BBC’s defence of Atwan makes its hypocrisy clear

The JC Leader, 2 September 2022

September 01, 2022 17:27

Now we know: it is official. The BBC is not only happy to offer a platform to a man who defends the mass murder of Jews and praises terrorists as “martyrs” — it believes it is entirely right for the same man to use the BBC’s airwaves to attack Salman Rushdie as a “very very dangerous” blasphemer.

The JC has repeatedly highlighted the views of Abdel Bari Atwan, who regularly appears on the BBC and has described the shooting of three Israelis in Tel Aviv as a “miracle”, called their murderer a “hero” and said that those fleeing for their lives were “like mice”.

Previously the BBC has behaved as if it doesn’t matter what Bari Atwan has said elswhere. This week the JC asked the BBC to respond to his expression of sympathy for Sir Salman’s assailant in the US last month on its own News Channel. Bari Atwan told viewers that the Satanic Verses “is blasphemy completely and it is offensive”, that Rushdie “was very, very cruel” and that “to talk about the wives of the Prophet is really very, very dangerous...freedom of expression is practiced only to insult Muslims.”

Such grotesque views are Bari Atwan’s stock in trade. Indeed, on the same day as as he attacked Sir Salman Rushdie on the BBC, he defended in an online piece Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to apologise for the mass murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The BBC’s response to its broadcasting these views was to describe Bari Awan’s appearance as “editorially justified”.

It went on: “If extreme views are expressed on the BBC, we would always seek to challenge them.”

Clearly the BBC considers describing Sir Salman Rushdie as a “very very dangerous” blasphemer is not extreme, since Bari Atwan was not challenged.

There is at least now no doubt where the BBC stands.

September 01, 2022 17:27

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