The Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris was discussed on the well-known BBC discussion programme Question Time last Thursday. Quite oddly (I suppose), the host of the programme, David Dimbleby, decided to read out the BBC's official guideline on the depiction of Muhammad. (Yes it has/had one!)
Mr Dimbleby said:
"The prophet Mohammed must not be represented in any shape or form."*
Indeed, on the day of actual broadcast, a link was provided to the BBC's guideline; only to lead nowhere some time later (“an error has occurred”).
David Dimbleby may well have put his foot in it by reciting the ruling live on air because the BBC almost immediately (the day after) changed its tune.
The BBC is now saying that the “guideline is currently being revised”. Again, this is clearly a response to David Dimbleby's live faux pax (if that's what it was). However, perhaps I'm being cynical (probably not!) because a BBC spokesman has since said that “our policy has not changed as a result of the discussion on Question Time”. Yet the only defence of this seemingly revised position appears to be that the the previous guideline is “old”.
All this basically means that if Mr Dimbleby hadn't read out the guideline on TV, things may well have carried on as before. In other words, the BBC would now still have a rule banning all depictions of Muhammed. The only difference would be is that many people would still not know about this ruling.
Interestingly enough, on the same Question Time show, the panellist Liz Kendall MP (Labour Party) said that the BBC guideline on Muhammed is “a special case”.
Labour MPs and Leftists always seem to think that there's “a special case” to be made for suppressing freedom of speech (or print) when that speech is ideologically incorrect. And in our universities at present, for example, students and professors are finding good reasons (to them) for suppressing dissent almost every week. In other words, every silencing of political disagreement is a special case to the political censor or suppressor.
|From the BBC News website.|
This is the same BBC which has broadcast:
- Monty Python'sLife of Brian many times. (Here's the 'Life of Brian Debate'; which was also on the BBC. It included the cast, the Bishop of Southwark - Mervyn Stockwood - and Malcolm Muggeridge.)
- Positive reviews and shown 'Piss Christ'.
Basically, the BBC has shown countless programmes (from the comedic to the academic) that very many Christians have deemed to be offensive and sacrilegious.
You could say that most of the time his satires of the Catholic Church weren't exactly vicious or political. Yet we must also realise that the vast majority of Muslims (nearly all of them) wouldn't allow any kind of satire against Islam or Muhammad. Think here of the death threats and anger about that 'Jesus and Mo' t-shirt and image. The reactions – from Muslims – to that were almost exactly the same as it would have been had the image shown Muhammad having sex with a goat. (Ironically, when the 'Jesus and Mo' issue was debated on the BBC, no closeup was allowed of the t-shirt. Not because of the image of Jesus; but because of the image of Muhammad!)
The Guardian is even worse – or at least it was.
Before The Guardian realised – very recently! - that it had an inconsistent view on religion (i.e., relentless criticisms of Christianity and a positive view of Islam) , it would regularly feature critical pieces on the Church of England and Christianity itself and even publish negative depictions of Jesus. Only recently has The Guardian come to its current “interfaith position” (though it's not held by all its writers) on religion. Thus, for example, it has started to talk about “atheist fundamentalists” (such as Dawkins) and the like. Yet all this was initiated by atheist criticisms of Islam; not Christianity.
So it's crystal clear that The Guardian's newly discovered critique of atheism is almost entirely a result of its defence of Islam and Muslims. This is obviously the case because its criticism of certain atheists – as I said - are a very recent phenomenon. How recent? This change occurred largely in tandem with the increase in Muslim demographics; as well as with the political radicalisation/Islamisation of Muslims in the UK.
The Guardian's view on religion, therefore, is entirely political in nature; not at all religious. (There may be one exception to this at The Guardian: Andrew Brown, who does appear to be genuinely religious.) Basically, it is born of The Guardian's love of political Islam (e.g., Respect, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Association of Britain, Hezbollah, Muslim reactions to “Western colonialism, imperialism and racism”, etc.); not of Islam itself. It's also born of The Guardian’s self-appointed role of fighting what it deems to be “racism” (or “Islamophobia”).
In other words, when most of the outwardly religious people in the UK were seen - by Guardian journalists - to have brown skins, then the racist Guardian began to change its tune on religion.
The Guardian's Leftist politics is driving its new-found position on religion (basically, on Islam) and indeed on blasphemy.
2) I suppose that the best that can be said about this episode is that at least David Dimbleby (or the BBC) had the honesty to read out the BBC's official guideline on the non-depiction of Mohammed on TV. In other words, this is one step better than having such a policy and denying or hiding it. Still, the BBC still has – or had - such a policy.