If I worked at the BBC (winking emoji) I might be one of the views-my-own Tweeters who whiles away their spare time opining on antisocial media. I might take on matters about which I know dangerously little, and I might promote causes by reTweeting political messages. (innocent face)
I’m not though. I don’t have a Twitter account and I access Facebook vicariously. That means through someone else’s Facebook account, like I’m a spy. A peeping Tom, if you will. Something about Facebook makes me uncomfortable. The most prolific posters are so confident that everyone else has the same political outlook as theirs that they link to creepy stuff with total bravado. I don’t want to see it, so that’s why I’m out. Logged off.
It’s already like that on Channel 4, and now it’s getting more and more like that on the BBC. You often have to switch off just because you don’t want to see people with agonisingly wrong-headed opinions, opining.
Further to Craig’s post about last week’s ridiculous edition of Sunday Morning Live, there was a lively thread on Harry’s Place about Dilly Hussain’s longing for the Ottoman Empire and loathing for the UK.
Do read it. The particular aspect I wish to pursue is to ask why the BBC persists in inviting misfits and, well, fruitcakes - virtually into our homes? More specifically why do they bring them on to their Sunday Morning religious-ish slot.
The producers might be hoping liven up a boring topic, and think they’re hiring people with outrageous views. They seem unable to tell the difference between the mavericks and iconoclasts they might wish to recruit and the fools and knaves they end up with.
Listening respectfully to the opinions of Hussain and the unprepossessing Peter Owen-Jones reduces the level of discussion to absurdity.
They engage similar spokespersons for some of their dumbed-down political-themed jamborees on other days of the week as well, like the youth forums they put out on BBC3.
Somehow Dilly Hussain, Asghar Bukhari and Mo Ansar managed reach positions of authority; head of this, spokesman for that and leader of the other. They seem quite like impostors who pretend to be doctors and get away with working for the NHS for years before being found out; they don’t even have any medical knowledge whatsoever, they just wing it.
The truth is, many of these telly imams and celebrity religious experts don’t know much about anything, let alone the religion they’re supposed to represent.
And it’s exasperating that they get treated with so much respect and are given so much credibility till someone exposes them.
On Harry’s Place Mark commented:
“I've no idea if it was through ignorance or design that the BBC invited him on. His smugness was tangible, but he got even smugger when "clergyman" Peter Owen-Jones trashed all British History in a kind of ashamed, head-bowed manner.In fact, what Peter Owen-Jones did was to feed the talk of radicalisation on a kind of Asghar Bukhari level.While I wouldn't go around saying that the British Empire was completely built on countries asking us in for a cup of tea and then agreeing to everything, there's otherwise much through history to actually be proud of.Dilly Hussain is one of those who hate this country, and certain people in the media, nod sagely and say, "I think you have a point." Who else gets that sort of treatment?
On previous form, it is absolutely deliberate, Mark.The BBC ought to be ashamed to keep inviting Hussain on as a commentator. He's a crypto-ISIS fan who has a habit of abusing people - especially women, and extra especially female Muslims - who disagree with him. To put him into perspective: when even the odious Haitham al Hadad and other Islamists went through the formality (sincere or otherwise) of 'urging' ISIS not to murder hostages, Hussain angrily refused. He's pretty much on the level of Anjem Choudary, and in a sense is a worse influence because while the mainstream media views Choudary (rather inadequately), as a nasty clown, it seems to think Hussain's a completely different species of Islamist.
James Delingpole was on the programme too. "The BBC's new pet Islamist::
Now I’m all for the BBC canvassing as wide a range of viewpoints as it possibly can on programmes like this (yes, even evil climate change deniers!) but it does worry me — as a licence fee payer, a keen upholder of the nation’s moral standards, and a tireless campaigner against prejudice in all its forms — that the BBC may inadvertently be guilty of racism by having invited Dilly onto the show. No worse, of full on Islamophobia.
Certainly if I were a typical, law-abiding, well-integrated British member of the religion of peace, I think I might find myself being mildly troubled that this Dilly fellow had been invited on by the BBC to represent my faith. “An incredibly thick and ill-informed extremist,” I’d be thinking. “That’s just what we British Muslims need to improve our tarnished image.”