Friday, April 25, 2008

Christian mayoral candidate censored by BBC and ITV

Briefing. Here's the the un-censored version; the words he had to change come in at about 2.30 minutes. The BBC's refusal to acknowledge that some Muslim groups are NOT 'moderate' is pretty unbelievable, but is typical. Many of the Muslims they interview for 'the Muslim view' on current affairs programmes, for example, are regarded by their fellow Muslims as inhabiting the lunatic fringe. This isn't good for moderate Muslims or anyone else.

From Christian Concern for our Nation:
A LONDON Mayoral candidate is taking the BBC and ITV to the High Court for ‘censoring’ his Party Election Broadcasts in the run up to the May 1 elections.

The Christian Choice candidate, Alan Craig, has instructed the Christian Legal Centre to file papers this morning at the Royal Courts of Justice after BBC and ITV officials instructed him to remove parts of his Party Election Broadcast which was aired on Wednesday evening (23 April ).

Alan Craig, a long-standing campaigner against the ‘Mega’ Mosque, due to be built in Newham close to the site of the Olympic Games, originally described the organisation behind it, Tablighi Jamaat, as ‘separatist’. However, BBC and ITV officials responsible for supervising the Broadcasts instructed him to moderate his language and change this factual description of the Islamic organisation if he wanted it aired. Alan Craig claims not only ‘political interference’ by the broadcasters, but says such action breeches his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of speech.

Under pressure Alan Craig changed the word to “controversial”. Then late in the
day ITV insisted that the agreed word “controversial” should be applied to the
mosque plans not to the Islamic group. But Alan Craig’s objections to the
mega-mosque have consistently been related to the nature of the Islamic group
behind the project; the plans have not yet even been published!

Alan Craig said: “BBC and ITV officials, none of whom were lawyers to our
knowledge, clearly instructed us to ‘tone down’ our views and change the sense
if we wanted the Party Election Broadcast. The legal language of ‘libel’ was
mentioned by the BBC, and in the case of ITV, we were forced to go back to the
studios at the last minute to record a censored version of the Party Election
Broadcast .

“I am advised that libel is a defamation of an individual, and no-where in the
broadcast do we defame individuals. My comments are reasonable and moderate
and do not contradict the Racial and Religious Hatred Act. The BBC and ITV are
not entitled to limit free speech and I look forward to the judge ordering them
both to broadcast my original message.”

The Christian Legal Centre commented: “Providing that the content of an election
broadcast is within the law, the BBC and ITV should enable the electorate to
hear the unedited views of candidates and allow them to make up their own minds
as to whether they agree or not.”

The Christian Legal Centre will be calling for a Judicial Review of the BBC’s
and ITV’s decision, and ask the judge to order, as a matter of urgency, the
unedited Party Election Broadcast on both channels.


“You may know about plans by a separatist Islamic group to build Europe's
biggest mosque next to the Olympics site in West Ham. I think it's a bad idea
that will bring division and I'm glad moderate Muslims support my stance in
opposing it.”

BBC didn't like "separatist" (said it was libellous) or "moderate" (which
implied that the unnamed Tablighi Jamaat were extremist).


“You may know about plans by a controversial Islamic group to build Europe's
biggest mosque next to the Olympics site in West Ham. I think it's a bad idea
that will bring division and I'm glad Muslim leaders support my stance in
opposing it.”

ITV: ITV objected to even this text. They insisted that "controversial" should
apply to the plans not to the Islamic group, and that Alan Craig should insert
"some" before Muslim leaders.


“You may know about controversial plans by an Islamic group to build Europe's
biggest mosque next to the Olympics site in West Ham. I think it's a bad idea
that will bring division and I'm glad some Muslims leaders support my stance in
opposing it.”

The original intended Party Election Broadcast can be seen on YouTube. The final
and broadcast Party Election Broadcast (post BBC and ITV intervention) can be
seen on the BBC's website for the next 7 days.


Anonymous said...

This is really sad. I'm so disappointed that we have to pay the licence fee and as Christians we're constantly let down by the BBC. The fact is, in an Islamic country an organisation like the BBC would be banned anyway.

Anonymous said...

Too right. Andrew Norfolk did an article in the times today about this it worth a read.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen