The BBC always takes the side of a culture that is in conflict with ours, however second-rate or Neanderthal it may be. It’s in the BBC’s DNA.
On the Sunday morning religious programme on Radio 4 er, “Sunday”, the presenter, hand-wringing leftie Ed Stourton, interviewed a former British soldier who was a Muslim, on a story about how our institutions, in this case the Army, discriminated against “minorities” and were slow to embrace different cultures. In this case, the Muslim former soldier moaned about being ribbed by colleagues about not eating pork and other minor issues.
Stourton took this all very seriously. Wasn’t it terrible that this man’s faith was being traduced? But the question any normal person would have asked was this. Why couldn’t this Muslim change his ways to comply with ours? After all, Muslims don’t eat pork because in the dim and distant past they lacked the scientific knowledge to realise that undercooked pork would make you ill. So the Muslim, (and Jews for that matter), ban on pork is simply a silly and outdated anachronism that serves no useful purpose, if you’re not a pig that is.
Many of the beliefs still held by many Muslims are simply incompatible with our western liberal values of freedom; the animal cruelty that is hallal killing, the torture of young Muslim women through genital mutilation, “honour” killing, the banning of the payment of interest, to name but a few. So if there are conflicts, let them conform to our ways. Period.
Much of the BBC’s coverage lately on Afghanistan, in the aftermath of the cowardly killing by local militia of three British soldiers who were trying to help them, talked about our mission to leave an efficient local armed force when we leave in 2014 to make sure they don’t revert to extreme Islamism again. This mission is obviously impossible to all except those that govern us. A country which executes adulterers, where it was normal to withhold education to females on penalty of death, or where even the lack of a proper beard can make you a target of hit squads, clearly won’t last long when the forces of civilisation leave. There is no chance that this medieval hell-hole will be able to defend against the re-emergence of Islamist extremism when NATO forces withdraw. Would teaching them Christianity be of more long-term use?
There is a new candidate for stupidest question of the year. The previous holder was Victoria Derbyshire on Radio 5 Live, asking an expert what was the point of publishing artist impression-pictures of what disappeared Madeleine McCann might look like today, aged 9, as the police reopen its enquiries into the case.
But my latest candidate is a gem from BBC NewsNight presenter Kirsty Wark, normally steely and well informed. After making Ed Miliband look shifty and dim with questions about the banking crisis and his and Ed Balls involvement, Wark teed up for her final question. Given the less than impressive intellectual state of the Labour Party (or words to that effect) “What would your father have made of it”, she said. Given that Miliband senior was a second rate Marxist lecturer that nobody has ever heard of, that was truly a dumb question. And why didn’t Miliband simply say, “sorry Kirsty, that’s a stupid question”?