Your License Fee Hard At Work: BBC Arabic and Persian Edition

Here’s one for you:

Proud to be American

With a sister who wears the hijab and a cowboymad Muslim father who dresses like John Wayne, Seema Jilani enjoys a diverse family life. The Texas-based paediatrician, who has worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan and written extensively on health and social issues, is an engaging contributor to a new BBC documentary, American Muslim: Freedom, Faith and Fear.

Sure, why not? The whole family is Muslim, but their clothing is diverse, so that counts as “a diverse family life” when seen through the agenda-tinted glasses.

Other participants include a fashion designer, an imam, a comedian, a Marine, a Republican congressman and a forthright newspaper columnist – all with something to say about Muslims who live in the Land of the Free. The illuminating 60 minute tv programme, to be accompanied by a World Service radio documentary, emerged from a competition that invited proposals for a collaborative project between BBC Arabic and BBC Persian.

Which means it’s meant to be targeted at Mohammedans in those regions, and not for your consumption. It’s nice, though, that the BBC is actually presenting these people with a positive image of the US, for a change.

‘The original idea was to concentrate on the Bible Belt where there are fascinating similarities between devout Christians and devout Muslims,’ explains BBC Persian reporter Karen Zarindast.

You mean like how they think of women as childbearers first and foremost, subject to the absolute rule of the husband, and their feelings about homosexuality, for example? I won’t hold my breath.

The remit later broadened out and the resulting programme, commissioned by Global News, will be shown on BBC World News, BBC Arabic and BBC Persian in the run-up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

I bet it did. But we’re not at the ‘fear’ part yet. The BBC Persian reporter involved says this:

Originally from Lebanon, he went to university in the US in the mid-80s and this was his first trip back. ‘It was interesting to return after so many years, and I have to say that I fell in love with the country all over again.’

Again, nice to see a positive image about the US from the BBC, for a change.

It’s a familiar sentiment. ‘Everyone we met, from the most recent Muslim arrivals to the surgeon who left Pakistan 30 years ago, told us how much they loved America,’ says Farah. Zarindast, who moved to the UK from Iran 15 years ago, and travels regularly to the US, where her mother and brother now live, was also struck by Muslims’ loyalty to their adopted land.

What shock, eh? People move here on purpose to escape the sh!thole Mulsim countries they live in, and don’t hate it as much as certain Beeboids do.

‘Muslims in America are better integrated than in Britain,’ Darius Bazargan notes. ‘The country is more of a melting pot where people go to escape repression and really value their freedom.’

Shall we examine why that is, BBC? Any future documentaries about what’s preventing Mohammedans from becoming better integrated in Britain? Or have you already decided that it’s down to the inherent racism of the indigenous population, full stop?

Not that Muslims’ love of the States means they are always loved equally in return, he points out. ‘There seems to be more Islamophobia now than immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

Do you think it might have to do with the fact that there have been a few more attempted terrorist attacks by Muslims since then, not to mention Maj. Jihadi Nassan at Ft. Hood? Nah: it’s the inherent racism of the indigenous population:

‘Attitudes have hardened since the election of President Obama. People know they can’t express anti-black opinions but think it acceptable to be anti-Muslim. In fact, [in the case of politicians] their ratings can go up if they appear to be anti-Muslim.’

There you have it: we’re still bloody racists, only we keep quiet about the blacks now. And just like Baroness Warsi said, it’s acceptable to hate Muslims at dinner parties instead. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that not a single second of this is spent discussing any attempted terrorist attacks, or any incident which might even remotely have caused concern about Mohammedans wanting Shariah Law to take precedence over domestic US law in certain cases, or Mohammedan cab drivers in Minnesota refusing to pick up fares at the ariport if they have alcohol on them, or jihadi imams who are forced to leave. Nope, it’s all just racism.

And of course, the best bit:

In another side of the story, the documentary features white Americans who have converted to Islam as a reaction against Western materialism and the constant pressure to look slim and attractive. They include a woman who used to make her living photographing people in nightclubs and is now a devout Muslim.

You couldn’t make it up. It’s White Girl all over again. Remember, this is specifically meant for Muslim audiences in the Muslim World.

What you might call a step change…

What you might call pandering….

A positive message about Islam and Muslims, with a qualified mixed message about the US, and not even meant for you to see or even know about. All at your expense.


A biased BBC reader notes;

“Yep…just checked the BBC web site and there is no mention of the Muslim radical group ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ whom the BBC gave a platform to yesterday enabling them to promote their credibility on news reports throughout the day.
No mention of the fact that they state that the Royal wedding is a legitimate terrorist target….BBC just states that the group says they have no knowledge of any serious threats….despite evidence to the contrary:
“We urge all Muslims to stay away from the royal wedding….because of the likelihood of an attack by the Mujahideen. Many people feel that they have been oppressed and have a score to settle with the Royal Family. We can see why they see them as a legitimate target.”


A Biased BBC reader asks;

“Listening to Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed, rofessor of the Anthropology of Religion at King’s College London, being interviewed on ‘Woman’s Hour’ ) this morning the thought came to me that perhaps the Pope is not Catholic.

His, some might say, extreme views on women, homosexuality and contraception are surely not what the Catholic Religion is really about. In other words the Pope is perverting or distorting the real Catholicism.

Then to see Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Brussels spalttered with pie for expressing such Popish views shook me…perhaps there is a God, one with a sense of humour….is God confirming my radical thoughts?

No it was the BBC.

My eyes were opened to new thinking about religion and authority when the above mentioned professor suggested that the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia had its origin in religion, but not the religion of Islam.

The Saudi religious establishment were not the true representatives of Islam…they were perverting its Truths for their own ends. This might seem strange as Islam was born in Saudi Arabia, Islam’s single most Holy shrine is in Saudi Arabia and the pronouncements of the Saudi religious authority are followed around the world and indeed the Saudis pay for much of the Islamic infrastructure burgeoning in Britain right now.

The question therefore arises if the Saudi Religious Establishment is not the true Islam because of its extreme and unIslamic nature, then possibly the Pope is not Catholic.

This is of course the new BBC narrative regarding Islam….the various ‘extremes’ which are shot through Muslim societies are actually a result of conservative cultural traditions and not Islam. Curious that cultures as disparate as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Luton all have the same culture.


Is anyone surprised that the BBC despises the Christian roots that made this country great? Consider this if you will, as pointed out by a Biased BBC reader;

” Does’Biased BBC’ do a good job, is it worth complaining to the BBC about its outputon so many platforms? Yes…itis. 

The changes made to the BBC’s ‘GCSE Bitesize’ content illustrate that theycan change things if enough leverage is applied….though Islam is still copperplated, protected and burnished by the BBC whilst Christianity is by comparisonstill subtly damned.  

Here isthe original text from the BBC’s thoughts on prejudice and discrimination inreligion: ‘However,no one can follow these teachings perfectly, and there are occasions whenChristians are guilty of prejudice and discrimination.  

In thepast: In SouthAfrica, for many years the Dutch Reformed Church supported Apartheid, thesystem which meant that black people were separated from white people andtreated as inferior. WhenEuropeans were colonising other countries around the world they often killedthe native people there and treated them as slaves. 

.In the21st century there are still some instances of racism in the Christian Church,although in the majority of cases Jesus’ teaching about treating all peopleequally is put into practice.JohnSentamu, the Archbishop of York, is from Uganda and he has done a lot to raiseawareness and put a stop to racism in the Anglican Church, and in widersociety. 

Sexism isstill a problem for the Christian Church – somepeople say that Judaism is sexist. Men and women sit separately in Orthodoxservices and women cannot take an active part in this worship. Some Jewishwomen today accept these limitations, but they are as well-educated as men andchoose to combine a career with family responsibilities.’  

Quite aclear condemnation of Christianity (And Judaism) , pretty much blamed for slavery, sexism andracism….no such condemnation for Islam though. But it isnow changed to this: 

 ‘No onecan follow these teachings perfectly, and there will be occasions whenChristians, like those of other faiths, are guilty of prejudice anddiscrimination. But thereare many examples too of Christians challenging injustice when they see thelaws of God being broken.JohnSentamu, the Archbishop of York, is from Uganda where he was a lawyer and judgeuntil 1975 when he was forced to flee to Britain when President Idi Aminstarted a reign of terror against his own people. Archbishop Sentamu has done alot to raise awareness of racism in British society and in the Anglican church. Manypeople think that the Christian Church is sexist. It does not treat men andwomen equally.’   

Still acondemnation of Christianity…but note the inclusion now of ‘other faiths’ Islam’ssection still protests Islam is a protector of women with quotes from the koranto support that whilst the Bible quotes are chosen to illustrate how sexistChristianity is. Sodespite the BBC being forced to make changes it still can’t bring itself totreat these religions equally and criticise Islam at all. 

The proliferation ofBible bashing on the BBC continues…..even on programmes meant to show thegood side to Christianity there is always a guilty ‘but’. How manyprogrammes have we seen about the Koran? None? How many programmes have we seentelling us Islam and Muslims are harmless?  There isa definite narrative from the BBC intent on social engineering….they areattempting to change our views on Islam by pumping out feel good propagandatelling us that Islam is ‘cuddly’ and Muslims are given a bad press by thelikes of right wing papers (lead by Murdoch’s ‘rags’)….Muslims and Islam onlydesire peace, they love Britain, they respect the equality of women andhomosexuals and they embrace democracy and hate Sharia. 

There is clearly still a of work to do on the BBC.”


The BBC and how it treats Islam and Christianity. A B-BBC reader informs;

“The BBC continues its assault on Christianity and the Bible ( ‘a monstrous book that does more evil than good’ Melvyn Bragg suggests many people think).

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou has been given a primetime BBC Two series, ‘The Bible’s Buried Secrets’, in which she makes a number of startling suggestions. The good doctor works at Exeter University which is heavily funded by Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood.

She states that: “I’m an atheist ….as an academic, I think you leave faith at the door.” “Don’t forget that the biblical writers are male and it’s a very male-dominated world. Women were second-class citizens, seen as property.”

When have we ever heard such criticisms being made of the Koran which even now propagates the very same attitudes towards women…..but the BBC tells us: ‘Islam also teaches that men and women are equal in the sight of Allah. They are individually accountable for their actions, and will be judged equally by Allah. However, although men and women are equal, they are not the same. They have different purposes. It is part of Allah’s design and purpose for men and women to have different physical characteristics; likewise it is the duty of a man to provide for the financial needs of his family, and for a woman to look after the home and family.’

Whereas Christianity gets a rougher treatment: ‘No one can follow these teachings perfectly, and there will be occasions when Christians are guilty of prejudice and discrimination.Many people think that the Christian Church is sexist. It does not treat men and women equally.The teaching of St Paul is often quoted to support the way some churches today treat women.

From the extracts below, it would seem that he believed that the role of women was different to that of men, and secondary to it….although Christianity teaches that everyone should be equal and should be treated the same, this doesn’t always happen….Archbishop Sentamu has done a lot to raise awareness of racism in British society and in the Anglican church.’The same BBC that tells us that under Catholicism Europe was descending into madness and devotion to God was becoming an obsession that ended in a bloodbath….their fervour for contact with God led to darkness, even savagery, religion and violence intertwined.but Islam is a religion of Peace….’Islam is a religion of peace in which fighting and war are seen only as a last resorts….One aim of Holy War may be to create a democracy where people are free to live their lives without beliefs and politics being imposed on them. There must be no hatred or vengeance in the fighting.’whereas the Christians and Jews are happier to go to war:The Sixth Commandment (from the Ten Commandments, given to Moses) says, ‘You shall not murder,’ but there are occasions when the Jewish people are told by God to attack people who oppose them.Christian involvement in war…In the past there have been many occasions when Christians have fought wars and when Christian countries have fought each other including:the Crusadesthe First and Second World Warswars in Vietnam, Korea, the Falklands/Malvinos, South Africa, and Northern IrelandJesus’ anger

There are two occasions in the gospels when Jesus is obviously angry. One of these is in the Temple in Jerusalem: ‘It is written,’ he said to them. ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.’Matthew 21:12-13Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ Immediately the tree withered.’Matthew 21:18-19Such an angry man…no wonder Christians are so violent.

 The BBC’s religious output is overseen by Muslim Aaqil Ahmed, head of religion and ethics.


Here are a few great examples of BBC professional neutrality.

First, here’s BBC employee Mary Walker…

When I joined the team of “Living Islam” (the BBC series) two years ago, my perception of Islam was dominated by prejudice and ignorance, and I found its treatment of women abhorrent. To me the veil symbolised the oppression of women, making them invisible, anonymous and voiceless, and the cause of this oppression lay in the will to perpetuate the family and maintain a patriarchal framework – the very basis of an Islamic society. I thought women were entirely submerged by divine justification of their role as wife and mother.

Ah, but that was then. She knows so much better now. Give it a read here. And then, lest we think lovely Islam-loving Mary is alone in her admiration for the Religion of Peace, there’s posh Ed Stourton bending the knee…

In a feature about a ‘woman friendly mosque’, in Manchester. Ed Stourton interviews Sabina Hammed, who says she has ‘the very rare privilege of being able to come and go as she pleases’ at the Mosque. She notes the separate entrances and boys as young as eleven being banned from the women’s room inside. Stourton never challenges her about sexual segregation in Islam or the attitude of other Mosques which are breaking English law by keeping women out. At one point she trots out the ‘It’s cultural, nothing to do with Islam,’ argument. Later there is a report about a discount coat store being turned into an Islamic community centre/mosque only two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York. Stourton tells us: ‘There are strident voices attacking the proposal and using it as a vehicle to strike at Islam.’ A BBC reporter goes on: ‘Islam is once more under fire from a noisy minority who see the Koran as suspect.’