Monday, April 28, 2008

Our dhimmi media

CPA says,"ITV & BBC Censor London Mayoral Election
Broadcast "in Fear of Radical Islam"
Alan Craig says Closing Down Debate Fuels Islamaphobic Paranoia

Papers are being filed Tuesday morning at the Royal Courts of Justice after the BBC
and ITV instructed London Mayoral Candidate Alan Craig to censor his Party Election
Broadcasts aired last Wednesday (23rd April). The two broadcasters demanded
that The Christian Choice candidate not criticise radical Islamist group, Tablighi
Jamaat, over their plans to build Europe's biggest mosque next to the Olympics
site in West Ham. Use of the word 'separatist' was ruled out by both ITV & BBC.

Alan Craig is asking the High Court to ensure the electoral process and freedom of
speech is not threatened by fear of Islam. He is calling on the other Mayoral
candidates to endorse his concern about political censorship. Commenting ahead
of the action against the BBC, Alan Craig said:

"Elections are about open discourse and a free exchange of views. The action
of the broadcasters closed down democratic discussion and showed the fear of
both ITV and the BBC in offending a radical Islamic group. In preventing rational
and moderate comment, the BBC and ITV have fuelled the sort of paranoia which
extreme groups like the BNP have fed-off in this election."

Under BBC duress, Alan Craig changed his factual description of Tabliqi
Jamaat from "separatist" 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 been submitted to Newham.

Alan Craig represents the local ward on Newham Council where the Mosque is
to be built and so has a direct constituency interest in the proposal. He claims
not only ‘political interference’ by the broadcasters, but says such action
breaches his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, which
protects freedom of speech. He says political interference has taken place
because whilst forbidding the use of the word 'separatist' in the election
broadcast, the BBC had already published identical comment in three separate
webpages on the BBC Elections 2008 website (see NOTES below), as well as
news reports by BBC Newsnight and BBC London TV News where Cllr Craig
was quoted making the same 'separatist' point, but before the elections.

Alan Craig added:

"Nationally and locally, leading Muslims share my objections to the mega-
mosque yet two national broadcasters have attempted to close down the
democratic debate, through misplaced concern. Two years ago, Trevor
Phillips warned against the "stifling suppression of free expression" and said
"barriers to honesty and understanding are a disaster for race relations". When
it comes to the political crunch, the BBC were not listening and have learnt nothing. "

In their warning to Alan Craig, BBC and ITV officials instructed the Christian Choice
to ‘tone down’ its views and change the sense if a Party Election Broadcast was to
be approved. The legal language of ‘libel’ was mentioned by the BBC and in the
case of ITV, Alan Craig was forced to go back to the studios at the last minute to
record a second censored version.

The Christian Legal Centre is acting in the case. It is calling for a Judicial Review of
the BBC’s decision and will ask the judge to order, as a matter of urgency,
for the unedited Party Election Broadcast to be shown by election day. "

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