MCB demand apology
We’ve taken our eye off the Muslim Council of Britain for a while here at MWW, so we missed the BBC Panorama programme, A Question of Leadership, which focused on them and whether or not they were in denial about extremism in Britain.
Now the MCB has demanded an apology from the BBC. A spokesman said:
Last night’s programme was a complete travesty, which deliberately used selective quotes. The central theme of the programme, that the Muslim Council of Britain was in a state of denial about extremism, was presented in a deeply dishonest manner.
It was dishonestly presented and mischievously edited to present a pre-conceived view. We are absolutely disgusted with the clearly Islamophobic agenda of this programme.
The BBC has defended its programme:
The BBC has every confidence that the programme was fair and impartial and a timely contribution to the present debate taking place within the Muslim community. We were reporting on the debate, which continue.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the general secretary of the MCB, had tried to prevent the screening. During the show, he was asked if the government should have put pressure on the publishers of The Satanic Verses to withdraw it. He replied:
We respect the freedom of expression but we expect freedom of expression to be exercised with responsibility
Which, as Ophelia Benson points out, actually means “we feel obliged to say we respect the freedom of expression but in reality we’re dead against it.”
The best resource for information, links, and analysis of the whole affair is Bartholomew’s Notes. Go there to learn more.