Whilst the BBC wouldn’t suppress ‘Jerry Springer’ after tens of thousands of complaints it does censor, off its own back, a play on the grounds that it might suggest that the beliefs and values of the Muslim Community are offensive…to the Muslim Comunity.
George R in the comments highlights this from the Independent:
‘A leading playwright has accused the BBC of an “extraordinary” act of censorship after the corporation told her to cut key lines from a drama about “honour killings” which will be broadcast by Radio 4 this week.
Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti wrote an episode for Radio 4’s DCI Stone series, which will be broadcast in the Afternoon Drama slot.
Bhatti’s episode, called Heart Of Darkness, tells the story of an investigation into the killing of a 16 year-old Asian girl, whose dumped body is found after being stabbed to death.
When it emerges that the girl was a victim of an “honour killing”, DCI Stone is told by his bosses is to treat the case “sensitively” because of her Muslim heritage.
“A week before recording I got an email from the producer saying the BBC compliance department had asked them to take lines out.
Then another line is cut:
“At the end, a character says: ‘There is so much pressure in our community, to look right and to behave right.’
The compliance department came back and said ‘we don’t want to suggest the entire Muslim community condones honour killings.’
“It’s an extraordinary and awful situation. They said the lines were offensive but they absolutely were not. We live in a fear-ridden culture.
“Unbelievably, what the compliance department said was if you can find a factual example of community pressure leading to an honour killing, you can have the line. But it’s a drama, a story.
“It’s a crucial part of that story.”
A Radio 4 spokesman said: “This is a hard-hitting drama about the realities of honour killing in Britain. A single line in the script could be taken to infer that the pressure and motivation to commit such a crime in a family comes from the wider Muslim community, potentially misrepresenting majority British Muslim attitudes to honour killing.”
‘…pressure and motivation to commit such a crime in a family comes from the wider Muslim community, potentially misrepresenting majority British Muslim attitudes…’
Is that not the whole concept behind ‘Honour killings’? That they are committed because the family believes that in the eyes of the ‘community’ a family member has acted dishonourably and brought shame on the family…and the community.
They arise from not just Arab and Muslim traditions and beliefs but in this case this is a play supposedly based on real speech patterns about a Muslim girl….no one would say ‘So much pressure on our community…oh, and the Sikhs, Hindus, and a few fanatical Christians, possibly the odd atheist community as well, to look and behave right’.
A white girl was recently beaten up by her family for going out with a black man….’A couple were jailed yesterday for a brutal attack on the daughter they felt had shamed them by dating a black man‘…..the BBC would have no trouble at all in a play that suggested that the family attacked her because they believed that the rest of the ‘white community’ would think this was a ‘disgrace’ to the White Race. The BBC are more than happy to use language that equates being white with being racist….remember their reaction to Jade Goody in ‘Big Brother’….BBC presenter after BBC presenter told us that she showed the ‘real truth’ about White British attitude to black or brown skinned people…..the unthinking and ignorant BBC finger pointers not even realising Goody’s father was ‘black’.
The BBC spent a week pouring over this insignificant spat of ill- temper whilst it ignored the other C4 programme on that same week that revealed genuine racism and violent intentions of some Muslims in Dispatche’s ‘Undercover Mosque’…..‘an ideology of bigotry and intolerance’.…a message being spread throughout Britain by British Mosques.
Honour killings are a reaction often to behaviour that is seen to go against that of the Community…dressing or ‘behaving’ too Western for example. Not behaving ‘Muslim’ in other words.
It maybe that not everyone in that community agrees with the concept, maybe not the majority…but there can be no doubt it stems from the cultural attitudes within that community, often predicated upon the ‘value’ placed on women by that culture….In the case of Muslim communities a value prescribed by the Koran which places women at a lower level of society and worth than men, which has consequences.
Tahira Shaid Khan, a professor of women’s issues at Aga Khan University blames it on attitudes (across different classes, ethnic and religious groups) that view women as property with no rights of their own as the motivation for honor killings. Khan also argues that this view results in violence against women and their being turned “into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold.”
The 2009 European Parliamentary Assembly noted in their Resolution 1681 the dire need to address honor crimes. The resolution stated that: “On so-called ‘honor crimes,’ the Parliamentary Assembly notes that the problem, far from diminishing, has worsened, including in Europe. It mainly affects women, who are its most frequent victims, both in Europe and the rest of the world, especially in patriarchal and fundamentalist communities and societies. For this reason, it asked the Council of Europe member states to ‘draw up and put into effect national action plans to combat violence against women, including violence committed in the name of so-called ‘honor,’ if they have not already done so.” ‘
The BBC by hiding the issue, the source of the problem, turns what is a ‘protest’ play that highlights the social and cultural pressures that drive honour killings into mere entertainment, voyeurism…with no genuine take on why these killings happen.
The BBC brushes deaths, the causes of those deaths, under the carpet….but is happy to use them for the viewing Public’s edification and pleasurable enjoyment anyway.