Tuesday 24 November 2020

Heckling the BBC's Dominic Casciani


The BBC's Dominic Casciani has been putting the case for Shamima Begum to be brought back to the UK. 

It's a point of view many hereabouts agree with, but I don't think a senior BBC reporter should be arguing it.

Of course, he'd probably say he's 'only reporting' it. But I'm going to post a transcription of his report. The transcript is in bold and my comments are in italics and parentheses. I don't think he's 'only reporting' it at all.

What do you think? Isn't this advocacy?


This is the story of how a 15-year-old girl ran away from home [beginning with a everyday family tragedy that everyone can relate to, a child running away from home]became an international terrorist [the balance!]and how her fight to return raises a fundamental question about justice[Does it really? Or does it mainly raise it for those who want her brought back? And what precisely is that fundamental question?]

On a cold February morning in 2015 [A version of 'the pathetic fallacy'? Reinforcing the sadness of 'the child running away from home' story that we know so well], Shamima Begum left her home, here in Bethnal Green in London for the final time. She secretly flew to Turkey with two friends, and within days they'd been smuggled into Syria. They'd fallen for the propaganda [Shamima as victim, passively 'falling for' something. What about the vast majority of Muslim girls who didn't 'fall for' it? Isn't this disrespectful to them?] of the self-styled Islamic State group.

The militants told a well-crafted lie [reinforcing the 'They'd fallen for the propaganda' line]. 'Be part of our utopia' they said. Till you're shot or decapitated for disagreeing. And every Brit who joined them encouraged others to follow. [She's a Brit, reminder! And they all did it!] 'Leave your decadent western lifestyle behind' they said. 'Marry a foreign fighter, have babies!' And within a few weeks, Shamima Begum went from GCSEs to jihadi bride.

This Dutch fighter, seven years older, took her as his own[Again the passive tense, her as victim]It wasn't going to be happy ever after[A phrase encouraging sympathy for her. What about her victims?]

The regime began to collapse as an international coalition bombed it to bits. Both Shamima's friends [note 'Shamima' not 'Begum' - Dom using her first name] are now believed to be dead. Her own babies, a boy and a girl, died within weeks of each other. [Shamima's children's tragically brief lives, Shamima as victim too]. And as 2018 ended, her thoughts finally turned to home and the country that she'd rejected [the other bit of balance]

[Clip of Shamima Begum saying, "I just want forgiveness really, from the UK. Like, everything I've been through, right, I didn't expect I would go through that and, you know, losing my children the way I lost them". [She famously say some unrepentant stuff too. This reinforced the woes outlined in the previous paragraph]]

Shamima Begum survived the fall of the self-styled Islamic State. Her third baby, born in the squalid camp that was now her home, didn't. [Shamima's children's tragically brief lives. Shamima as victim too]. And back here at Parliament, her interviews caused uproar.

[Clip of Sajid Javid saying, "They hate our country and the values that we stand for."

Shamima [first name again] said she wanted to come back home, but ministers said she was still a threat. And so they used an exceptional power to deprive her of her British citizenship. And that meant she could never get back in. That's been used more than 150 times against other terrorism suspects. Men like these:

[Clips of Jack Letts, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexandra Kotey]

But this is where it gets legally complicated. The government took away Shamima's  [first name again] British citizenship because of her heritage. They said she could ask Bangladesh for a passport, but Bangladesh doesn't want her. She could even be hanged if she turned up. It was all going to end up in the courts. 

Shamima Begum is fighting to remain British. [Makes her sound patriotic!] Her lawyers say she's prepared to face justice, but she can't defend herself from a dangerous refugee camp in Northern Syria. [The case for the defence continues. Moody black-and-white images of the refugee camp projected to enhance the message].

And in July of this year the Court of Appeal ruled that "...The only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom..." [The defence wins a battle].

In short, fairness and justice must outweigh national security concerns, and that's why the case is now here, at the Supreme Court. [The case for the defence continues. Where's the opposing point of view: that the security of the British public should be prioritised?].

Under the law we're all entitled to a fair hearing before a judge, whether we're good or bad[Who's 'all' as far as British law applies, and where does that apply? To declared non-British citizens in Syria? Is he paraphrasing here, or advocating?]

[Where's the other side, the case for the prosecution? Why is only one side of the argument being reported?]

But does that mean that the government should help Shamima Begum leave her camp to take part in this legal battle in London? Well, only the Supreme Court can now decide that. And its answer to that fundamental question of law is far bigger than the fate of Shamima Begum alone. [What is that far bigger question? We're still no nearer in learning precisely what it is. Daren't Dom state it straight out lest the public take exception to it?].

[No mention of claims she was a strict member of IS's brutal morality police. Or that she's said to have sewn suicide vests for terrorists. Seriously, why not?]

[Doesn't the appeal to the emotions, helped by the deliberate use of moody photography, reveal Dominic Casciani's hand.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.