UK: BBC employees complain of anti-Muslim bias

The BBC has launched an investigation after complaints from staff of anti-Muslim discrimination by a 'mafia of executives' at the Corporation's own Asian radio station.

At least 20 past and present BBC employees, all Asian Muslims, have lodged complaints that its digital radio station, Asian Network, is operating with an anti-Muslim policy.

They claim Muslim presenters and reporters are sidelined or sacked from the station, which began 12 years ago, in favour of Asians from other backgrounds – mainly Hindus and Sikhs.

They also complain that attempts to persuade the station's upper ranks to play Pakistani or Bengali music for its 500,000 listeners are ignored in favour of a strict diet of Bollywood and bhangra tunes, which are more popular among the Hindu and Sikh communities.

Their case has been taken up by Labour peer Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, who campaigns on discrimination issues.

He wrote to BBC director-general Mark Thompson last month.

He had originally raised the issue with former director-general John Birt, now Lord Birt, more than ten years ago.

Now the BBC has taken the unusual step of having the inquiry conducted by an external expert, Stephen Whittle, chairman of the Ofcom-linked Broadcast Training & Skills Regulator.

Mr Whittle, who was controller of editorial policy at the BBC from 2001 to 2006, is believed to be taking evidence from tomorrow.

Lord Ahmed said: 'I have been making these representations to the BBC for the past ten years. I am disappointed that not much has changed.  There seems to be a small mafia that is promoting their version of a culture which is contrary to the diversity within the Asian community.'

One former employee said: 'There used to be a much higher representation of Muslims on staff.  Now there are seven daytime presenters and only one is Muslim.  There are about eight reporters and half were Muslims – now only two are.'

The inquiry is also expected to focus on complaints that listeners who want to hear Muslim-influenced music are short-changed because of a bias towards music from Hindu and Sikh cultures such as bhangra, Bollywood films or black artists.

Another former employee said: 'This is a deliberate policy but people are too scared to speak out because they are worried they will be victimised if they do.'

A BBC spokesman said: 'We take these allegations very seriously and have launched an internal investigation into the matter.'

Source: Daily Mail (English)


Anonymous said...

They want to hear religious music, which is the only type of music that is allowed in Islam. Also, women aren't allowed to be musicians, so it would be highly unethical for a state-run station to pander to that evil (misogyny and religion in state programming). Also, some music is listenable and some is not. The Bengalis, HIndus, and Sikhs have an incredibly vibrant culture, whereas the Pakis have no culture as it has been intentionally stifled in favor of Arab-wannabe-ism. Arab music is awful. It's cult music. It's incredibly uncreative and mindlessly repetitive, plus when they sing they hang out on those consonants interminably so that it sounds like animals being tortured, particularly goats being strangled and cats vomiting. Nobody wants to turn on the radio and hear "ullllllllllllllllllllllllughxxxxxxx hu hhhukkkkkkburrrrrrrrrrrrrhhxxx!" It's noise pollution and physical abuse of the eardrum. It will cause car accidents. I know nothing of Sikh music, but HIndu and Bengali music just makes you want to dance. It's fun. You can clean your house to it. Soon they'll demand that the Koran be read on air and that radical imams get to air their sermons on state-run radio. Nobbody should cave to that evil. Also, it's England. Programming should be in English. Period.

Esther said...

So a station meant for Muslims should not have Muslim music?

Anonymous said...

Because the only music that Muslims are allowed to play or listen to is religious music (Muhammad murdered musicians just for playing music, remember), which (a) has absolutely no place on state-run radio, and (b) is invariably unlistenable to the point of physical abuse of the eardrum, and punctuated with the throat-slitting call of "allah-hu akbar." Do they play gospel music on BBC radio? And why can't Muslims get their own station?

Anonymous said...

Also, it's an Asian station, not a Muslim station. Like I said, there is no legitimate Pakistani music, as the Pakistanis killed off their own culture by choice in favor of Arab wannabe-ism. If there were a Middle Eastern station, then Pakistan music would have a place, but there is no real Pakistani music, only Arab music played by Pakis. If they were to play, for instance, indigenous pre-Islam Afghani music that would be something different. And it's still state-run radio, so religious music has no place. Bangladesh still has a thriving non-Muslim population, and that's the Bengali music being played, not the religious Arab music that comes out of Bangladesh.

Esther said...

Hi Jetabler,

Please don't quote the most radical Muslim sources to prove your point about what Muslims are allowed to do. I think most Muslims are happy they don't feel the need to do this, so why force them?

I understand from you that you have Muslim friends. Do you want to tell me that they don't listen to Muslim music?

According to you, Pakistanis have no culture of their own. Have you ever been in Pakistan?

Anonymous said...

I have EX-Muslim friends. And as far as I can tell they don't listen to any music, but they're very into American TV. They also have a small son, so they watch lots of Nickelodeon and some Turkish and Kuwaiti soap operas, which, by the way, are exactly like Mexican soap operas as far as I can tell, maybe less sexy.

And no, I've never been to Pakistan, but I've read plenty of Ali Sina's ramblings about his college years there before he moved to Italy because he hated it so much. He does say that it is devoid of any culture, and where there is culture, it consists entirely of Arab wannbe-ism, whereas India's pluralistic society almost overloads you with culture. He also says that there does happen to be a thriving Muslim culture in India, but in puritan Pakistan culture is non-existent. For instance, in India, the Muslims have their own type of cuisine (very meat-heavy) which is distinct from Bengali or Punjabi cuisine, but in Pakistan, it's all Arab food. It's a country with no work ethic that has only survived through foreign aid and which never recovered after the revolution, or really even tried to.

And it's entirely true that Muslims are forbidden to listen non-religious music, just like they're forbidden from watching movies or Western TV. That of course doesn't mean that all Muslims live like that, but that's what every school of Islam dictates except maybe the mythical Ahmadi school, about which I know very little except that it's pretty liberal and was devised in order to bring Muslims into the modern world.

Mohd said...

Mr Jetabler,
You know the most irritating thing i hear is indian music and indian television.

The problem with many people like you is that they know nothing about islam.

If you are Hindu, of course you'll not believe about the worst side of your religion. Likewise if you are a christian you will not believe the bad side of it. So it is most importantly a matter of interpretation. If you read the Bible open-hearted, then you'll see murder, rape, slavery etc all justified in the name of religion.

I am not an Arab. But i still love Arabic music.

And one more thing. Why you people are so jealous about us is that earliest followers of islam are those who converted from your religions.

Islam the best