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BBC’s Terrorists in Need

How did cash from the network's telethons for children end up in the hands of the 7/7 London bombers?

by
Mike McNally

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August 27, 2008 - 6:30 am
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Those familiar with the BBC’s bias towards and promotion of the Islamic faith and its regular apologias on behalf of Islamic extremism will have barely raised an eyebrow at the news that £20,000 from one of the corporation’s charity appeals ended up in the hands of the Muslim terrorists who murdered 52 people in London in 2005.

The money, raised by the BBC’s Children in Need telethons, was given to a “community school” in the northern English city of Leeds — a hotbed of Islamic extremism — between 1999 and 2002. The school passed the money to an Islamic bookshop run by two of the men who bombed London on July 7, 2005, Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer. Khan and Tanweer used the money to produce propaganda videos and other materials that were used to radicalize other young Muslim men.

It should be said that neither the BBC nor the charity’s trustees knew the money was going to promote jihad. It’s also worth noting that the scandal was uncovered by the BBC’s own Newsnight program — although the program, which stands out among the corporation’s news operations in its willingness to tackle stories about Islamic extremism, airs on the BBC’s second channel in a late-night slot, and it was left to newspapers to give the story wider coverage. (You can watch the Newsnight report here.)

However, this isn’t the first time the BBC has found itself in the embarrassing position of trying to explain away links, however indirect, to Muslim terrorists. Last year it emerged that the corporation paid for two men who were later convicted of terror offenses to go on a paintballing trip as part of a documentary, and failed to notify police when one of the men admitted to a researcher that he knew members of the cell that tried unsuccessfully to bomb the Tube network two weeks after the July 7 attacks.

For an organization like the BBC to find itself associated with Islamic terrorists once could be considered unfortunate; for it to happen twice smacks of carelessness. But then the political and cultural mindset of the BBC, rooted as it is in the twin shibboleths of political correctness and multiculturalism, makes incidents such as these inevitable.

With regard to Islam, the mindset dictates that any religion which challenges the Judeo-Christian hegemony so despised by the Left must necessarily be a good thing — particularly if the majority of its adherents happen to have dark skin — and so under no circumstances must anything be broadcast that might possibly offend Muslims. (Don’t take it from me — take it from the leading BBC figures who admitted as much during an “impartiality summit.”)

It follows that when violence is done in the name of Islam, the only possible explanations are that the religion has been “hijacked” or that those who perpetrated the violence must have suffered some unbearable provocation. Thus, a person who blows innocent civilians to pieces on a Tube train can be seen as effecting an extreme but understandable response to some wicked act of Western imperialism.

And when, intermittently, some terror attack or court case forces the BBC to report on the radicalization of British Muslims, the resulting stories inevitably include the words “British and American foreign policy” within the first few paragraphs. As concern over Islamic extremism has grown in recent years, the BBC’s efforts to downplay the problem have intensified. And so we get endless stories about the “challenges” facing British Muslims trying to integrate into society and light-hearted reports about burqa fashion shows and other “quirky” aspects of Islamic life. Meanwhile, the BBC has effectively banned the use of the word “terrorist” in reference to atrocities carried out by Islamists, while just this weekend BBC reporter Lyse Doucet told a broadcasting conference that the Western media was failing to convey the “humanity” of the Taliban to viewers.

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