Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Biased Broadcasting Corporation

Mike at The Monkey Tennis Centre reports on more BBC bias, this time in religion:

Compare the BBC's kid-gloves approach to the eccentricities of Islam with its recent reporting on the polygamy sect bust in Texas
The eccentricity in question this time was the "marriage" of an eight year old girl to a man in his twenties. The "marriage" was consumated. Why the scare quotes? Because eight year old girls don't marry, they get sold by their parents to men who then rape them. Any sex between a girl that age and an adult man is rape.

What was the BBC's bias? They managed to report the story without once mentioning that the people involved were Muslim, while being quite happy to mention that the polygamous sect in Texas is Mormon. Well, fair enough on the latter point; it was relevant to the story. This sect is polygamous because it is unreformed Mormon.

But this sort of formalised child rape in Islamic countries happens because they are Islamic. Of course not all Muslim countries permit this sort of horror. In fact some, Tunisia and Turkey for example, guard against the predations of what we could call "early days Islam" better than we do here, even banning that symbol of Islamist fascism, the bin-bag-over-the-head.

Here's what "Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel peace prize-winning Iranian lawyer... told the Guardian" last year:
Women who complain of rape have been stoned. The age of consent for girls has been lowered to nine.
This lowering of the age of "consent" was one of Khomeini's first acts after the Iranian revolution. It was based on the tradition in the Koran (religious stories are rarely more than tradition) that Mohammed "married" a young girl and consumated the "marriage" when she was nine years of age.

There has been a lot of debate about this tradition and there's no point reprising it here in any detail. Some call Mohammed a paedophile, others argue that this wasn't so rare at the time. In fact, there really is some evidence that Islam, in the seventh century, was a liberating force. Certainly, I admire the feeling and thought behind this story, from the Hadith:
Narrated `A’ishah: The Prophet took a child in his lap … and then the child urinated on him, so he asked for water and poured it over the place of the urine. (Bukhari) .... Embarrassed, the father sprang forward. “What have you done, you silly boy” he shouted. His arm shoved forward to grab the child away from the Muhammad, his red face showing his anger. Fear and confusion showed in the face of the child. Muhammad restrained the man, and gently hugged the child to him. “Don’t worry,” he told the over-zealous father. “This is not a big issue. My clothes can be washed. But be careful with how you treat the child” he continued. “What can restore his self-esteem after you have dealt with him in public like this?”
That depicts a very deep understanding of how severe the effects of childhood embarrassment can be. I'm perfectly happy to accept that things were different in Arabia in the seventh century - they certainly were in Europe, and remained that way for centuries.

But there is no excuse at all for child rape in the twenty first century, anywhere for any reason. And the reason does matter. Some modern Muslims, including British ones, still argue that some girls (they generally qualify it) are mature enough to marry at the age of eight. Children are being taken out of schools in this country and "married" to older men. It's a disgrace - and one that the BBC is assisting by its sins of omission.

The BBC is often accused of Liberal bias, but this isn't true. Yes, they are institutionally biased. But there is nothing Liberal about covering up the reason for child rape. There is nothing Liberal about bias in science reporting. They are not Liberal, and describing them as such actually helps them. The Liberal tradition - that of Thomas Paine and Milton Friedman - is a fine and noble one and labelling the BBC as such actually flatters these contemptible distorters. They are racist: multiculturalism is racism. They abet rapists by concealing the reasons for the rape. This isn't Liberal.

Somehow, we seem to have come to accept this institutional bias in public service broadcasting, and let's bring in Channel 4 and the disgusting Jon Snow who plays down rocket attacks on Israel by extending this to broadcasting that receives public money. We have come to accept that it is normal. It isn't normal, any more than it is Liberal. It's an open sore. It's a stain on this country's Liberal traditions.

Ezra levant has been conducting an energetic campaign of what he calls "denormalization" against the Witch Hunter Generals of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions - organisations that have so perverted the terms of their remit that they wage war on behalf of Jihadist extremists against free speech activists. Jihad isn't a human right, free speech is. Levant has shown Canada and the world how these organisations have perverted Canadian traditions, and he has a keener sense of the Liberal traditions Canada inherited from Britain than we do here ourselves. We should feel ashamed.

Levant has lifted the rock and shone a torch underneath. The invertebrates are scuttling for cover. He has shown that these Star Chambers aren't "normal" - they are perversions not just of Western values but of universal human values. And Levant is winning his fight.

The problem here is that we haven't started fighting. It's about time we did. Every morning when the biased BBC staff open their curtains they should see a whole new formation of tanks ranged on their lawns.


patrick vidaud said...

Very good. The Beeb insists on not addressing the violence, intolerance and misogeny of Islam. Its worse than bias.It's a betrayal of all of us Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Contrary to what the Beeb beleives, discussing Islam's very serious problems is not racist. Islam is simply a very flawed and dangerous ideology that may or may not be reformable. The Beeb keeping quite about its flaws is not, to put it mildly, helpful.

Anonymous said...

It is not the Beeb, it is the beeb, CBC, ABC, NPR, SBS - it is the lot, all of them, every last one of them.

They are not even misleading us. They are knowingly, and with malice aforethought, lying to us.