It all started with Maajid Nawaz, a man who on paper ticks the boxes marked ‘safe’, ‘moderate’, and ‘reasonable’; being both a Lib Dem MP and executive director of the Muslim “counter-extremism think tank” Quillam, the reformed “radical”—who recently persuaded EDL founder Tommy Robinson to renounce his own extremism—hardly reads like the sort of person who’d make a point of courting controversy.
The obviously incendiary nature of this tweet elicited a fiery response from several parties. As well as the usual mob of miffed ‘n’ militant Mohammedians, some calling for Nawaz to “get cancer and die a painful deatg” (sic), “burn in hell”, “deactivate from life”and other nice things, pushback also came from politically-established folk such as Respect MP and Scottish Shariaite convert George Galloway, who vowed to rid the political arena of the “rancid” reformist’.
Still, all this reads like a standard story so far: man shares pic of The Prophet™, eliciting screeches and scourges from the pious and/or PC alike. Nothing particularly out-of-the ordinary, right?
Well, not until Channel 4 News covered the events, anyway. Their January 29th broadcast gave a rundown of events, as well as the verbal excretions of his co-Muslim Lib Demmers, determined to see him deselected (Check out Irfan Ahmed’s slimy definition of free speech, typical of many a special (pleading) interest group, and ponder the fact that he and others of his ilk whore for votes in the diseased brothel of democratic politics).
However, the words of the aggrieved abdullahs paled in comparison to Channel 4 News’ own acquiescence to such sentiments; in an unexpected show of PC propriety, they aired the image of offence (to others) with the most offensive of alterations (to me)…
…and to really rub it in, this censorship-hating viewer got treated to this cocksucking commentary:
We’ve decided not to show [Jesus & Mo] in full because representations of The Prophet™ are offensive to many Muslims, though others may disagree with our decision…
“Disagree”? I’ll fucking say!
Once upon a time, one could synonymise the name “Channel 4” with adjectives like ‘risque’, ‘cutting-edge’, ‘avant-garde’, and ‘controversial’. This was the channel that screened UK TV’s first (pre-watershed) lesbian kiss with Brookside; raised brows, and cocks, with the notorious Red Light Zone weekends in the mid-nineties; rustled many a moralist by broadcasting a parody of paedomania; and, more recently, screened live autopsies, as well as the loss of a man’s virginity to a sex surrogate.
So, how is it that this otherwise shameless, bold, and irreverent station could reduce itself to such abject submission—to such sheer islam—in the face of a religious taboo?
As we are sure you can appreciate, this is a very sensitive subject for many viewers. Channel 4 News editorial staff gave great consideration to the issues involved and believe that they reached a fair and balanced judgement, weighing up the potential for offence to some viewers by showing the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed and the necessity of showing the cartoon in full.
The senior editorial team decided that the showing of the entire illustration, whilst likely to cause offence, was not integral to the story, and therefore took the decision to pixelate. Whilst we acknowledge your views, we believe that on balance this was the correct decision and as a rule, where we consider the likelihood of significant offence to our audience, we will attempt to mitigate against that. As to not pixelating the image of Jesus, it was not felt that the same level of offence was likely to be provoked as the image is commonly depicted in cartoon form.
We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and be assured your comments have been logged for the information of our News team.
Whenever some Occidentalist or other drones on about the prospect of “Eurabia”–the West’s demographic deluge beneath a sea of Islamic immigration—I often question the faith they claim to have in their own civilisation; as I see it, the problem lies not so much with the “invading hordes” they decry, but with the hosts who wilfully supplicate to any dysfunctions and neuroses they may import with them. Whether it’s pandering pizza chains who take non-halal meats off their menus, joke-shop judges who excuse belligerent behaviour on account of belief, or simpering student unions who penalise their press for printing irreverent illustrations, each Caliphate-courting capitulation contributes to a de facto dhimmiocracy, leaving all participants the worse for wear over time.
As such, even though organized atheism aggravates me as much as organized religion these days, I commend the gist of the National Secular Society’s open letter to Channel 4 News:
By redacting the picture of ‘Mo’, you have contributed to a climate of censorship brought on by the unreasonable and reactionary views of some religious extremists. Rather than defending free expression, one of the most precious pillars of our liberal democratic society, you have chosen instead to listen to extremists and patronise British Muslims by assuming they will take offence at an irreverent and satirical cartoon. By taking the decision you did, not only did you betray the fundamental journalistic principle of free speech, but you have become complicit in a trend that seeks to insidiously stereotype all Muslim people as reacting in one uniform way (generally presented as overly sensitive and potentially violent).
Given that your editorial decision seems to be have been weighted by a concern with offence, we might also note that you ended up with a report that was, in fact, very offensive to many; offensive to those who take seriously and cherish our basic freedom to speak and question, and offensive to many Muslims, whose voices you do not hear because you insist on placating the reactionary voices of people claiming to represent what it is to be an ‘authentic Muslim’.
In the subsequent interview with Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, presenter Jon Snow made the point that there are a number of places in the world where blasphemy is punished by death. This reality provides an apposite backdrop to the whole debate and, by extension, Channel 4’s decision to censor. In a world where the notion of offence to those with religious views is being used to control and punish people of all religions and none, the UK has an urgent responsibility to uphold freedom of expression in the face of religious extremism. Its news outlets share in this responsibility.
When a courteous yet convinced Muslim like Nawaz outdoes a supposedly transgressive TV channel in both balls and broadmindedness, perhaps it’s time for the latter to question its “cutting-edge” credentials.