Questions Begin For Mark Mardell Over Boston

The BBC’s top man in the US, Mark Mardell, has some questions for the FBI in the aftermath of the Boston bombing. And I have some questions for the BBC’s wrongly-titled North America editor.

Questions begin for FBI over Boston

The relief was palpable in a city where 19 April 2013 had been cancelled, paralysed, because of the manhunt for a terrorist.

When the news broke that the second suspect had been caught Boston residents who’d been cooped up under a day-long curfew poured onto the streets whooping with joy.

That raises a question before we even get to Mardell’s questions for the FBI. Why no mention that the only reason the second suspect was found is that the owner of the boat where he was hiding was able to find him only because the lockdown was lifted and he stepped outside for a smoke? Why no question from him as to why the lockdown in the first place? It clearly hindered the goal of finding the suspect, not to mention the ominous overtones of the government forcing citizens to remain indoors not because they were in danger but simply to make things easier for government officials to move around.

Mardell remarked in a previous blog post about how surprising it was to find the entire city shut down like that. But he felt it was necessary, and worried only that people wouldn’t feel safe again until the perpetrator was caught. Not that people got a bad impression from the government ordering them to remain indoors in a situation that wasn’t something immediately threatening to everyone, such as an imminent nuclear attack, but that this made them feel even more scared of the bad guy. The extreme exercise of State power didn’t bother him at all. Why not?

Back to Mardell’s “analysis”:

When President Obama spoke, the normal level of chatter returned and no-one seemed to be paying much attention. But he had something important to say.

Naturally, the President must be brought into the conversation, even if it’s just as a launchpad for the real point Mardell wants to make. Actually, it’s probably more than just his reflexive response to view everything through the prism of Him. Normalcy started to return not when news broke that one suspect had been found and killed while the other was now running scared, but because He spoke to us.

Now, about that point Mardell wants to make. The President asked the rhetorical question of “why did they do it”.

“How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers. The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand and walk and live again, deserve answers.”

The president might be wise to start by asking President Putin. I have no evidence that the “foreign government” asking questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev was Russia, but that is my strong suspicion.

It’s not His fault, you see. These young men were not radicalized by the Iraq War or Afghanistan, and definitely, no way in hell, never in a million years were they radicalized to murder their neighbors by seeing all those fellow Mohammedans get killed in cold blood – innocent women and children included – by drone bombs under the President’s orders. Nope, they’re Chechens now, not home-grown US terrorists anymore. So of course Putin must bear some responsibility because of that whole Russia/Chechnya scene. I do hope this won’t make any Beeboid start to have second thoughts about the theory that these people are all radicalized by Iraq/Afghanistan/US Foreign policy. To think that there might be some sort of global, pan-Islamist connection regardless of which country is oppressing them is one of the most unapproved thoughts imaginable.

Whoever it was, they warned the FBI that Tamerlan was a strong supporter of radical Islam. The FBI say they investigated, interviewed him, and found no links with terrorism. This is quite remarkable. Let me repeat it. The FBI had been warned that the man who apparently carried out the first terrorist attack on an American city since 9/11 was a strong supporter of radical Islam.

It’s actually not at all remarkable to anyone who follows reality outside the Beltway bubble and far-Left blogosphere. I don’t remember Mardell finding it so remarkable that the US Army knew for some time that Maj. Hasan was going radical and expressing disturbing thoughts. As most people here have known for some time, the FBI purged language about Islamic terrorism from their materials. (Actually, one change to the guidelines made at the same time is right on the money: the bit about how there really is no more international functional Al Qaeda super-group any longer, and it really is a hodge-podge of gangs and cells and freelancers and inspired lone wolves and wannabes.) Aside from that, it shouldn’t be remarkable to anyone who follows reality outside the Beltway bubble and far-Left blogosphere because even the Washington Post reported that Russia told the FBI about Tamerlan.

Why is Mardell being so coy? Why pretend he doesn’t know? Is there some BBC legal eagle keeping him from saying it out loud? Or is he just that far behind the times again? He knows Tamerlan traveled to Russia last year, because his colleagues mention it on the “Chechen links” section of the special feature on the bombers. So it’s silly for him to play this game. Maybe there’s just some legal reason he can’t say it, even though he and his colleagues can speculate all day long about right-wing connections.

People will want to know how far they delved, how hard they tried, how seriously they took the information. Some of the criticism will be unfair, based on hindsight – they must get thousands of such warnings ever year. Or perhaps they are quite rare. That is another question.

No, Mark. The real question is: who gave the order over a year ago to make the FBI turn a blind eye to the specific radical Islam component to these things. And why. One suspects that Mardell won’t be asking any of either his or my questions any time soon. Nor will anyone at the BBC, because that’s not what they do.

One last question for Mardell: Will you and your colleagues finally learn the lesson and not only stop speculating that these attacks are probably from Right-wingers, but also stop speculating that it can’t be connected to radical Islamists? Speculate about everyone or no one.

Anti-Semitism Discovered In the Muslim Community: Shocker!

Douglas Murray’s blog post in the Spectator caught my eye yesterday, in which he points out a must-read article in the HuffingtonPost by Mehdi Hasan. No, really:

The Sorry Truth Is That the Virus of Anti-Semitism Has Infected the British Muslim Community

Hasan felt compelled for some reason to speak out against Lord Ahmed’s rant about how a Jewish conspiracy caused his conviction for killing someone while driving and texting at the same time.

To claim that your jail sentence for dangerous driving is the result of a Jewish plot is bigoted and stupid. The peer has since been suspended from the Labour Party and forced to stand down as a trustee of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation. I’m not sure how many “Jewish friends” he has left – if, that is, he had any to begin with.

Full disclosure: I know Lord Ahmed and have defended him in the past. In 2007, he flew out to Sudan to help free the schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons from the clutches of the odious Islamist regime in Khartoum. In 2009, an Appeal Court judge noted how the peer had “risked his life trying to flag down other vehicles to stop them colliding with… his car”. He is not a latter-day Goebbels. But herein lies the problem. There are thousands of Lord Ahmeds out there: mild-mannered and well-integrated British Muslims who nevertheless harbour deeply anti-Semitic views.

No kidding.

The truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected members of the British Muslim community, both young and old. No, the on-going Israel-Palestine conflict hasn’t helped matters. But this goes beyond the Middle East. How else to explain why British Pakistanis are so often the most ardent advocates of anti-Semitic conspiracies, even though there are so few Jews living in Pakistan?

The fact that a visceral hatred of Jews and conspiracy-mongering is rife within the Mohammedan communities around the world is old news to people here, and surely it’s not a stunning revelation to Hasan, either. The real question is, what will the BBC do about this?

To be honest, I’ve always been reluctant to write a column such as this. To accuse my fellow Muslims of being soft on the scourge of anti-Semitism isn’t easy; I feel as if I am ‘dobbing in’ the community, telling tales to the non-Muslim teacher. Nor do I particularly want to assist the English Defence League in its relentless campaign to demonise all Muslims, everywhere, as extremists and bigots.

We aren’t. And we’re not all anti-Semites. But, as a community, we do have a ‘Jewish problem’. There is no point pretending otherwise.

So it’s not news to Hasan after all. He’s been aware of it for a very long time. How about the BBC? We all remember how they leapt to support Baroness Warsi when she lamented that Islamophobia had “passed the dinner table test” in Britain. They made sure to do a Have Your Say on it. The World Service audience got their own Have Your Say, asking who was responsible for Islamophobia. I don’t need to reel out a laundry list of all the news reports, radio shows, and drama programming the BBC has produced in the last few years trying to encourage people to accept Islam, and even welcome it. More recently, in keeping with the BBC’s remit to foster social cohesion, they promoted the national “Wear a Hijab Day”, to encourage girls of all races and religions to spend the day embracing this aspect of Mohammedan culture, to learn how “the other” lives and so bring communities closer together. Some of us joked at the time that we wouldn’t be holding our breath for the BBC to do a “Wear a Yarmulke” day. But now it seems like this would be the perfect opportunity for them to use the special, unique powers and influence of the BBC to take a stand against the anti-Jewish sentiment that has equally passed the dinner table test in Britain. And it’s not just at the dinner parties Mehdi Hasan goes to, either.

Hasan seems to be aware that the Palestinian situation is not necessarily the sole reason for the hatred of Jews amongst his co-religionists. He may not know just how far back it goes (before the creation of Israel, in fact), and one has to equally wonder if anyone at the BBC shares his awareness. Only time will tell. I don’t think Hasan’s purpose here is to delve into the history of anti-Semitism in the Muslim World or anything like that, so there’s no problem with him not going into it. However, the BBC does do history and background, when it suits them, so there’s no excuse for them not to get into it in detail.

If the BBC doesn’t respond to this with even a fraction of the energy with which they’ve attacked the problem of Islamophobia, it will be a clear failure of their Charter-bound duty. Whether or not it’s evidence of a similar epidemic of anti-Jewish sentiment at the BBC remains to be seen.


This BBC item has been brought to my attention.

Sessions to encourage men to help stop female genital mutilation (FGM) will be held in Bristol, it is hoped. Campaign group Daughters of Eve has started hosting workshops for men in London after gaining funding from the Staples Trust in December.

Wonder who these “men” might be? Any thoughts? The world class BBC journalists don’t seem to know….


Biased BBC contributor Alan asks;

“The Sunday Times has dipped its toes into what could be stormy waters publishing an article that reviews historian Tom Holland’s book on the origins of the Koran….’In the Shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World.’

The book is a authoritative and serious dissection of the history of Islam and the origins of the Koran…..and its conclusion will put many noses out of joint with overwhelming evidence that the Koran is, of course, a man made concoction and not the word of a God.

Far from being a harmless tract the Koran clearly inspires and indeed approves violence against non-believers….that is non-Muslims…..and it might be noted that Mohamed Mehra, the jihadi killer in France, told police he was radicalised by reading the Koran whilst in prison.

Religious historian Karen Armstrong denounces the Bible as ‘a dead or irrelevant letter, it is also becoming a toxic arsenal that fuels hatred and sterile polemic.’ ….if so how much more the Koran? and how much more important is it to neutralise such a threat?

What will be telling is the reaction of Muslims to this book. They may ignore it so that as little publicity as possible is generated for it…or Tom Holland could be the next Salman Rushdie.

The BBC has shied away from any criticism or historical or intellectual investigation of the Koran and Islam because, as admitted recently by Mark Thompson, there is the distinct possibility that Muslims will react with violence.

The BBC has in fact scurried down a different route, that of praising everything Islamic from the Empire, scientific achievements, art and even its allegedly ‘Islamic’ curry.

If the BBC feels unable to examine Islam too closely in a critical manner because it fears violence it is strange that it should then alternatively promote it in such a fervent manner as not just ‘acceptable’ but something to be praised and honoured.

The subject is of enormous importance with huge implications which is why the BBC ducks it.

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Tom Holland says: ‘What is interesting about the academic debate is that it is so seismic and yet it has barely been noticed in the world outside academia.’

Seismic is the word.

Islam has a huge and detrimental influence over a vast swathe of the world’s population…it generates enormous amounts of violence in its name…but it also acts as a brake on those societies that under its oppressive dogmas. Science, education, arts, politics and social progress are all suppressed in Islamic countries……unless and until that stranglehold on over 1.5 billion people is broken the world is a worse place and often their lives a misery.

The BBC is just part of the ‘elite’ strata in Western society who refuse to look Islam in the face and admit that it is a threat to our society and the freedoms of thought and action that we enjoy.

In the US the New York Times (the US Guardian) has allowed an advert attacking Christianity…it then refused a similar advert criticising Islam.

The complete refusal of Western media to engage in examining the tenets of Islam and what its Believers are told to believe and act upon commits society to a creeping advance of a doctrine that is implacably opposed to everything those self same ‘Liberals’ tell us they themselves believe in.

We have three options….reform Islam, accept its beliefs and impositions upon us, or expel it.

Whichever option you would choose it would be nice to think that society actually had some form of informed choice about what is being allowed to infiltrate into our society and what this might mean for us who do not wish to ‘submit’ to the joys of Islam….rather than being spoonfed soothing platitudes about the ‘Religion of Peace.’

Unfortunately the BBC has decided for you….any critical analysis of Islam is shelved because of the hurt and distress such disparaging remarks might cause Muslims and the danger of any resultant violence…better that non-Muslims adapt themselves to Islamic believes and give up their own culture than cause any offence or hurt to Muslims.

What will the BBC do with this high profile book?

I would suggest that the likely BBC reaction will be to invite in the slippery Islamist and BBC/Guardian favourite Tariq Ramadan to take the book apart in a dismissive manner suggesting that because Tom Holland is a non-Muslim he cannot possibly understand the subject and probably has a hidden ‘Islamophobic’ agenda and that Islam has always been in constant flux and is even now adapting to the ever changing world and is in the process now of becoming the ‘neo Islam’. Though what Ramadan really means by ‘reform’ is taking Islam back to its pure roots…the true Islam…the Fundamentalist Islam….the Jihadi, Muslim Brotherhood Islam.

The BBC adopts that old possum trick of rolling over and playing dead, hoping that everything will turn out right in the end without any nastiness.

I think possums will soon be extinct.


The print media has been awash in recent weeks with stories concerning the arrest/conviction of gangs of young men who have been involved in the the most vile sexual exploitation of young white girls. Rape, grooming and trafficking are some of the horrendous crimes that police have been investigating and the sheer scale of these incidents will alarm all right thinking people. Which brings us to the BBC and it’s curious reluctance to give these stories the sort of attention they deserve. Might this be related to the awkward detail that the overwhelming number of these cases seem to involve young Muslim men, many of whom seem to be related? Is the BBC scared to ask some tough questions lest it upset the community cohesion and multiculturalism narrative? When I have raised this point before, BBC apologists tell me that the religion of a criminal is irrelevant to the crime and that the media should not report it. But I think this entirely misses the point since in the case of Islam, it may actually be part of the driving force that sustains such abuse and contempt towards girls, especially white girls. Your thoughts?


A Biased BBC readers advises;

On Tuesday’s 6o’clock news on R4 there was a report about a religious school in Pakistanwhich had been brutalising its young pupils. Orla Guerin solemnlyintoned a list of atrocities that had been uncovered at this ‘religious’school, but neglected to go into more detail as to the particular religioninvolved. “What could it be?” I wondered. It wasn’t until very nearthe end that a mention of “Jihad” gave me the answer I was after.One has to question whether the BBC would have identified the brand of religionat the start of the item if, for example, it had been a Catholic school?


A B-BBC reader notes..

“BBC News of the firebombing of the French satirical magazine ommited photographs of the offending article even though Le Monde covered them on its front page. BBC’s HYS moderated out attempt to publish links to le Monde. Here is the BBC photo with appropriate black line over the newspaper picture and a few words indicating that the perpetrators were not the good muslims.”

On, and here is the image the BBC are too scared to print..


Police outside Charlie Hebdo offices (Feb 2006)
It’s been interesting observing the BBC coverage of the overnight firebombing of the offices of French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”.

The offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have been destroyed by a petrol bomb, French police say. It comes a day after the publication named the Prophet Muhammad as its “editor-in-chief” for its next issue.Its cover carried a caricature of the Prophet making a facetious comment. The magazine said the move was intended to “celebrate” the victory of an Islamist party in last month’s Tunisian elections. Charlie Hebdo’s editor is quoted as saying: “We no longer have a newspaper. All our equipment has been destroyed.”

The BBC angle seems to be that these French satirists brought it on themselves being deliberately provocative. No discussion as to who carried out the fire-bombing. Perhaps “youths” from Les Banlieus? We’l never know. The website of the magazine has also been hacked, with a message in English and Turkish, left on it. (Not French, entertainingly!). Again, no real examination as to WHO was behind this.

It seems that the BBC accepts that Islamists have the right to raze to the ground any building and destroy any company that dares make fun of Mohammed. Not only that but it seeks to place responsibility on the victims of Islamic intolerance. 


I note that a court in Tajikistan has convicted a local BBC reporter of spreading banned Islamic propaganda despite international pressure to acquit him. Tajikistan has been clamping down on the press this year as it tries to defeat a growing Islamic insurgency which has threatened to destabilise the former Soviet state. Naturally, the BBC doth protest his innocence.