Dear BBC World Service. I’d like to complain about inappropriate product placement in a programme broadcast on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
An episode of Heart and Soul entitled “Muslim White and Female” was a 28 minute eulogy to the religion of Islam. Not once did it mention the unacceptable racist and violent aberrations inherent in its teaching. Even as an advertisement, which is what it amounted to, it broke all the codes.
“The Advertising Codes contain wide-ranging rules designed to ensure that advertising does not mislead, harm or offend.”
The advertisement for Islam broadcast on BBC World Service violated the advertising code on all three counts. It misled, harmed and offended.
The 28 minute-long unadulterated misrepresentation (falsehood) implied that subscribing to the product on offer would produce an euphoric state, which was actually likened to a morphine-induced state of ecstasy. So you can get stoned on Islam in more than the usual manner.
Most offensive of all, the programme promoted the views of a notoriously psychologically flawed personality with apparent delusions of grandeur, and who is known, amongst other things, for addressing rallies, specifically to incite antisemitic hatred, violence and anger.
A self-publicist, a would-be thespian, a person frequently caught on camera performing off the cuff speeches of passion in front of an audience characteristically predisposed to being incited into an intoxicated frenzied state; a baying mob, ready to forgive all the lapses in fluency and panic-stricken hiatuses when the oratory degenerates into slogan-chanting and frantic arm-waving.
Not one allusion to this was included in the misleading advertisement.
A newly acquired Arabic accent, and ludicrous gratitude expressed for the reforming nature of a religious fanaticism – apparently the only thing capable of delivering long-awaited maternal attention from a previously drunken self obsessed narcissist of a mother – added salt to the wound of a programme that was an unadulterated, misleading, dishonest, offensive, harmful advertisement for Islam.
The programme’s presenter recently won a claim against the BBC. “The BBC has not only admitted it got it wrong and apologised, but also held out an olive branch to Ms O’Reilly”
If the BBC is capable of handing out apologies for ageism, I await an unreserved public apology to all the listeners of the BBC World Service on the grounds of serious gross misrepresentation and falsehood, gratuitous exploitation of minors, advertising, and causing acute offence.