give them another chance at the money? It certainly looks like the contestants are complaining about the fakery as well as, if not more than, not getting the money. A different article seems to indicate that all the contestants complained, not just Rina and her friend (which underdcuts your charge of sour grapes), after which the BBC admitted it and changed the rule. But why fake it? Why not just admit what happened and change it for future shows, and invite them back anew? That would have been the better, more honest, less expensive solution. But neither of those things are top priorities at the BBC when it comes to these things.

          Since you ask about what applies in the US, our game shows usually announce afterwards – sometimes even during the show – that they’ve made a mistake (the button didn’t work, or the judges decided on second thought to accept or deny an answer) and adjusted the scores appropriately, or even give the contestant a second chance on a later show. I know there are redos when there’s a technical glitch or something else interferes (all shows have the “edits have been made for time and content, but which did not affect the outcome” disclaimers), but they generally don’t redo entire segments and pretend they didn’t. In this particular case, they would have been invited back to appear on a later show, under the new rules. It’s not at all uncommon.

          It costs a lot less than to pay top prices for a last-minute ticket, overtime for the crew to reshoot, etc. But then, US game shows have to pay their own way and are held accountable for their mistakes.


          • Jack McT says:

            All recorded television is ‘altered’, ‘edited’, or ‘faked’ if you wish to interpret it as that. It’s a rubbish show and a rubbish format which had been altered because it was rubbish – too hard to win. There is a point to be made about extravagant wastage of which there is far too much at the Beeb; but not ‘fakery’.


            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              Now you’re just playing word games as a way to avoid the issue. Editing does not automatically equate to fakery, so you can’t really dismiss it like that.


  20. stuart says:

    @ john,george galloways other besty mate and admirer and regular guest on his show when he worked at talksport was believe it or not a certain disraced conservative mp for nottingham called patrick mercer,just goes to show that at the end of the day all these politacal types swim in the same sewers with each other.


  21. Audrey says:

    Doesn’t Dawkins realise lefty’s don’t do reality.


  22. Reed says:

    Prof. Dawkins’ reply, for those interested. Well written…



  23. starfish says:

    I see there has been no rational debunking of Mr Dawkins’ observation

    Some of the most populous nations in the world are Muslim
    Some of the richest nations in the world are Muslim
    Some of the oldest and most respected universities are in Muslim nations

    While Nobel prize winning may not be a suitable proxy for measuring scientific achievment it is interesting is it not?