On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Sunday Morning Live this morning discussed antisemitism. The guests were Edwina Currie, Lord Digby Jones, interfaith advisor and imam Qari Asam, and Dr Deesha Chadha from the Faiths Forum for London.
Lord Jones was particularly powerful on the obscenity of the situation we now find ourselves in over antisemitism and warned that if we don't stamp it out now we'll be back in 1939 before we know it. He called on Jeremy Corbyn to move from words to actions and get serious on rooting out antisemitism from the Labour Party, and to stop encouraging antisemitism by making it clear that he himself is neither anti-American nor anti-Israel, as those two 'anti-'s are being used as covers for the nastiest 'anti-' of all. He also said that the UK's Muslims need to get out on the streets in large numbers with placards denouncing antisemitism to say, loud and proud, 'Not in our name'.
The programme's own Twitter feed tweeted nothing about that, or anything that Edwina Currie or Deesah Chadha said on the subject. All it tweeted from this discussion was the following, from its Muslim guest:
Qari Asim, imam and interfaith advisor, says anti-Semitism "needs to be challenged openly". https://t.co/Eum7V7h0oK— BBCSundayMorningLive (@bbcsml) October 2, 2016
Unfortunately, that isn't an entirely accurate description of what Qari Asim said. What he actually said was:
In terms of antisemitism, in terms of anti-Muslim hatred, in terms of religious hatred towards faith minorities, you know, it needs to be challenged, and challenged openly and debated openly.
Just like Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Asim always bracketed antisemitism with other forms of prejudice, explicitly including anti-Muslim prejudice. I noticed him doing that, and never just focusing on antisemitism, and sighed.
So by making it seem as if Mr Asim was specifically denouncing antisemitism there, SML were doctoring and spinning his words somewhat, weren't they?
(Mr Asim also repeatedly blamed the media and Brexit for stoking prejudice).
Today's programme, incidentally, ended by marking the Muslim New Year with a rather sweet pop song.