There’s a bit of a thing going on about Nicky Campbell using the term “Inshallah” when he signed off on last Sunday’s TBQs.
Was it supposed to be affectionate but slightly ironic? Or was it another example of Islam infiltrating our cultural norms? In other words, does it demonstrate the BBC’s normalisation of Islam in the UK.
Putting into context by taking Nicky Campbell’s and TBQ’s past performances into account, it’s truly hard to say,
Remember, not everyone can be an obsessive BBC geek. Some of us know more than enough about a given BBC employee’s political affiliations and preferences. We trawl their Tweets and document their impartiality lapses, be they overt, covert, subtle, subliminal or imaginary. We might spot something genuinely worrying, or, on the other hand we might get over excited about something that turns out to be nothing.
Nicky Campbell has been eviscerated (and the contents analysed) by connoisseurs of BBC bias over the years, particularly as regards his radio 5 shows, which I’m afraid I’ve never heard. My radio doesn’t go there.
Lookie here. And, on this very blog, there are 12 items tagged Nicky Campbell! (only one was mine)
Personally, I do watch TBQs, not only for the pantomime but also to keep an eye on what’s going on. Watching one’s back. In my opinion Nicky Campbell does tend to over-apply moral equivalence. Not that he tolerates radicalism or violence, but let’s call it an almost rigid adherence to the non-value-judgmentalist, multicultural ethos preached by the BBC.
On that occasion Campbell’s use of that term may have been tinged with irony, but at the same time, in that particular context there is certainly an element of deference to Islam. Which some of us find sycophantic and - I don't know - disconcerting.
As we know, the BBC is used to pleading ‘we must be doing it right because we get criticism from “both” sides’, so maybe Campbell’s gratuitous use of this expression with an infinitesimal touch of irony is pure mischief-making. A way of hedging his bets and leaving enough mystique in its wake to please the Muslims while simultaneously heading off the inevitable cries of bias from the likes of us. Or maybe it’s none of that; just creeping Islamisation.
Meanwhile the normalisation of Islam in the UK grows apace, and if it makes some of us feel uneasy, we must suck it up. Happy Ramadan.