Following the BBC’s misconceived attempt to shame Boris Johnson by ambushing him with a surprise question from the “imam from Bristol” it seems that Nicky Campbell’s morning show (I believe it’s on radio 5 ?) also featured the good imam. Subsequently, Nicky Campbell himself felt moved to apologise on the Twitter.
I would like to apologise. We had the Imam from the BBC Tory leadership debate on our programme this morning. His social media comments have been extremely disturbing. We should have checked. We didn’t. I’m sorry.— Nicky Campbell (@NickyAACampbell) June 19, 2019
All five candidates should be ashamed of themselves for rushing to align themselves with Abdullah Patel last night and to commit to Sajid Javid’s grandstanding call for an investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
(Did I really hear Baroness Warsi demanding that this inquiry was to be ‘proper and rigorous’ thereby tacitly admitting that Shami’s was not?)
It’s absurd of the BBC to assume that colourful descriptions of the burka are Islamophobic. Why doesn’t anyone ask Maitlis and Co if they seriously think it’s in any way normal to walk about in such an absurd costume. Here is Dr Taj Hargey’s take on the matter:
“The burka and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim.
“Although this deliberate identity-concealing contraption is banned at the Kaaba in Mecca it is permitted in Britain, thus precipitating security risks, accelerating vitamin D deficiency, endorsing gender-inequality and inhibiting community cohesion.”
He added that Mr Johnson “did not go far enough” in his column for the Daily Telegraph on Monday, which sparked widespread outcry.
This morning Nick Robinson interviewed Richard Ratcliffe for what appeared to be another spot of Boris-bashing. The gist of it was that Boris had tried to “blame” Iran for Mrs Ratcliffe’s predicament, when “obviously”, as Nick implied, it was Boris’s gaffe that was to blame. The Iranian regime was bound to leap upon any remark that might justify holding Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe for an extra stretch, and Boris’s remark was reckless, whether there was any truth in it or not. Fair enough.
Think about it though. Mrs Ratcliffe is Iranian. Her Iranian mother currently resides in Iran. Mrs Ratcliffe is in prison in Iran, as a kind of hostage, if you like.
Richard Ratcliffe could hardly say anything too harsh about the Iranian regime publicly, for fear that they would seize upon it and extend her incarceration even more. You wouldn’t want to annoy the Ayatollahs if your wife was at their mercy, would you?
So was the BBC wise to orchestrate that interview?