The BBC views the eruptions throughout the Arab World as one homogeneous, righteous, peoples’ call for democracy. To them ‘democracy’ can only mean ‘Western Style’ democracy. Legitimate doubts about that are brushed aside because journalists are too busy identifying with the protesters.
If the Egyptian protesters ever get their fair and free elections, it’s predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood will play a prominent role. No doubt the BBC would collectively shrug and say that’s democracy. If a Hamas style regime is elected, they’d insist the people must have what they want, even if it means kissing goodbye to freedom and cuddling up to Iran.
Daniel Greenfield expresses an alternative view, one which many people share, and one which others might like to hear about.
“Few of the gullible Western supporters who follow the revolution by Twitter, understand just how much the ordinary Egyptian taking part in the protests hates them. Behind all the English language signs produced for the foreign press and the articulate bloggers cultivated by the US and EU governments, is the angry mob who believes that Mubarak was a puppet of the CIA and the Mossad. “
Even if the BBC disagrees, it has an obligation to acknowledge that these views exist.
The way the BBC views the serious sexual attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan is not quite the same as his. Katie Connolly’s article and Daniel Greenfield’s are quite different. The BBC explains that reporting has become increasingly dangerous, even more so for women who face violent sexual assaults and rapes.
“BBC world news editor Jon Williams, noting the horror of Ms Logan’s ordeal, says that managing the risks of conflict reporting is a complex challenge.”
That’s conflict reporting in general. But Lara Logan was in Tahrir Square, amongst protesters who were calling for democracy, and she was on their side. Surely, they were righteous protesters who wanted western style freedom, were they not?
“The only popular cause in the Muslim world is fought against the Americans– even when the Americans are on their side”
says Daniel Greenfield
“Sexual violence is also a routine part of Egyptian mob scenes. In 2006, a crowd celebrating Eid Al-Fitr began assaulting every woman in sight. In 2009 alone, the UK foreign office reported handling nearly 30 cases of sexual assault against British nationals. Under Islamic mores, non-Muslim women are treated as whores. That may be why according to a 2008 study, only 68 percent of Egyptian women complained of being harassed on a daily basis, while 98 percent of foreign women did. When a group of jubilant enthusiasts of democracy found themselves near a Western female reporter without police supervision, what followed was absolutely horrible and terribly inevitable. It is what 98 percent of foreign women in Egypt risk encountering every day.”
Over in BBC land, it’s a different story.
“In many places women are treated far better than men,” Mr Williams says, recalling that BBC world affairs editor John Simpson became one of the first foreign reporters to enter Afghanistan in 2001 after crossing the border disguised as a woman.”
And very fetching he must have looked too. In his burkha.
Daniel Greenfield again:
“The cries of “Yahood, Yahood” or “Jew, Jew” reportedly shouted at CBS’s Logan while she was being sexually assaulted, reflect two things. Yahood is a common insult in the Middle East.[..]The negative depiction of Jews is rooted in the Koran, making it ubiquitous through the Muslim world.”
“The other aspect of it however is the prevalence of conspiracy theories throughout the Arab Muslim world. In Egypt, Nazi propaganda merged with traditional Islamic beliefs to give rise to Islamofascist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. While Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are given little credibility in civilized nations– they are still highly popular in the Muslim world.”
The BBC isn’t bothering about all that antisemitic nonsense. Keep sending women to conflict areas, they advise. As long as they put on a burkha, carry a rape whistle, and stick a chair in front of the door, and if that fails:
“urinate, vomit or defecate on yourself”
– preferably not while reporting live on the telly.