Monday, October 08, 2007

BBC fed youngsters Al Qaeda propaganda

Britain's former spy chief accused the BBC of "parroting" Al Qaeda propaganda to children as young as six. Dame Pauline Neville Jones, who is also a former BBC governor, is infuriated at the stance the corporation's Newsround programme took on the September 11 attacks. She accused the flagship children's news bulletin of feeding an "ugly undercurrent" which suggests the terrorist outrage was somehow justifiable.

Newsround is aimed at viewers aged between six and 12. On its website it answered the question concerning 9/11, "Why did they do it" by saying: "The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al Qaeda - who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks."

After the public complained, the text was amended. It now reads: "Al Qaeda is unhappy with America and other countries getting involved in places like the Middle East. "People linked to al Qaeda have used violence to make this point in the U.S.A, and in other countries."

Dame Pauline, who headed the Government's Joint Intelligence Committee and is described as the most formidable female diplomat Britain has produced, said the new version was even worse. "It still says it's all America's fault, and now for daring to be involved in the Middle East at all," she said. "It wasn't 'people linked to' al Qaeda who killed 3,000 people that day, it was al Qaeda itself. "Osama bin Laden even boasted of the attacks. Is the BBC really saying that if you're 'unhappy' it's quite normal behaviour to murder people? "Is the BBC so naive as to take al Qaeda's propaganda at face value? Or is there something more sinister at work here?"

Dame Pauline, who is now a shadow security spokesman, added: "Al Qaeda make the manifestly false claim that America is part of an enormous Jewish-Christian conspiracy to dominate the world and kill Muslims. "This is no secret - Osama bin Laden has said as much himself. "We know that in the long run the struggle against terrorists is a battle for hearts and minds. "How can we expect to win when our national broadcaster is parroting their line to our own children? "There is only one set of people who are ever to blame for terrorist attacks and that's the perpetrators themselves."

Dame Pauline said the BBC was a "national treasure" and she had been proud to serve as a governor. "But from time to time I have found myself asking questions about BBC's attitude to terrorism. It even orders its journalists not to use the word terrorist," she added. "Although almost everyone in Britain quite rightly reacted with horror to the attacks of September 11, there was an ugly undercurrent that blamed America for being attacked. "Just two days after the attacks the BBC screened an edition of the Question Time programme where they invited an anti-American audience that laid into the American ambassador, leaving him close to tears. In fairness, the BBC apologised for that outrage. "Even though this was an appalling example of knee-jerk prejudice, at least it was meant for adults. "I never imagined the rot would spread to the BBC's children's programmes. I was wrong."

Dame Pauline has complained to the BBC's head of journalism Mark Byford, who is understood to have defended the text as "clear and concise". Sinead Rocks, editor of the Newsround programme, said the first version of the text was several years old and should no longer have been available. But she defended the new version, insisting it was not an attempt to "justify" the events of September 11. "We feel it is entirely legitimate to question the motives of the people who carried out the attacks," she said. "Our contact with our audience has shown that their understanding is helped by events being put into some kind of context. "We often have to translate complex and emotive issues into language appropriate for children. It's a responsibility we take very seriously."


Amazing: Ramadan at the Pentagon

It was a Washington Times story about the military's Ramadan service that actually caught my eye. Or, rather, it was the name of the presiding imam, Navy Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam. "Saifulislam" means "Sword of Islam." It seems that Lieutenant Commander "Sword of Islam" led 100 Islamic faithful, kneeling toward Mecca, in prayer to Allah to celebrate Ramadan at the Pentagon. And that was about it as far as the story went.

But is that all there is to say? In our post-grown-up world of pretend, no one is supposed to mention the uncomfortable fact that the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the Pentagon would have fit right into the Pentagon ceremony; no one is supposed to make the connection. Nor is anyone supposed to stumble over the moniker "Sword of Islam," a name that conjures up not ecumenical cheer, but scimitars of jihad. Nor is anyone supposed to notice that acts of Islamic terrorism precede acts of Islamization: Al Qaeda strikes, Islamic sensitivity courses follow; bombs in the Tube, racial profiling is denounced; the "war on terror" drags on, the Pentagon institutes Ramadan services.

If such politically incorrent thoughts do slip through the PC filter, one is supposed to suppress them, drawing on big, self-satisfied feelings of inclusiveness to drive away the willies.

Uneasy nonetheless, I went on read a few other stories about Lt. Cmdr. Saifulislam and discovered he has a notable record as Islamic chaplain. The first such chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, he set up what is essentially the Islamic system under which detainees live, pray and eat according to Islamic law. He is also credited with the notion of opening a mosque at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico. Me, I would like to know whether he believes in bringing sharia, or Islamic law, to the United States.


Australia: Muslim pedophile case reviewed

It clearly needs appeal, not "review". What was the asshole doing in bed with an 11-year old boy anyway?

A JUDGE'S decision not to record a conviction against a medical student who pleaded guilty to attempting to indecently deal with a boy has caught the attention of Attorney-General Kerry Shine, who is reviewing the case. If he does lodge an appeal in the next month, the matter would be decided by Queensland's Court of Appeal, which has the power to change the original sentence. Third year medical student Shakee Mirza, 26, was punished with 12 months' probation when he appeared in Brisbane District Court on Wednesday over his conduct in late 2005 involving a boy, 11.

At the time, sentencing judge David Searles agreed with a request from Mirza's lawyer that a conviction for the offence not be recorded. If a conviction was recorded, it could have jeopardised Mirza's student visa status. His future registration as a doctor is now a matter for authorities to consider.

The court was told the offence came about as a result of Mirza volunteering for community group Aunties and Uncles - a mentoring organisation for families in need. On the day of the incident, Mirza, the 11-year-old complainant and his brother were watching TV while lying on a single bed when the accused massaged the boy's head before saying "this would feel better if I did it on your penis". But the boy said no and pushed his hand away and the incident stopped.

There was said to be no planning involved in the incident and Mirza, who provided glowing references to the court, has no criminal history. His lawyer characterised the offending as a moment of stupidity - a description accepted by Judge Searles. Mirza reportedly said the offence was almost done in a "joking" fashion.

Judge Searles said after considering all of the submissions from both sides, he was satisfied the circumstances of the case were "exceptional" and out of the realm of an actual custodial sentence. He said he did not think the circumstances warranted a jail sentence and recording a conviction could impact on Mirza's career and put his student visa status in jeopardy.

Anti-child abuse campaigner Hetty Johnson said she contacted Mr Shine's office yesterday about whether an appeal would be lodged and was told the Attorney-General had received a report from the DPP on the matter and would be considering it in coming weeks.


Australia: Leftist public broadcaster attacks abuse revelations

"Noble savages" don't abuse children! Oh No! So the shakiest of grounds can be used to attack reports of it happening

The ABC's Media Watch program has appealed for help from the Northern Territory Government to attack The Weekend Australian over a report on two Aboriginal girls who fell pregnant at the age of 12. The article, "Girls who become mums at age of 12", appeared on the front page of The Weekend Australian on August 18 and detailed issues relating to children in Aboriginal communities becoming sexually active at a young age. In it, journalist Simon Kearney reported that two girls, Marisa Marshall and Marisa Brown, fell pregnant at age 12 in the community of Papunya, northwest of Alice Springs. Permission to name the girls was sought and received from their parents and an aunt.

Aboriginal Territory Labor MP Malarndirri McCarthy yesterday confirmed she had spoken to Media Watch in general terms about the media's coverage of the Howard Government's intervention in indigenous communities. Ms McCarthy, a former ABC journalist, said she did not know the details of this particular case but had concerns about naming children in such circumstances. "Naming of a child when you are talking about sexual abuse or alcohol or substance abuse, of course, I have serious concerns in regards to that," she said. "But this is not about two media organisations fighting. This is about our children and let's see what we can do to fix this and make this (intervention) work, and that includes the coverage."

A Territory Government spokesman said the Government had no wider role in the Media Watch story beyond passing on a request for comment to an MP. "The first I heard about this was when Media Watch contacted me this afternoon," he said.

In written questions, Media Watch story editor Michael Vincent asked Kearney in what language permission was sought for the girl to tell her story, why it was necessary to identify the two girls by name and whether he considered the "further long-term embarrassment" of publication. Kearney was also asked a hypothetical question about whether he would have published the name of a non-indigenous girl living in Sydney who had become pregnant and had an abortion at the age of 12. "In the same circumstances, yes," Kearney replied. Vincent's fifth question to Kearney centred on the "vulnerable" community of Papunya allegedly having a limited understanding of the publicity of the story.

"In my experience, the residents of these communities are not that naive," Kearney replied. "The Central Land Council appears to go out of its way to show people in communities stories about them that appear in the national media. The general level of distrust of the media and the lengths you need to go to gain trust indicates that they are no less naive than anyone in the wider community." Vincent said Media Watch would not comment when contacted yesterday by The Weekend Australian.

The Weekend Australian's editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell said: "As usual, Media Watch is off on a political frolic. "The program would be better off asking why more people in the media had not questioned Clare Martin's $80 million spending shortfall in Aboriginal affairs rather than pushing an unfounded allegation against the national daily, the only media outlet committing the sort of resources needed to fairly report the federal Government's intervention."

Papunya council chief executive Rod Richardson said while he did not know the girls personally, he did not have a problem with their names being used if permission was granted. "I didn't hear anyone running around complaining about it," said Mr Richardson, who said he was also contacted by Media Watch in relation to the issue. The same story is the subject of a complaint to the Australian Press Council, with a complainant expressing concern about the "rights of a child who is a member of a vulnerable population".



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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