BEYOND BELIEF

Following Five Guys Named Mohammed, broadcast over 5 days at the start of the year, last night Radio 4 gave us Young, Muslim and Black:

Dotun Adebayo looks at why Islam is providing an attractive religious alternative to Christianity for Black Britons seeking answers.

Next Monday you can tune in for It’s My Story: The Imam of Peace:

Nadene Ghouri profiles the work of John Butt, an English Muslim convert who became an imam and is trying to spread a message of peace and tolerance across Pakistan and Afghanistan.

And Face the Facts on 27th Jan will be devoted to the issue of “whether sections of the British press are increasing tensions within communities by publishing negative stories about Muslims.”

Across the first four weeks of 2011, no programmes or series on BBC Radio 4 will have been wholly devoted to any of the other non-Christian religious communities of the U.K. Yes, Hindus, Jews, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists have all gone uncatered for by the allegedly diversity-loving BBC. Only Islam seems to interest the channel’s programme makers.

Though nowhere near as obsessive, even its regular religious affairs programme Beyond Belief is guilty of weighting its discussions with an excess of Muslims. Each programme has a trio of guests. There have been 27 programmes since the start of 2010. Here’s how the religious identity of the believing non-Christians breaks down in terms of number of guests:

Muslims – 15
Jews - 9
Hindus – 2
Sikhs – 2
Buddhists – 1
Jains - 1

Or
Muslims = 15
All the rest = 15

Is that fair, BBC?

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53 Responses to BEYOND BELIEF

  1. Umbongo says:

    I think we can all agree that having Aaqil Ahmed (who happens to be  a Moslem) as head of commissioning for religious programming at the BBC is purely coincidental.

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    • Dez says:

      Umbongo,

      Here are the highlights of BBC Religion and Ethics programmes over Christmas; with Aaqil Ahmed as the head of commissioning for religious programming at the BBC:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2010/11_november/22/xmas_religion.shtml

      Perhaps you should adjust your prejudices….

         0 likes

      • Umbongo says:

        Let me refer you to the responses to your 02:32 comment. Whichever way you look at it, the air time given to Islam is grossly inordinate. Even so, the BBC coverage of Islam is (without exception in my experience) always favourable.  For instance, repulsive manifestations of orthodox Moslem practice (eg relating to homosexuality, adultery, apostasy etc) are always either ignored by the BBC or labelled “extremist” ie ostensibly not in the Moslem mainstream.  Crimes committed by Moslems, where there is a manifest connection between the perp’s cultural (not racial) make-up and the crime, are generally reported as committed by “men” or “Britons” or even Pakistanis – rarely Moslems.  I don’t put this down to Aaqil Ahmed of course but the fact of his appointment argues for an over-indulgent attitude by the BBC to Moslems and Moslem affairs.

        BTW, on a general point, which your comments always ignore is that, unlike your employers, the vast majority of BBC employees allowed near a microphone and their supervisors (and commissioning editors), I don’t expect the taxpayer – or anyone else – to finance the broadcasting of my “prejudices”.  OTOH your employers’ institutional prejudices, which presumably you share, are relayed at the cost of £3.4 billion taxpayers’ money annually. 

           0 likes

        • Grant says:

          Umbongo,
          Spot on ! 
          The BBC dhimmis bend over backwards to crawl to muslims, so to speak.
          For example, the silence by the BBC on  Female Circumcision in Islam is deafening.  Imagine if it was practised by christians.
          Beeboids are really, truly, pitiful creatures.

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          • hippiepooter says:

            Ah, but then Islam is a ‘darkie’ religion.  We all know what low expectations the ‘non-racist’ BBC has of ‘darkies’, bless their holey anti-racist cotton socks.

               0 likes

            • Grant says:

              hippie,
              Quite right. The Beeboid and fellow-travelling Lefties view that anyone who has skin which is not white cannot be expected to exhibit civilised values is worse than patronising, it is downright racist.

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  2. Dez says:

    Why have you chosen to exclude Christian themed programmes from your little four week survey?

    Could it be perhaps because Radio 4 began 2011 with three 45 minute programmes entitled “The Story of the King James Bible”; along with a series of 28, hour long programmes reciting passages from The Bible?

    Which kind of makes your statement that; “Only Islam seems to interest the channel’s programme makers”, sound a little bit ridiculous.

    “…even its regular religious affairs programme Beyond Belief is guilty of weighting its discussions with an excess of Muslims.”

    According to the last Census data, the five most popular uk religions after Christianity make up 5.1% of the population.

    Of those: 55% are Muslim, 19% Hindu, 12% Sikh, 9% Jewish, 5% Buddhist.

    If those demographics were represented proportionately amongst the 30 non-christian participants of “Beyond Belief” the number of guests would be:

    Muslims – 16.5
    Jews – 2.7
    Hindus – 5.7
    Sikhs – 3.6
    Buddhists – 1.5

    Compered to your actual guest list of:

    Muslims – 15
    Jews – 9
    Hindus – 2
    Sikhs – 2
    Buddhists – 1
    Jains – 1

       0 likes

    • Craig says:

      Dez, your point about the demographics and Beyond Belief is well taken (though it suggests an anti-Hindu bias at the BBC!). How do you relate it though to the rest of Radio 4′s output this month. where the number of Hindu-themed, Jewish-themed, Sikh-themed (etc) programmes stands at 0, 0, 0 (etc)?

      We often make the point here that Islamic-themed programmes are many but Christian-themed programmes are far less common that you’d expect (thinking demographically) on the BBC. I was trying a different angle, but…

      Radio 4 did broadcast extracts from the King James Bible throughout one Sunday, but (to re-use a comment from a few weeks ago) it explicitly treated it as a piece of literature, not as the religious text of billions of Christians. Each section was introduced by a different person - 
       
      Simon Schama – left-wing historian, atheist 
      David Lodge – novelist, “agnostic Catholic” 
      Howard Brenton – left-wing playwright, atheist 
      Joanne Harris – CND-supporting novelist, refuses to talk about her religion 
      Dr Rowan Williams – left-wing archbishop, Anglican 
      Will Self – left-wing novelist, atheist 
      Frank Cotrell Boyce – left-wing author, Catholic 
      and.. 
           …..naturally… 
      Kamila Shamsie – Guardian-writing novelist, Muslim.  
       
      So Radio 4 chose not to present it as a Christian-themed project. Are there any other Christian-themed programmes you san see Dez across the first four weeks of 2011 on Radio 4? I can’t see any. Yet there are all these Muslim-themed programmes. How do you account for that?

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      • Grant says:

        Well said , Craig. The BBC bias is blatant and not too subtle.
        In the interests of balance, I assume they will have a similar programme featuring the Koran.  Ha !  Ha !
        That would be a laugh and a half !

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        • Roland Deschain says:

          If they did, would they be allowed to say it’s crap?  Purely as a piece of literature, of course.  Or would that make them fair game for a knife in the back?

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          • Grant says:

            Roland,
            Maybe the BBC could get one of their edgy Left-wing comedians to read put all the funny bits and jokes in the Koran ?
            Mitch Benn could write one of his hilarious songs taking the p*** out of it.
            Now that really would be taking comedy to the edge  !

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      • hippiepooter says:

        The great benefit of having Scott/Dez on this site is he can be guaranteed to pick up any low hanging fruit and helps us to get our facts right.  It’s a bit like putting maggots on a wound to eat the dead flesh – a leftist vociferously in favour of BBC bias but let’s us know when we get it wrong.  Thank you Scott/Dez, you are an invaluable service to the purpose of this site.

        Do you remember the programmes Radio 4 ran late last year as well, that featured the Al Qa’eda terrorist Mo Begg?

        The evidence of his terrorist Jihad activities and that of his fellow releasees from Guantanamo is overwhelming, but not a whiff of a programme examining this information and asking the question ‘Did we make a mistake securing their release?’.

        You also highlight a BBC programme promoting in essence the ridiculous premise that sections of the media promote ‘Islamophobia’.

        The only religion suffering any kind of hate campaign in Britain is our inherent religion of Christianity. This is yet another example of how the purpose of spurious ‘equality’ laws is in fact to victimise Christians for living by their faith.  There is no balance of rights, there is just an ‘agenda’.

        Homobigot groups like ‘Stonewall’ (named after a homosexual

        riot) dont look to set up any Muslim institutions.  I guess they’re a little bit concerned at Muslims lack of respect for English law.  No, instead Islam, a religion avowedly committed to the death of homosexuals (despite widespread evidence that homosexuality and paedophilia are commonplace in Muslim culture!), is a religion that homobigots like Scott/Dez make common cause with because it hates Christianity.  Satan’s avatars all have the same pull of gravity.

           0 likes

        • Grant says:

          Hippie,
          I enjoy Dez and Scottie’s posts here. Great fun.
          They certainly prove the truth of the saying “the exception which proves the rule ”   !

             0 likes

          • matthew rowe says:

            I have to say the Scot and Dezzie do seem to predominately  appear when ever  a religion or sex pref  related  post is put up ! could be issues there so be gently with them !

               0 likes

            • Grant says:

              Matthew,
              Beeboids’  two main obsessions, sex and Islam.  ( Sorry 2 of the 3, Sarah Palin being the other one ).   An interesting combination.

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          • Elby the Beserk says:

            “prove” as in “test”, not “confirm”. That’s what “the exception…” is all about.

            Not many people know that…

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    • john smith says:

      I listen to the mini-series on the King James Bible as podcasts one after another. For a Al Beeb series it was OK and then I reached the last programme that went off onto a little trip about slavery and the Caribbean. As always they are incapable of keeping things just British they have to drag in something to do with racism, slavery etc.

         0 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Dez is not Scott, and I don’t think he’s a Beeboid, either.  He is a fellow traveler, certainly.

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  3. JohnW says:

    Statistics, statistics…..

    Can you tell me, Dez, why a Muslim (approx 3% by UK population) should be head of the religious programming department of a country that has over 70% declared Christians?

    Is this yet another “rubbing our faces in diversity” moment, do you think?

       0 likes

    • Dez says:

      People should be employed according to their ability to do the job required.

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      • Guest Who says:

        Indeed.

        Though, in certain quarters, more often than not complemented by or supportive of the BBC, refunds might be due except for that gosh-darned ‘unique’ hypocrisy thing, especially when it comes to what is reported, or not, and/or fully tested, or not. Maybe it’s best just to reprint press releases from approved sources.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7474801.stm

        But finding a good balance can be tricky…

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-507454/BBC-hideously-white-number-black-executives-drops-time-low.html

           0 likes

        • Dez says:

          Yup, let’s just conveniently forget about Craig’s post and talk about something else instead…

             0 likes

          • hippiepooter says:

            Dez, Craig has already graciously accepted the main point that you made.  Now the issue has ‘moved on’ but you are trying to avoid it.  No low hanging fruit about I guess.

               0 likes

      • Grant says:

        Dez,
        Quite agree. That would mean all BBC executives, presenters and “reporters”  would get the sack. Suits me !

           0 likes

        • Grant says:

          I mean I quite agree that people should be employed according to their ability to do the job required.

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      • Martin says:

        In which case Dez none of the mongs at the BBC should be in a job as they are all shit.

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      • JohnW says:

        OK, Dez - I’ll ask you again – what makes a Muslim more qualified than, say, a Cof E minister to fairly present programmes advancing a variety of religious opinions? Among all the mainstream religions, Islam is the last place you would go for tolerance of others, so his resume would hardly inspire confidence as regards equality and diversity.

           0 likes

        • Grant says:

          JohnW,
          I am sure the BBC went out of their way to find a christian to do the job, but just couldn’t find anyone of the quality of Mr. Ahmed.

             0 likes

          • Millie Tant says:

            No one with his deep knowledge and understanding of Christianity, its place, meaning, history and heritage in this country.

               0 likes

      • hippiepooter says:

        JohnW, I think you got it right first time.  And Mr Ahmed has certainly got the ability to do the job that the BBC require him to do.

           0 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        This, of course, depends on one’s definition of what the employer is looking for.

           0 likes

      • john in cheshire says:

        You are quite correct, so why was there no one within the majority of our country’s population who was capable of doing the job? I suggest there was, but some bbc racist/bigot decided they’d like to have a muslim in the post. It does a number of things that followers of the anti-christ (socialist and muslims) want to do; for example, rub their ‘difference’ in the face of normal people and ensure that Christianity is once again belittled.

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  4. Craig says:

    Sorry to Scrappydoo! I saw your comment last night as I was going in to edit my post (by adding the links I’d forgotten to include) but by re-publishing it I must have wiped it off by mistake. D’oh! I’m going to have to learn how to update posts properly.

       0 likes

  5. Grant says:

    I forgot to post about a recent edition of “Beyond Belief” presented by someone called Ernie Ray, who I assume is a Christian.
    He interviewed a British muslim girl who had converted to christianity and received the usual death threats from muslims.
    Ernie was incredulous. For dhimmis like him it was, literally, beyond belief  !

       0 likes

    • hippiepooter says:

      Some beeboids believe their own propaganda!

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    • Roland Deschain says:

      Did the girl’s story cause him to review his beliefs, I wonder?  Or perhaps he thought she was lying.

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      • Grant says:

        Roland,
        I got the impression he thought she was lying , but no way I can prove it, of course.
        I occasionally listen to “Beyond Belief ” and there is almost always at least one muslim on it.
        Ernie Ray is one of these incredibly reasonably, nice, tolerant dhimmis who seems totally unaware the he and his like are bloody dangerous !

           0 likes

  6. Elby the Beserk says:

    John Butt eh? I had my first tab of LSD from him way back in 1969. Heard he’d gone native out there!

       0 likes

  7. james1070 says:

    From the Iman of Peace

    He set up a series of radio stations across the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan and established a madrassa in Jalalabad in Afghanistan, preaching his own version of a moderate inclusive Islam. Now this work is getting tougher. The Swat operation was hit by last year’s flooding while militants attacked his madrassa, burning down a building. The jihadist threat means it is too dangerous for John Butt to travel to the Swat Valley or to visit his project in Jalalabad. Nadene Ghouri asks who’s winning – John or the extremists?

    Ha,ha, looks like the the Iman of Peace vs the Religion of Peace. The BBC just don’t get it.

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  8. Rueful Red says:

    On Thought for the Day this morning we had the weekly gig from Abdul Hakim Murad, the Muslim “chaplain” (surely “Imam”?) at Cambridge University. Third time this month. 
    Looking at the listings of individual contributors, most of them only get on once a month – a bit of a surprise to those of us to whom Indarjit Singh seems like a weekly presence, because he isn’t.  Though given his toxic mixture of moral superiority and condescesion, one would think the Beeboids would have him on more often.  

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  9. sue says:

    It may well be that the exponential expansion of the Muslim population in the UK explains the increase in Muslim-related programming.   The demographics imply that Islam will one day become the UK’s dominant religion, and this will become a Muslim country.

    The BBC may well see its role as gently easing us towards accepting this, who knows?

    In the meantime though, it’s not just the statistical weighting of Islam-related programming that is concerning.
    It’s the promotion of it, treating it as a protected entity, uncriticisable because it’s a ‘religion.’ The taboo surrounding open discussion of the political, ideological aspect of it, the unwillingness to confront deep areas of incompatibility with our society -  until a spectacular act of terror forces it out into the open, whereupon the government and the BBC join forces promote the bogus ‘Good Islam gone bad’ theory. 

    Programmes invariably present Islam in a positive way while ignoring the negative, or brushing it under the carpet dismissively.

    From the Islamic Thought for the Day preachers, the spokespersons consulted as experts on Tunisia or the Arab World, to Islam-friendly themed fiction, Islam-friendly documentaries, all given acres of air space with no accompanying background or context.  Impartiality kicks in with a vengeance then. No value-judgement must creep in.

    So all the intolerance, hatred of the ‘Kuffar’, tribalism, barbaric cruelty, anti Israel propaganda, antisemitic  filth, all air-brushed away.

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  10. George R says:

    Islam Not BBC (INBBC)’s Director General, M.Thompson, is, in my view, not only biased towards Islam, but is also scared of the consequences of criticising it:

    “BBC: Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity”

    ‘Cranmer’ (2008) 

    http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2008/10/bbc-islam-should-be-treated-more.html

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  11. George R says:

    Compare and contrast these two reports of a Muslim accused of attacking Danish cartoonist with an axe:

    1.) Islam Not BBC (INBBC) report:

    “Somali denies Danish cartoonist Westergaard axe attack”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12224186

    2.) ‘Jihadwatch’:

    Denmark: Muslim who hacked through Motoonist’s door with axe calls himself “a Muslim who follows the precepts of Islam and who prays and goes to the mosque”

       0 likes

  12. John Anderson says:

    Craig had it right first time when he pointed out – with exact figures – that the BBC gets far more coverage from the BBC than other non-Christian religions.

    The essence of the message of Christ is “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.  Christianity is a religion of love.

    The essence of Islam – in  terms of so many words in the Koran and the worldwide behaviour of so many Muslims – is the direct opposite.  It is so very often a religion of hate.  With a “prophet” who was endlessly violent and cruel.

    That in itself is good reason why it is appalling that the BBC sees fit to appoint a Muslim as head of religious broadcasting.  And why it is offensive that tyhe BBC gives so much airtime to Muslims,  disproportionate representation on Thought for the Day for example.

    But all this is just part of the BBC meme of trashing Britain,  trashing what it always stood for,  trashing the indigenous culture.   One day of a bunch of leftie atheists celebrating the King James Bible is no atonement for the ridiculous pro-Muslim bias at the BBC.

       0 likes

    • John Anderson says:

      sorry – to stress Craig’s original point – Islam gets far more coverage than other non-Christian religions.   Totally disproportionate coverage.  

         0 likes

    • Grant says:

      John,
      Excellent ! 
      It would be impossible for any fair-minded, objective person to disagree with your post.
      I sometimes wonder how the special interest groups, muslims, gays, gypsies etc. who are patronised by the BBC really feel about Beeboids.
      Do they think “isn’t the BBC wonderful promoting our interests ?”
      Or do the think “aren’t the BBC a bunch of prats supporting for our propaganda ? “.
      In my view, the term “useful idiots ” was invented for the BBC.

         0 likes

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