Polls are in the news. Has anyone conducted a poll to assess the general public’s perception of Islam?
One problem is how to broach the matter delicately without antagonising the man on the multicultural omnibus.
My poll would be designed to find out how much people know about current issues, and what they think about them; Islam, the Arab world, immigration, Israel and antisemitism. I’d also need to ask where they learn about politics and current affairs. I’d have one box saying ‘BBC’ and another saying ‘other.’
I don’t have a Facebook account myself, but I have access to one, and I’m taken aback by the inexhaustible torrents of pro Jeremy Corbyn posts that keep appearing in front of me. More and more and still more. Am I hallucinating already?
Are all those star-struck fools really oblivious to Corbyn’s affiliations with radical Islamists and antisemites? Love is blind; even if they were aware of something nasty in the woodshed they’d play it down or they wouldn’t even care.
One obvious piece of advice to myself. Don’t go on Facebook. Don’t look.
If they choose to advertise their ignorance, who cares? Am I bothered about those who ‘don’t know much’ about world politics, but ‘know what they like’? Should I care or just go ‘so what?’
When questioned, Dara O’Briain explained why he never makes jokes about Islam. The main reason, (apart from the obvious) was that he doesn’t think the public knows much about the subject, other than that Muslims pray five times a day. He felt, quite rightly, that in order to be funny, a joke must be based on a fundamental truth, and if no-one knows enough about Islam to recognise truth, they won’t get the joke.
I think he may be right. Having just watched a Tommy Robinson video in which he also expresses concerns at the public’s ignorance of what Islam actually is, I think it’s fair to say that universal ignorance is a pretty well substantiated fact. So - how come? How can it be that no-one knows much about Islam? It’s topical. More than topical.
If public figures don’t really know what they’re talking about maybe they should just shut up.
Rod Liddle is having a laugh at this issue over at the Spectator.
“.... the renowned Quranic scholar David Cameron” he writes. That’s heavy sarcasm, in case you didn’t recognise the joke.
Where’s the BBC? We employ the BBC to inform and educate us. We pay for this. Give us our money’s worth!
One would think that in the current circumstances the BBC would fully enlighten the audience so that they can make up their own minds about what’s racist, what’s phobic and what’s incompatible with British values.
This needn’t violate the BBC’s controversial edict that prohibits BBC reporters and journalists from making and airing value judgments. So don’t. Simply equip the people to make them for themselves.
As it is, the BBC seems to be doing their utmost not to do so. Instead they do everything possible to muddy the waters, particularly by overlooking some of Islam’s most outrageous cultural and religious practices, supposedly to maintain social cohesion. I think that bus has already left.
“It may well be that when you first heard of the barbarous Islamist atrocities in Paris you thought: ‘My God. My God. How could they do that? At least now maybe the scales will fall from some eyes and we will tackle the problem head on.’ And then, like me, having thought this, you will have watched a BBC news programme and very quickly realised — nope, not a chance, business as usual. The same delusional rubbish, the same gerrymandering of public opinion, the same absurdities.”
Says Rod. Yep. That’s the BBC.
A French reader pointed me to a video of Nabila Ramdani being interviewed sympathetically by Victoria Derbyshire following the terrorist attack in Paris. The entire interview was conducted on the topsy turvy terms of the (hypothetical) imminent anti-Muslim backlash.
Nabila decided to tell Ms Derbyshire that Muslim children in France who had refused to observe a minute’s silence for the victims had been taken to the police. Our reader said this was false, and I failed to find any evidence of such a thing on the internet. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Until then I’ll assume it didn’t happen.
Making a potentially inflammatory allegation could have been deliberately designed to ‘anger the Muslims’. Was Ramdani deliberately setting out to engender a backlash? Why? What is she up to?
Why was Victoria Derbyshire interviewing a distinctly antisemitic Islam apologist in the first place? I wonder if Victoria Derbyshire knows much about Islam. Has she read the koran? Has she heard the rantings of radical preachers whose videos are all over the internet? Has she seen the opinion polls? She probably just dismisses uncomfortable facts as Islamophobic smears. We can see where Victoria’s sympathy lies. With the lies.
Rod Liddle refers to a ‘French Algerian’ woman who told Kirsty Wark that the attacks could have been by rival drug gangs’ I assume this was Nabila’s expert contribution to our enlightenment before she thought of plan B. The backlash schtick.
If Victoria Derbyshire wasn’t savvy enough to apply a healthy dose of skepticism to exaggerated Muslim grievance-mongering, was the BBC acting responsibly in handing the topic over to her? Andrew Neil might have approached Ramdani’s imaginative testimony with suspicion and might even have raised an eyebrow.
The casual viewer is so anxious not to be thought racist that he tends to soak up lies and propaganda as long as he seems tolerant and right on as he does so.
We can’t be sure how much of the BBC’s sheer disinformation is responsible for the current political situation but if politicians insist that it’s ISIS alone that’s evil, and that it’s solely Isis, not Islam itself, that means us harm, then it’s high time the public were given a fuller picture. Why did al-Qaeda instigate 9/11? Are Al Shebab and Boko Haram peaceful? Are they all nothing to do with Islam?
Rod has also noticed.
“Meanwhile, the Home Secretary was telling us that the terrorists represent a ‘perverted’ form of Islam. Hmm. The same perverted form of the religion as practised by Abdul’s home country, Saudi Arabia? Or in Iran, or Libya, or Palestine, or Somalia, or . . . the list of countries which kill apostates, persecute Christians, Jews, homosexuals and women is longish, you have to say. We must grasp that the proportion of Muslims worldwide who hold this ‘perverted’ view is far, far, higher than Mrs May or the BBC would like you to think. Some 27 per cent of British Muslims, for example, expressed sympathy with the Charlie Hebdo murderers. This week it was reported that one in five British Muslims sympathises with Islamic State fighters. That is a number which is, as John Major might put it, not inconsiderable.”
I note that Rod has come round to the opinion that the conflict in ‘Palestine’ might have something to do with Islam. Long time coming, but hopefully worth waiting for.
If the BBC did its job properly we could tell our MPs how we feel, robustly reminding them that their job is to represent us. That is instead of being expected to to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Islam is the religion of peace. Rod again:
“I stared at the screen, mouth agape, unable for a while to believe what I was hearing. A whole programme about the Paris attacks in which three words — Muslim, Islam, jihadi — were not used at any point. The desperation to exculpate the ideology was present long before the bodies had been carried away. Then, when it was revealed that some attackers had entered the country as refugees, the Today programme had a fair, balanced and unpartisan debate between three people who agreed that we should take more refugees, because getting tough is ‘what they (the nasty terrorists) want us to do’”
I find assertions that we mustn’t do this, that or the other - because it’s “what the terrorists want” deeply irritating. Usually it’s said in defiance: “We refuse to alter our normal behaviour, because altering our normal behaviour is what the terrorists want.” No they don’t; they want us to keep repeating our normal behaviour so that we keep on being sitting ducks. They don’t want us to take precautions because they want to kill us. Where’s the logic in deliberately being an easy target?
I’d put a question about that in my poll. What do you think the terrorists want? I could send the questionnaire to Victoria Derbyshire but I doubt she’d bother to tick my boxes.