I don't know about you, but this "multicultural Britain" business is beginning to feel like an interim phase. – Mark Steyn, writing in The Daily Telegraph.
British TV talk show host Robert Kilroy-Silk had his show canceled by the BBC for revealing a robust opinion of the Arab world in The Daily Express, a newspaper. A sample: “What do they think we feel about them? That we adore them for the way they murdered more than 3,000 civilians on September 11 and then danced in the hot, dusty streets to celebrate the murders? That we admire them for being suicide bombers, limb amputators, women repressors?”
Not only was his 20-year old BBC talk show canceled at the speed of light, but a deeply authoritarian and ignorant chap by the name of Trevor Phillips who heads up a nasty organization called the Commission for Racial Equality, reported Mr Kilroy-Silk to the London police for “incitement to racial hatred”. Phillips, of West Indian descent, lost his bid to become mayor of London to Ken Livingstone. As a self-promoter with an impeccable thought-fascist pedigree, Phillips ranks right up there with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He said that although there was no incitement of any kind to violence in Kilroy-Silk’s article, “some people may read it that way”. So now we have a new definition of “incitement to racial violence”. How some dimwits might interpret a newspaper article.
Kilroy-Silk quickly proffered a semi-apology. His article had originally run in the lead-up to the war against Saddam and was written as an opposing view against the appeaseniks. When it ran originally, he had referred to “some Arab states” rather than “Arabs”. When it originally ran last April, it raised nary a twitter. It was run a second time, last week, by a mistake made in either the Daily Express editorial department or Kilroy-Silk’s office, and a sub-editor seems to have altered it slightly.
Kilroy-Silk’s openness, however, got him nowhere with the BBC, which was beside itself with the explosive fury normal people reserve for the mass murder of innocents. Like, say, 9/11. It announced his show would remain canceled until “we have completed our investigations”, although there was no word on how they were going to investigate an opinion column. Parse it?
Meanwhile, Trevor Phillips, on a roll, has adjudged Kilroy-Silk’s apology for the changes in his text (which weren’t made by him) inadequate. He needs to offer a fuller and much more abject apology, opined the mighty Mr Phillips, donate a portion of his substantial earnings as a TV talk show host to an Islamic charity, and “learn about Islam”. Only then, can we “let the matter rest”.
Mr Phillips, clearly an ill-educated, self-satisfied buffoon, went on to lecture the British public about former great Islamic achievements. They were great mathematicians, he informed us. Oh? Mathematics passed through the Arab world on its way to Europe from India, where the concept of zero had already been intuited and where they were already using the decimal point. In any event, this was before the advent of Islam. Even if the Arabs had been responsible for any of the scientific achievements Phillips claims for them , with the advent of Islam, all scientific and other inquiry into the nature of the universe ceased. The Prophet delivered his message from Allah, and everything was settled.
Although public outrage has caused the BBC to back-pedal slightly and say they will be re-instating Mr Kilroy-Silk’s show after all, the TV host still finds himself “under investigation” by both the BBC and, at the behest of Trevor Phillips, the Metropolitan Police.
Note that at no time, even in the altered rerun article, did Kilroy-Silk advocate racial or religious violence.
He stated some indisputable facts about life in some Arab states.
Note also that although some British Muslims had been a bit huffy about the wording in the newest edition of the article (when it was thoughtfully drawn to their attention by Mr Phillips), they shrugged and settled down when told the original piece had referred to “some Arab states” rather than “Arabs” in general. The BBC and Trevor Phillips alone are carrying the torch of indignation on behalf of British Muslims, who, in the main, seem unperturbed.
Now, the BBC’s heavy-handed instant self-abasement to the Islamofascists and their apologists is doubly hypocritical, because there is a British Oxford-based poet, lecturer and attention-seeker by the name of Tom Paulin who appears regularly as a panelist on the BBC.
In contrast to the mild Kilroy-Silk, Mr Paulin has indeed freely incited violence. A pick ‘n’ mix selection of Paulin’s comments made during an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram last April: "Brooklyn-born" Jewish settlers on the West Bank "should be shot dead"; "they are Nazis"; "I feel nothing but hatred for them". A few days after his violent views were published, Mr.Paulin's script was acted out as a Hamas Death Squad shot dead four Israeli settlers in their beds, including a five year-old girl.
I am not saying it was cause and effect. And I am not saying that Mr Paulin is anti-Semitic as opposed to anti-Israel. I am, however, saying that his words were an incontrovertible incitement to hatred and violence. Yet, while Kilroy-Silk was scraped off the air with indecent haste for an article in a British newspaper, Paulin continues his regular appearance on the BBC’s The Late Review, his wrist not even lightly tapped for comments he made to an Arab newspaper. Nor does Trevor Phillips have any words of admonishment for him.
The BBC wriggled in its seat when tackled about this by British journalists, and offered the disingenuous statement that airing the views of Mr Paulin, who it styles “ a poetic polemicist”, was OK because he was “being paid to have opinions”. So that’s OK, then. Harvard University withdrew a speaking invitation after his comments appeared, but the BBC is relaxed about that too, saying he appears to have “ruffled some feathers” in the United States, “where the Jewish question is notoriously sensitive”.
Meanwhile, if the Metropolitan police decide to charge Mr Kilroy-Silk with incitement to violence and he is found guilty, he could face a prison sentence of seven years. It is inconceivable, given that he committed no criminal offense, but that’s not the point. The threat now hovers in the British polity.