A new internet magazine called The Participator has been launched by our British associate and political like-thinker, Chauncey Tinker. (The title intentionally calls to mind the long-established journal The Spectator.)
The first article was published yesterday and may be found here
It is about Islam punishing blasphemy – which is what Islam considers any criticism of Islamic belief to be. As Islam is trying to make criticism of itself a punishable crime the world over, the topic is of universal interest and importance. It could be summed up as “Islam versus free speech“. In Europe, Islam is winning. Is it winning in Britain too?
These are extracts from the article:
On a BBC Asian Network program, the Muslim presenter Shazia Awan posed the question “What Is The Right Punishment For Blasphemy?”. The question is obviously loaded with the implication that there SHOULD be a punishment for blasphemy. … There have been a great many articles written about this radio program already, but so far they all seem to have missed the fact that the BBC have committed a criminal offence under current UK law by airing it. …
(We posted commentary on the program two days ago. See Where stands the BBC on blasphemy?, March 20, 2017.)
Examples of what callers to the program gave as answers to the question include these:
The second caller … was a man called Wajid Ali (Burki?) from Birmingham – a city in the UK. This caller supported the principle of a death sentence for blasphemers under Islamic law in Muslim majority countries, but he seemed confused about whether blasphemers in non-Muslim countries should also be killed. For example he said he was upset that Salman Rushdie had not yet been killed. Rushdie does not live in a Muslim Country, he has lived in the US since 2000 before which he was living in the UK under very necessary police protection. Shazia pressed the caller on his view, asking “do you not think that the death penalty is a step too far?”. By the phrasing of this question we might even suspect that Shazia herself thinks that there should in fact be a punishment for blasphemy, but that the death penalty would be excessive. The caller responded saying that the punishment should be determined by the law of the land, so we can only conclude from all this that he was disappointed that Salman Rushdie had not been murdered by a private citizen. At the very least this is inescapably a very grossly offensive point of view, at the worst it might almost be considered an incitement to murder.
A caller called Ishaan from Cardiff … said: “sooner or later Islam is going to be taking over anyway”, a statement that was surely grossly offensive to all the non-Muslims in the UK who do not wish to live in an Islamic state. …
Surprisingly, blasphemy was still a statutory crime in the United Kingdom until as recently as 2008, when it was finally abolished. But the last time anyone was prosecuted for committing it was in 1843, in Scotland. Will it now make a come-back when sharia law – already in use as a parallel legal system in Britain – becomes the only law of the land?
The context of the question was not current law in the UK (which abolished the blasphemy law in 2008), but the current law in Pakistan, where the punishment is currently the death penalty. In the case of Asia Bibi, who has been on death row for 7 years in appalling conditions, the authorities there are clearly hoping that she will die in prison and save them from the worldwide outrage that would necessarily result if they carried out the sentence.
Please read our post on Asia Bibi – whose right name is Aasiya Noreen. It is titled Thirst: a story of religious injustice, and may be found here.
At some point the BBC woke up to the fact that the question it was asking implied that there should be some punishment for blasphemy. So it sent out a tweet:
We never intend[ed] to imply Blasphemy should be punished. Provocative question that got it wrong.
OK, now they are getting it. …
By now I think any “reasonable ordinary person” would agree with me that views were aired on this program that were at the very least grossly offensive. Under current UK law (Communications Act 2003) it is illegal to broadcast a communication on an electronic network that is “grossly offensive”.
The program may have been broadcast live (making it impossible to know exactly what would be said), but by the phrasing of the question the producers of the program have actively encouraged such sentiments to be expressed. At least one of the callers who expressed grossly offensive views was a regular caller on the show, and the producers will have been well aware of what sort of reactions to expect. As a UK Muslim herself, the presenter will also have been well aware that those views expressed are scarcely uncommon among Muslims in the UK today (polls have shown this to be the case as well). In short, the makers of this program knew full well what to expect.
All this considered then I think it is quite reasonable to suggest that the producers deliberately sought these grossly offensive opinions in order to create a sensational program and that therefore by broadcasting the program they are wilfully in contravention of the Communications Act. …
The question is then posed: “What is the right punishment for the BBC?”
So readers, I wish to ask you, what do you think would be an appropriate punishment for the BBC, for this criminal act? Unfortunately when the BBC is fined it is those who pay the licence fee who have to foot the bill. Therefore, fining the BBC will only serve to punish those who are already suffering from the BBC’s poor quality and wildly biased output.
I think that an appropriate punishment for the BBC would be that it should be privatized in totality. I believe that the BBC should also lose all their rights to broadcast TV channels and FM radio programs on the airwaves, and instead be forced to compete on the internet with everybody else. This is not a harsh punishment, certainly I am not calling for any BBC operatives to be beheaded or even to receive milder punishments such as flogging. All I am asking for is a level playing field, let the BBC compete in the free market. The BBC should also be renamed as it cannot be said to represent the views of most British people.
This will take a while to accomplish of course – it will require some legislation to be put forward in parliament. In the meantime the BBC Asian Network should sack the producers and the presenter. …
If we lived in a country where equality before the law was upheld then I think a 12 month community order and 1 month’s forced labour for the producers and the presenter of this show, and the callers who expressed grossly offensive opinions, would most certainly be called for (at the very minimum). However, personally I would prefer to hear all these grossly offensive opinions, so that we know what people think.
An opinion with which we heartily agree. It is the essence of the case for free speech.
We recommend The Participator to our readers.
We also recommend blasphemy. Against all religions, all deities, all “sacred things”, and most especially and particularly – considering the threat Islam poses to us all – against Muhammad and “Allah”.
We urge our readers to blaspheme purposefully, publicly, and often, as we try to do ourselves.*
*Of course this is addressed only to readers who live in countries where it is safe to blaspheme – which is to say, no Islamic or European country.
The Guardian reports:
In an apology, the network said it never intended to imply that blasphemy should be punished and said the tweet was poorly worded.
So that lets the BBC off the hook then, does it? Rare for the BBC to apologize! And how should the tweet have been worded? To mean what? That blasphemy should not be punished?
Unlikely the fawningly Islam-appeasing BBC would dare to say that in Pakistan, to Pakistan; because, as the Guardian goes on to say …
Pakistan has asked Facebook and Twitter to help identify Pakistanis suspected of blasphemy so it can prosecute them or pursue their extradition.
Under the country’s blasphemy laws, anyone found to have insulted Islam or the prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death.
The interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said an official in Pakistan’s Washington embassy had approached the two social media companies in an effort to identify Pakistanis, either within the country or abroad, who recently shared material deemed offensive to Islam.
He said Pakistani authorities had identified 11 people for questioning over alleged blasphemy and would seek the extradition of anyone living abroad.
The Guardian does not say whether Facebook and Twitter will do as they’re asked and help identify Pakistanis at home and abroad who have insulted Islam or the prophet Muhammad, so that they can be sentenced to death.
Will Twitter and Facebook deliver their users up for execution?
Maybe there should first be a debate about “what is the right punishment for blasphemy”. Maybe a death sentence is too extreme. We need the BBC to tell us what to think is the right punishment. That’s the BBC’s assumed business. To tell the world what to think. We wait in suspense for its ruling.
Al-Qaeda may soon have Somalia as a secure home from which to continue its jihad by terrorism.
Will Obama, who said he would ‘pursue bin Laden to the gates of hell’, consider using force against his power base on the Horn of Africa?
Somehow we doubt it.
This comes from the BBC, and is all the more believable for that, it being an organization that only reluctantly reports anything that might offend Islamic terrorists, or prove that Islam is waging war on the rest of the world:
Somali Islamist rebel group al-Shabab has confirmed for the first time that its fighters are aligned with al-Qaeda’s global militant campaign.
The group said in a statement that the “jihad of Horn of Africa must be combined with the international jihad led by the al-Qaeda network“.
Meanwhile, several people have died in fighting in Mogadishu after government troops shelled militant positions.
Islamist insurgents control much of southern and central Somalia.
The government, which is backed by the UN and African Union, holds sway only in a small part of Mogadishu.
Despite repeated accusations by the US that al-Shabab is linked to al-Qaeda, the group denied the connection in a recent interview with the BBC…
The group’s statement also announced that its militants had joined forces with a smaller insurgent group called Kamboni…based in the southern town of Ras Kamboni … previously allied to Hizbul-Islam – another militant group fighting the government.
Kamboni is led by Hassan Turki, a militant the US accuses of being a “financer of terrorism”.
Al-Shabab said it was trying to unite all Islamist forces to create a Muslim state under its hard-line interpretation of Sharia law.
The group, which controls swathes of Somalia, has carried out public beheadings and stonings…
Meanwhile in Mogadishu reports said at least eight civilians were killed in fighting overnight.
“Our team collected eight bodies of civilians who were killed in the shelling and 55 others who were injured, some of them seriously,” health official Ali Musa told the AFP news agency.
Militants had launched an artillery attack on the presidential compound, and government and African Union forces responded with several mortar shells.
AFP quoted an unnamed police official accusing the rebels of hiding in civilian areas and using “human shields”. [The normal way for Muslims to conduct hostilities – JB]
Somalia has been wracked by violence for much of the past 20 years. It has not had a functioning central government since 1991.
The ‘settled science’ of manmade global warming has been thoroughly unsettled by the ‘climategate’ emails. Exceptionally cold weather over most of the northern hemisphere this winter has helped to upset it too.
A sure sign that the warmists themselves have been shaken in their arrogance, if not in their blind faith, is that the BBC feels compelled to question its own climate-change dogmatism.
Though still coasting on its reputation earned in WWII as a trustworthy source of news, the BBC has in fact been patently biased to the left for decades now. Manmade global warming is essentially a legend of the left in that it provides a pretext for economic redistribution from the First to the Third World in the name of ‘saving the planet’, and for governmental control of individual lives – ideally world government, the old dream of International Communism.
From the MailOnline:
The BBC’s governing body has launched a major review of its science coverage after complaints of bias notably in its treatment of climate change.
The BBC Trust today announced it would carry out the probe into the ‘accuracy and impartiality’ of its output in this increasingly controversial area.
The review comes after repeated criticism of the broadcaster’s handling of green issues. It has been accused of acting like a cheerleader for the theory that climate change is a man-made phenomenon.
Critics have claimed that it has not fairly represented the views of sceptics of the widely-held belief that humans are responsible for environmental changes such as global warming.
Anti-Jewish feeling, speech, and action is intensifying in Britain.
It’s understandable, of course, after what Jews have been doing in that country: killing and maiming with bombs in London underground trains and a bus, leaving a car with a bomb in it on a busy street in the middle of the capital, driving a van full of explosive into an airport – doctors doing this, mark you, people ostensibly dedicated to saving lives! Oh, and much more: terrorist conspiracies; raping, beating up, murdering on the streets; evading deportation and becoming a huge drain on the tax-payer; demanding that their own religious law replace the law of the land; insisting that their polygamous marriages be recognized; building their houses of worship in every town and city and broadcasting their calls to prayer every few hours; setting up religious schools that teach hatred of Christians and sedition against their host country; establishing academic departments and even whole colleges in the great universities in order to promote their never-ending campaign to convert the whole world to their religion; turning areas of London and other cities into no-go areas within which they carry out the traditional honor killings of their wives and daughters without fear of interference from the British police —
The list could go on and on …
A noisy, demanding, aggressive, cruel, useless, ungrateful, parasitical lot, those British Jews!
What did you say? It’s not the Jews doing all that? Oh, who is it then?
The Muslims? Really?
Then why are the Jews being reviled?
The following is from an article in the Wall Street Journal, by Robin Shepherd (who was dismissed from his job at the Royal Institute of International Affairs – Chatham House, as it’s called – for being pro-Israel):
Here is a small selection of events that have taken place in Britain since the end of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza earlier this year.
The government has imposed a partial arms embargo on Israel and failed to vote against the Goldstone report in the U.N . The charities War on Want and Amnesty International U.K. have both promoted a book by the anti-Israeli firebrand Ben White, tellingly called “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.” The Trades Union Congress at its annual conference has called for boycotts of Israeli products as well as a total arms embargo.
In the media, the Guardian newspaper has stepped up its already obsessive campaign against the Jewish state to the extent that the paper’s flagship Comment is Free Web site frequently features two anti-Israeli polemics on one and the same day. The BBC continues to use its enormous influence over British public opinion to whitewash anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East. Its Web site, for example, features a profile of Hamas that makes no mention of the group’s virulent hatred of Jews or its adherence to a “Protocols of Zion”-style belief in world-wide Jewish conspiracies.
Readers may be surprised to learn, therefore, that the British media and political establishment is apparently cowering under the sway of a secretive cabal of Zionist lobbyists who have all but extinguished critical opinions of Israel from the public domain.
Such charges have been aired to mass critical acclaim this week in a landmark documentary, “Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby,” on Channel 4—the same outlet that offered Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an uninterrupted, seven-minute propaganda slot on Christmas Day last year.
The makers of the documentary—top Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne and TV journalist James Jones—have also written about their program in the Guardian. Both furiously deny that they are peddling conspiracy theories. But the mindset we are dealing with was neatly exposed by the authors’ own explanation on how their suspicions were aroused that something sinister is at work in the corridors of British power.
It all transpired, they told readers ominously, during an address earlier this year by Conservative Party leader David Cameron at a dinner hosted by the Conservative Friends of Israel.
“The dominant event of the previous 12 months had been the Israeli invasion of Gaza,” they wrote. “We were shocked Cameron made no reference in his speech to the massive destruction it caused, or the 1,370 deaths that resulted, or for that matter the invasion itself. Indeed, our likely future prime minister went out of his way to praise Israel because it ‘strives to protect innocent life.’ This remark was not intended satirically.”
Since it is inconceivable, the authors obviously believe, that anyone could honestly credit Israel with anything other than the most damnable motives it must therefore follow that those who do in fact praise the Jewish state must be being paid or bullied into doing so.
If you think this all sounds familiar, you’d be right. Messrs. Oborne and Jones produced an extensive pamphlet accompanying the documentary, which openly claimed inspiration from none other than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”—another conspiracy theory alleging malign Zionist influence in the United States.
But if Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt at least felt the need to dress up their polemic in pseudo-academic wrapping paper, the sheer amateurishness of the British documentary they inspired is breathtaking. There was the endless superimposition of the Israeli Star of David on to the British flag, which, along with some absurdly melancholic background music, was presumably designed to prepare viewers for an astonishing series of revelations. But of course such revelations actually never materialized.
It turns out from the documentary itself that the allegedly secretive Jewish donors have been quite open in declaring their interests in accordance with the law. …
Much is also made of the influence of Friends of Israel groupings in the British Parliament. Such allegations are, of course, rendered ridiculous with a moment’s reflection on the countervailing influence of vast amounts of Arab oil money, not to mention the fact that membership in such groups for many parliamentarians is either purely formal or outright meaningless. Michael Ancram, for example, a former Northern Ireland minister and a member of Conservative Friends of Israel for more than 30 years, is famous for calling for talks with Hamas.
Given the paucity of the arguments, it would be tempting to dismiss the whole thing as unimportant. Would that we could. The documentary has already provoked a torrent of abuse against British Jews, not least on Channel 4’s widely read Web site, whose moderators have seen fit to approve dozens of postings about the Zionist lobby’s “seditious behavior,” its “disgusting attack on British democracy,” “the hand of global Zionism at work,” and several along the lines of the following, which said flatly: “We want our country back. The agents of a foreign power embedded at all levels of our government and politics need flushing out.”
If this sort of language takes hold, a bad situation in Britain may be about to get a whole lot worse.
Jewish leadership organizations have long feared accusations of divided loyalty between Britain and Israel and, ironically given the charges now being made against them, are frequently criticized in their own communities for failing to be sufficiently robust in Israel’s defense. The risk is that some may now be panicked into silence.
Non-Jews who call for a more reasoned discussion of Israel—already a small and diminishing group in Britain—will likely face additional slanders against their integrity: Since there is supposedly no reasonable case to be made in favor of the Jewish state, we must have sold out to the “Lobby.”
Such calumnies cannot be allowed to stand. Now more than ever, the forces of reason and decency must continue the fight to be heard.
In fact, the Jews of Britain, as a group, are a rather flaccid lot. They seldom protest when they have every reason to do so, and if they raise objections to anything they do it as timidly as mice. They don’t firmly contradict the lies put out constantly and insistently about Israel by the BBC and big daily newspapers such as the Guardian and the Independent. Their community activity consists of quietly raising money for charities, not all of them exclusively Jewish. They are anxious to show that they are loyal subjects of Her Majesty, and Israel is their lesser concern. Some stupid British Jews have been so anxious to show that Israel means nothing to them – or how much they intensely hate it – that they have striven to bring about academic and commercial boycotts of that small beleaguered land.
England was the first country in Europe to expel all its Jews in 1290. A few hundred were allowed back by Oliver Cromwell after 1656, and some thousands more after the restoration of the monarchy. In the late 1930s King George VI – the present queen’s father – objected to allowing Jewish refugees from Germany into Britain, calling them the scum of the earth.
Needlesss to say, Jews have made an enormous contribution to Britain, most notably in science, medicine, commerce, literature, and even occasionally in sport (as demonstrated in the film Chariots of Fire). In return Britain has not officially persecuted them in the last four hundred years or so as other European countries have done in the name of Christian love.
But now there is such a rising tide of hatred against them in Britain that they would be best advised to leave. They should emulate the Jews of France, who are emigrating in their thousands. They should not linger anywhere in Eurabia.
Better to risk another genocidal attempt against them, this time by Iranian nuclear attack, in Israel, the one country where they can defend themselves – which is precisely why most of the world wants to destroy it, of course.
The BBC, once renowned for its truthful and objective reporting, now a shill for terrorists and lefty despots, legally extorts money from every TV watcher and radio listener in Britain under the age of 75. Although it depends on public money, it ignores all public criticism. Its arrogant self-righteousness is almost as sickening as its sustained propaganda for immoral causes.
The admirable Charles Moore of The Daily Telegraph wrote this to the BBC operations director of TV licencing:
Dear Mr Shimeild,
On October 18, 2008, The Russell Brand Show on BBC Radio 2 broadcast a nine-minute sequence in which the presenter, Brand, and his guest, Jonathan Ross [a low, filthy-minded, cruel, altogether disgusting show-off – JB], left messages on the answering machine of the then 78-year-old actor, Andrew Sachs [a great actor, refugee from Nazi Germany – JB]. In these, Ross shouted that Brand had “****** your granddaughter”. Further obscene and insulting messages broadcast included remarks about Mr Sachs’s granddaughter’s menstruation, and whether Mr Sachs would now kill himself because of the shame. The pair joked, on air, that they would “find out where Andrew Sachs lives, kick his front door in and scream apologies into his bottom”.
As a result of public outrage at this broadcast, several people left the BBC. Jonathan Ross, however, was only suspended for three months. It has been reported that Jonathan Ross earns £6 million a year from the BBC. Despite being a corporation mainly funded by the taxpayer, in the form of the licence fee, the BBC refuses to reveal the figure for Ross’s contract, but it has not denied it. If the reported amount is correct, Ross is by far the best-paid person in its history.
The Public Purposes of the BBC are, says its Charter, the “main object” of the BBC’s existence. They state that the corporation must take the lead in “sustaining citizenship and civil society” and “stimulating creativity and cultural excellence”. The Ross/Brand obscene broadcast – and several other broadcasts by Ross – are clearly contrary to the Public Purposes. The fact that Ross remains in post, paid an enormous sum, shows that the BBC has contempt for its own Public Purposes.
Since the BBC is breaking its own Charter, it has forfeited its right to collect a compulsory tax – the licence fee – from everyone who possesses a television. I wrote in public, at the time of the broadcast last autumn, that, in the circumstances, I would not pay my licence fee again. The circumstances have not improved. I hereby inform you, therefore, that I refuse to renew my licence, but I shall continue to keep and watch my television…
The BBC may take Mr Moore to court. We await developments.
A huge row, involving the government and inspiring public protests, has broken out in Britain over the BBC’s refusal to broadcast an appeal for aid to Gaza. The reason the corporation has given is that to do so would damage its reputation for impartiality.
This is amazing! Staggering!! Incredible!!!
The BBC has not had a reputation for impartiality for decades. Quite the contrary. It has been blatantly and consistently pro-left, anti-conservative, anti-Israel, anti-America, and above all pro-Muslim.
Melanie Phillips comments:
The BBC surely bears a far broader responsibility [than the government] for this row. In particular, its claim that it was anxious to safeguard its reputation for impartiality will have caused a sharp intake of breath among the many who think it no longer has a reputation of impartiality to defend.
One of the great ironies of this situation, after all, is that most people in Britain have no idea about claims that Hamas has apparently been stealing the aid supplies and blowing up the crossing points – because the BBC’s reporters haven’t told them.
From American Thinker:
In fact, it is the media themselves who are criminally complicit in the internment of Gaza’s civilians in the line of fire. They could stop the terrorists simply by headlining Hamas’ responsibility for the plight of the Arabs of Gaza, over and over again. That’s the real story — if only they could headline the facts right in front of their eyes. But they don’t.That shows us the real values of CNN and BBC; morally they are no better than the terrorists. The media are essential to the Kabuki play of terror, response, and renewed terror. They are constantly fanning the flames.So when the media and the Left predictably demand Israeli appeasement of Hamas, let’s just ask them: where is your compassion for the Arab victims of a jihadist internment camp called Gaza? How much longer do you want civilians to be turned into the bloody victims of the terrorist publicity machine?The next time you turn on CNN, remember that you are looking at smiling faces that knowingly collude in the deaths of civilians, both Jews and Arabs. Without the leftist media there is no payoff for terrorists. Shut off the oxygen of publicity and Hamas shrivels to a powerless gang of thugs.The media-terrorist collusion is completely symbiotic – they are both essential for the drama to work. Separate the terrorists from the media, and you have heat without oxygen – no explosion.The simple fact is that we are seeing repeated crimes against humanity, an endless collusion between the terror masters and the dominant media, resulting in a reign of terror that blights the lives of millions of people and kills unforgiveable numbers, both in Israel and its neighbors.
From the Jerusalem Post:
The BBC’s own Newsnight current affairs programme reported on Tuesday night’s broadcast that the BBC’s Children in Need charity had donated around £20,000 to the Leeds Community School, Yorkshire, between 1999 and 2002 which went towards funding the activities of the terrorists behind the July 2005 attacks.
Read the whole article here.