Sunday, 22 May 2016

Credit due

For anyone who read yesterday's post about the Muslim selfie-taker at the 'far-right' rally in Belgium - and 'freelance' reporter Anisa Subedar's part in writing it for BBC Trending - you might be interested (and pleased) to learn that BBC Trending has now posted something about the claims of anti-Semitic social media comments from the Muslim selfie-taker. 

And the BBC Trending headline is pretty explicit too (no ifs, no buts):
Anti-Semitic statements of 'joy and peace' selfie star
"It's a story with a not so pleasant postscript", says the anonymous BBC Trending writer. (Anisa? Not Anisa? - Update: I see she's tweeted about it, so it may very well be her own piece.) 

The article mentions that BBC Trending reported the 'positive' take on the story and then says:
However, since then a series of deeply disturbing anti-Semitic statements made by Ms Belkhiri on social media have come to light.
Trending has approached Ms Belkhiri again for comment but at time of writing has yet to receive a response. 
All credit to them for that. 

And all credit too to all the sites and tweeters who raised concerns about this and achieved this result.


  1. I suspect someone "upstairs" gave BBC Trending a good kick. I very much doubt this was off their own bat (which may be why there is no byline).

    Subedar's tweet is very perfunctory and inadequate in the circumstances. She merely says Belkhiri faces a "backlash". She does not say Belkhiri's tweet(s) were wrong, indefensible, vile or to be treated with utter contempt. Why not? Is there some part of her that doesn't want to? And she does not admit to playing a big part in publicising this egregious woman's attempt to interfere with the free and lawful expression of opinion.

    1. Exactly. In truth, it's credit to Subedar and the BBC for being forced to tell the truth. BBC editorial policy forbids staff to say that anti-Semitism is wrong, indefensible, and vile, as that would be opinion, right? Unless, of course, it's in the same sentence as condemnation of Islmaophobia and racism of all kinds.

    2. Precisely. The BBC had no choice but to revisit this, but has again opted to do so in a way that totally misses the actual point of her actions and their failure to do any more than promote her based on ideological admiration.

  2. I still find the article objectionable.

    The latest article claims "The photo of a young Muslim woman called Zakia Belkhiri subtly undermining an anti-Islam demonstration by using the protesters as a backdrop for a selfie was one of the most striking images of the past week. But it's a story with a not so pleasant postscript."

    That is not an impartial summary. We know the BBC wasn't just reporting on a phenomenon, it was liking the phenomenon and promoting it. As with many BBC Trending articles, they are as much self fulfilling prophecies as anything else, as anything featuring on BBC News will trend.

    So they are admitting to having prejudged the demonstrators as wrong and Belkhiri as right. On what basis? It sounds more like the anti-Islam demonstrators (if that's what they were) would appear to be the ones in the right, given that Ms Belkhiri carries in her heart extreme hatred of Jews - which is not uncommon among followers of Islam. Only the BBC and other PC institutions (like the Labour Party) fail to recognise it. That's why Rod Liddle is being "prosecuted" by the Labour Party. So the BBC is part of the problem.

    "The iconic picture above has been widely shared on social media over the last few days and reported on by BBC Trending and a host of other news outlets around the world."

    The BBC tries to minimise damage to its own reputation by claiming they were only doing what other news agencies were doing...but we know the BBC frequently - very frequently - fails to report (or buries the news) on various issues e.g. Tommy Robinson's acquittal or the migrant origin of terrorists in France and Belgium, the fact that most unaccompanied child migrants are shown later to be over 18 or the scandal of the fake official UK immigration figures. We also know that the BBC's reports are copied by many agencies and websites around the world. They can't pretend they are just an averagte Joe in the media herd.

    "Many who saw it were charmed by Ms Belkhiri's stunt which seemed to use humour to defuse a potentially awkward confrontation outside a Muslim lifestyle exhibition in Belgium."

    "Many" is one of those weasel words. But I can assure them "many" were not impressed because we understand what Sharia is all about and the wearing of the Hijab, together with the propaganda aspect of the photo, identified her as a Sharia-enabler. I saw it as an act of provocation, designed to evoke a negative reaction that could then be used to undermine the demonstration.

    "Photos of the event showed that even some of the placard-carrying demonstrators from the far right Vlaams Belang group seemed to find it funny."

    Love that judicious use of "even" in far right demonstrators cannot normally be allowed a sense of humour except in this case where a Muslim heroine single-handedly prevented the right wingers from butchering the poor innocent and peaceful Left Wing and Muslim counter demonstrators.

    "This wasn't a protest at all, this was just to share joy and peace," Ms Belkhiri told Trending in an email at the time explaining her actions. The 22-year-old added that she wanted "to show that things can be different. And that we can live together, not next to each other but with each other".

    1. [CONTINUED FROM ABOVE] So, despite it now being clear Belkhiri is spreading Jew hatred, she still gets "air time" to spread her bogus message of peace and love. And why did the BBC believe her in the first place? "Because we wanted to" is not an adequate answer for the world's leading news organisation.

      "However, since then a series of deeply disturbing anti-Semitic statements made by Ms Belkhiri on social media have come to light."

      This is the attempt, along with the use of the word "postscript" to distinguish between opposing an "anti-Islam" demonstration and supporting Jew hatred. But in the case of Islam the two are inextricably linked. Anyone who is brave enough to criticise Islam directly (people like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Geert Wilders) is subject to, at best, extreme verbal abuse and at worst lethal attack (in the latter case always by people who dedicate their lives to Islam. Islamic doctrine is as anyone who has studied the subject full of Jew hatred because that is in the Koran, the Hadith and the early history of Islam. So that Ms Belkhiri is simulataneously opposed to an anti-Islam demonstration that seeks to tell the truth about the religion (I presume - can't say the BBC have told us much about the demo) and hates Jews, is entirely in keeping with Islamic doctrine. No contradiction at all - a seamless whole and one to be expected.

      As for the description of the tweets themselves, the BBC suddenly go all coy. Whenever people have made anything that seemed racist before, they have described those comments in such terms. But in this article they are just reported flatly without anyt labels.

      "As the backlash against Ms Belkhiri grew..." In the BBC's PC dictionary of useful words, "backlash" is a code word - it's always a "right wing" backlash, never a lefty one. And it sounds violent and menacing doesn't it? Then describing the meme pics of the backlashers - the normally helpful BBC doesn't give us any clues about them.

      , a meme appeared showing the now-famous picture of her snapping her selfie but with Jewish concentration camp prisoners and scenes of various terror attacks photoshopped in place of the line of protesters.

      Finally the article is completely inadequate because it does not even raise the possiblity that ms Belkhiri's extreme hatred of Jews is something she might have inherited from her Islamic cultural background. Why didn't they go to the people who organised the "anti-Islam" demonstration and ask them?