Wednesday, April 02, 2008

BBC 'scared' of Islam says Ben Elton

How refreshing it is to see that Ben Elton has accused the BBC of being scared of Islam. In an interview with 'Third Way', a Christian magazine, he has said the BBC hides behind the idea of moral sensibilities but really it's 'because they're scared'. He also questioned why Christianity was a valid target with for example jokes about vicars but not ones about Immans.

Absobloodylutely! That's what I say. I'm not a Christian myself, but I can understand why God Botherers get so irritated by the way their faith is easily ridiculed by the secular world but other faiths, in particular Islam, is not. No one has the right not be offended after all, and Islam should be ridiculed, just as much as Jehovah Witnesses, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and whatever other faith you can think.

If we are, as many have argued, engaged in an ideological struggle against Islamism (however great), then for us to show deference to the special interests of Islam as a whole then it puts the values of Western ideology on very shaky ground. If the BBC had balls it would buy Little Mosque on the Prairie from the Canadians for a BBC2 night time slot.

22 comments:

Perry Neeham said...

Spot on Dizzy. Although Dawkins may be getting a bit shrill he is definately right - if we don't stand up to medieval flat-earthers (of every hue) they will continue to give us grief.

Gavin Whenman said...

Broadcast by the BBC (Now Show, Radio 4): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Yewj9FaMgAU

I don't think it's the BBC who are scared, but usually the comedians themselves (or they just can't come up with good enough material).

lettersfromatory said...

I think my blog post this morning sums up my feelings on the matter quite succinctly. It's not just the BBC who are scared of Islam.

Pete Chown said...

Anyone with any sense would be scared. I'm sure most Muslims are just trying to get on with their lives in these rather difficult times, but there are a few who are more dangerous. The security services seem to think that they amount to a few thousand out of a Muslim population of nearly two million.

That's not a high proportion, but if telling jokes about Islam means that those few thousand people are going to be trying to kill you, is it surprising that people don't do it?

I don't see you publishing the cartoons on your blog, and I'm not about to publish them on mine either. Although I think they were a bit racist, I might have done it in the interests of free speech, if it wasn't for the fact that people might then try to do me harm.

dizzy said...

What does what I have chosen to publish have to do with anything?

Pete Chown said...

Dizzy: my point was that everyone is scared of the loony fringe within Islam. The cartoons were not published more widely in Britain because people were afraid of the consequences.

If this wasn't the reason why you personally chose not to publish the cartoons then I apologise. My point about the media in general still holds though.

dizzy said...

OK, the reason I didn't publish them was because the thought of doing so never even crossed my mind at the time. Was busy doing other stuff and also because I am not really sure which ones were the ones published. I beleive that when the loonies start going mental they threw a lot of images into the mix that were not even the original ones. Oh yes, and none of them were actually that funny to be honest.

Stewart said...

I think there's a sense for us white Brits that, even for those of us who are Godless, Christianity is a part of our culture and heritage. Islam obviously isn't. So it's the difference between poking fun at your own culture, and someone elses.

Of course I'm all for criticising all Religions, especially any that push the "our way is the only way" line. And Muslims need to learn thay have *no* right to not be offended. Also I have big questions over how much capacity the islamic world has for questioning itself and its own principles.

I'm just not going to grumble about a sitcom joking about vicars instead of imams.

tory boys never grow up said...

In my view all religions are bonkers and should be the subjects of jokes - but that is not the same of ridicule. No one's genuine beliefs should be exposed to ridicule (with the possible exception of Tory boys who just invite it however) - but quite where the boundary is God only knows.

On a more serious level, the issue perhaps needs a little thought because the BNP and other racists are always seeking to conjoin Islam and race.

Evil Clanger said...

Theo van Gogh was wondering down a street one day when a miffed muslim pretty much cut his head off with a great big fuck off knife.

That's why people don't rip the piss out of Islam on the telly, the mad fuckers will kill you. The guy who did Theo van Gogh says he'd do it again tomorrow.

But, I went to the comedy store the other day in Piccadilly and there were loads of jokes about Islam and moslems, probably because they made the calculation that none of the humourless cunts were in the audience.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that being able to take a joke was one of the strengths of Christianity.

When are we going to see a Muslim version of Monty Python do the Life of Ahmed, who isn't the Prophet (pbuh), just a very naughty boy?

Anonymous said...

"none of them were actually that funny to be honest."

Dizzy, honey pie, it's "none of them IS" because "none" is short for "not one" and therefore singular.

Report to Mr Moseley for a spanking!

Love,
G.

DOppenheimer said...

well, I'm glad someone has actually come out and said what most of us already thought was the case. The last time I had this discussion I was told I only held the views because I was Jewish! This is odd because I thought I was a equal opportunity offender!

Anonymous said...

recall the allegedly hyper-offensive comedy movie "The Aristocrats" where comedians gave a no holds barred tirade about a perverse variety act. (was vey funny to those of us with peurile SOH) lots of versions of the joke referencing jewish culture, however there was a glaring omission to anything Muslim, which kind of undermined the daring breaking of taboos the movie purported to represent. Stories of prophets and 9 year old girls would have been well within the tone of the film.....

Anonymous said...

ignore G's comment 17:12. Plural none is as old as Chaucer, probably older. It's another of those usage points that the ignorant get all worked up about.

Cambridge Grammar of English authors at Language Log keep on pointing this out, and people like G keep on showing their ignorance.

KMcC

Little Bulldogs said...

Quite right Dizzy.

What's more, the BBC has denied it claiming there is "no evidence". Apparently they have short memories as I point out here: http://littlebulldogs.blogspot.com/2008/04/ben-elton-and-bbc-bias.html

John M Ward said...

Anon @ 1536 is right: real Christians certainly enjoy jokes, realising that it was God who gave us humour (and life, and compassion, and diversity, and breadth, and...)

If Islam is to be considered the word of God, it needs to be consistent with Him. Going around killing His creation on whatever pretext clearly can never be part of His policy for us. As He told us: "Vengeance is mine" -- i.e. it's not our job.

Not up for debate. End of argument.

Anonymous said...

Newsnight Pantsman hosted a dreadful debate and not one BBC Comedy person made a comment

Lily Livers

V said...

wow - that's the first time in 20 years I've agreed with anything Ben Elton has said or done!

It is time that we had some decent Muslim comedy. It seems to me is the PC brigade who are stopping it though. There was a show on for a single series a few years ago about disabled comedy - done by a bunch of cripples and it was hilarious!
Goodness Gracious Me was reasonably funny from a british indan POV but the best comedy has to come from within the community - and I don't know of any funny Muslims - also that comedy Ali that worked for Saddam was quite good!

Anonymous said...

It seems re the "kangaroo debate" if you make an opposing comment on the Newsnight web-site it gets deleted or hits a 502 error message

Oncewerefree said...

As I have pointed out in my blog, Ben Elton has no record of standing up for freedom in comedy, in fact the reverse. Perhaps he just does not like Muslims.

Reehana said...

Ben Elton obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. A recent report found evidence that BBC News used negative emotive terms such as "Islamist", "Muslim Fundamentalists" etc more than any other news channel. If they were scared of Muslims, they wouldn't use those terms.As a license payer, I don't want to pay to hear carp like that by a bunch of dopey journalists who fake competition wins and are generally quite dishonest.
It's not responsible reporting. They don't know how stupid they sound when they say 'Islamist.'Omid Djalli is a very funny comedian. I think Muslims can make jokes about themselves, it's just when you get people from other cultures and faiths joking about that causes resentment and other problems.