According to the principle ‘better late than never,’ Douglas Murray has written approvingly about the BBC’s belated acknowledgement that radicalisation can occur in UK mosques. Or, if not in UK mosques in general, then at least in one specific case. (Didsbury mosque, place of worship of the Manchester Arena bomber – Salman Abedi.)
“Yesterday, the BBC revealed that they had got hold of a tape recording from a mosque in Didsbury. Not any old mosque, but the mosque that the Manchester Arena bomber – Salman Abedi – attended. The recording is from Friday prayers at the Didsbury mosque just six months before the Ariana Grande concert bombing. It is possible, indeed likely, that the bomber who killed 22 people and gave lifelong injuries to many more was sitting in the congregation during this sermon. Abedi apparently bought a ticket for the Manchester Arena concert just 10 days after the sermon was given.”
At the top of this piece, Douglas Murray states this:
“The BBC seems to be getting it from all sides these days. So it should also be praised when it does the sort of journalism which is praise-worthy.”
The BBC does indeed seem to be getting it from all sides. This side (where the complaints are reasoned, painstakingly evidenced and fleshed out) and from the far left, where they are usually fatuous, lazy and sloganistic.
It would be rude of Douglas, who has, after all, had many an opportunity to air his views on the BBC, to be wholly negative about the organisation. And he doesn’t let the BBC off lightly. He recalls the incident on Question Time when a member of the audience was appallingly insulted for brandishing an anti-Western leaflet he said had been handed out at an open day at the Didsbury mosque where Salman Abedi worshipped.
“This significant revelation mainly attracted awkward shuffling. By contrast, a young woman in a headscarf in the audience immediately dismissed the man’s leaflet as probably not from the mosque and in any case ‘taken out of context’. Along with the programme’s chair, David Dimbleby, she implied it was possible the man had made the leaflet up himself, leaving the poor man spluttering, waving his leaflet and clearly wondering why he wouldn’t be believed.’
It’s almost as unusual for a piece by Douglas Murray to receive critical comments below the line as it is for the BBC to recognise the problem with mosques and conservative Islamic education in this country. Channel Four did their Undercover Mosque thing years ago! 2007 I believe.
Yet still, the major TV channels and the mainstream press are trying to perform some kind of social engineering miracle - whether as a damage limitation project or as a misguided attempt to bring about social cohesion, as a strategy, burying heads in sand plainly ain’t. Gonna. Work.