Sunday, 17 April 2016

What British Muslims Really Think: The Backlash

The next item on the Sunday menu was something that also could have been predicted: the inevitable BBC 'backlash' feature in response to What British Muslims Really Think:
The TV documentary that sought to reveal what Muslims really think is accused of perpetuating anti-Muslim prejudice. We'll debate that claim with a Muslim activist and the programme's executive producer. 
...except it didn't turn out to be the usual 'backlash' angle.

William Crawley told us that "newspapers and social media have been awash with criticisms of this programme and of the survey at the heart of it" - which may be true of the newspapers and social media he reads but certainly wasn't true of the newspapers and social media I read!

The activist Shelina Janmohamed said the data didn't back up the "terrifying" thesis that Muslims are "a nation within a nation". Executive producer Samir Shah defended the data and the programme.

Here's an extract from it. 

(It got a bit tense between the BBC man and the Channel 4 man, with quite a bit of crosstalk. Shelina remained calm throughout).

Shelina Janmohamed: So I don't think anyone is denying that there are issues in the poll that we need to address. What we're denying is there's this idea there's a kind of separate nation, that Muslims are living separately and don't want to be part of society. What Muslims are saying is that we are very much part of society. So we have 13 Muslim MPs, We have, you know, a One Direction boy band star, Nadiya's going to be baking the Queen's cake. So this is the landscape from which British Muslims are flourishing. Are there attitudes we still need to tackle? Of course there are, As a nation, as an entirety, we are tackling issue of discrimination against homosexuality, against...
William Crawley (interrupting): Yes, but on this idea of "a nation within a nation"...I'll just put this to Samir...If you were to do an analysis of Evangelical Christians and their views, for example, about homosexuality you could probably make the argument that they too are "a nation within a nation", couldn't you? Isn't this analogy...isn't this comparison with the general population unrevealing ultimately?
Samir Shah: No. First of all, that is a profoundly mistaken form of comparison because you're comparing a subsect with the whole community when you look at Evangelical Christians. We sampled the whole British Muslim community and we weighted it according to age, sex, class, regions, ancestry. So we're talking about the whole British Muslim community. It's not just one subsect of it. Secondly, I don't think you'll find Evangelical Christians...a quarter of them wishing to live part of their lives under Sharia law. I don't think you'll find... 
William Crawley (interrupting): No, but they would say they want to live their lives under God's law.
Samir Shah: ...among Evangelical Christians almost a half wanting their children to be brought up in Muslim... 
William Crawley (interrupting): Samir, they might not use the word 'Sharia law' but they may say they want to live their lives under the rule of the Scriptures. 
Samir Shah: I know, but I'm not sure what the point you're getting at is.
William Crawley: The point is whether it's a false comparison to compare Muslims to the general population rather than whether Muslim attitudes to other religious populations. 
Samir Shah (interrupting): Yes, but you're looking at a particular subsect - Evangelical Christians - and you're comparing that with a sample of the whole British Muslim community. That's a comparison of apples and oranges. It doesn't make sense.
William Crawley: Shelina? 
Shelina Janmohamed: You know, I think what we want to do, where Samir and I agree, is there's a story that we want to tell about Muslims and we genuinely want wider society and Muslims to live in a fairer, more equal, just society, and there are issues that come up around how Muslims can participate greater in society. And, you know, Samir has previously spoken about things like the challenge of getter more minority voices into, for example, the broadcasting industry and we have data this week released by the TUC talking about how BME graduates are two-and-a-half times less likely to be employed, that there's a pay gap. You know, these are some of the barriers to integration that also exist, and when we're focusing always internally on a limited set of ideas about what Muslims are or are not then naturally we're going to find it difficult for those minorities to....
William Crawley: Shelina, I'm sorry. We're out of time. I'm sorry.


  1. If there was an evangelical sect that numbered 3 million and was doubling its numbers every ten years or so, had hundreds of active terrorists in its midst, sent soldiers to fight (using suicide bombs) in foreign wars (often against our own soldiers and allies), ensured a quarter of its women could hardly speak English, had a separate judicial system operating its own courts, and a separate education system where children spent 10-20 hours a week being taught history and values opposed to liberal democracy and if a survey of that sect's followers through up similar findings, I think we might have cause for concern, mightn't we? Memo to BBC Staff: Evangelical Christians can only be pressed into service so often and in a limited number of cases before the argument becomes so thin as to be counter-productive to the march of multiculturalism.

  2. This is of course a very serious issue, but it's also a very dangerous road to travel further. Crawley brought up the homosexual community as another example of a 'nation within a nation', but it's a very poor analogy. There are neighborhoods where homosexuals make up the bulk of the population, sure, in plenty of cities. But they don't teach their children to be homosexual, or ostracize them or harm them if they are heterosexual. They don't have separate schools, and have no rules preventing them from eating in heterosexual restaurants. Ultra-orthodox Jews, on the other hand....

    This is a dangerous path, and it won't be long before some smart Beeboid figures out a way to exploit it to stifle this debate. They're half way there already comparing third-world Muslim enclaves to Evangelical Christians.

  3. Thought Phillips was correct-but way too late.
    The Runnymede Trust report of 1997 only aped the "Islamophobic" meme after the 51 Muslim states at the UN created the concept for Resolution forming-and , boy, has it worked.
    So Phillips is way behind the curve, and his polite and measured discourse really won`t bother Islam.
    The liberal elite have exposed a flank for the Muslim cowards and nutjobs who can take us at will if they want to...and , to be fair, who can blame them?
    For our weak white horse of a culture has been bled dry and left out for the knackers yard by the elites...what young criminal from Pakistan would NOT want to get his mitts on a pissed drunken white girl in so-called council care...knowing that the media, courts and police will back him, welcome him in and set him free once again for a TB check with a social worker on his arm?
    Don`t blame Islam at all-their values are evil and wrong headed-but are scriptural and enforced. We stuck Christianity in the bin way back-and thought the United Churches of Benneton and The Emirates stadium/Arena would suffice.
    Reaping what we sow-Muslims would check that reference, the liberal left will have to learn it the hard way...

  4. The BBC seems to have quite the active #nothelpful squad at the ready should any in the media stray from BBC approved narratives