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Kilroy-Silk Suspended by BBC

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In response to the outcry against his “We Owe the Arabs Nothing” editorial we mentioned a couple of days ago, the BBC has suspended the morning talk show of Robert Kilroy-Silk. What do you expect from the stridently PC BBC, who leave no “oppressed” people uncoddled?

    The TV presenter said he “regretted” the Sunday Express article in which he branded Arabs “suicide bombers, limb amputators, women repressors”.

    But the Muslim Council of Britain’s Iqbal Sacranie said: “He has basically regretted some of the statements… but he has not made a full apology.”

    The BBC has suspended his Kilroy chat show while it investigates the matter.

    ….The Daily Express has defended the article in its sister paper, accusing the BBC of “attempting to stifle open debate”.

    It said the decision to take Kilroy off air was “outrageous” and should be reversed immediately.

    Mr Kilroy-Silk’s statement said: “It was originally written as a response to the views of opponents to the war in Iraq that Arab states ‘loathe’ the West and my piece referred to ‘Arab states’ rather than ‘Arabs’.

    “Out of that context, it has obviously caused great distress and offence and I can only reiterate that I very deeply regret that.”

    ….Judith Vidal Hall, the editor of Index on Censorship magazine, said taking people off air was not the way to tackle racism.

    She told Today: “I don’t think in a country with a free media and a plural society and a commitment to a right of reply, you ever solve anything by banning, removing, censoring.”[BBC]

As I mentioned, Kilroy-Silk made some historical errors and overgeneralized about the perfidy of Arabs and Muslims, but his central point that the political culture of the Arab/Islamic world is rotten to the core and can only benefit from the pressures of the War on Terror is hardly even debatable. The BBC has overreacted, caved obsequiously to Muslim pressure group demands, and accepted the label of “racist” for Kilroy-Silk’s statements, which were “culturalist.”

Also, since he has explained the context of the editorial was the heated immediate post-Iraq-war environment of April – which clears up what he was responding to in the first place – why not take this explanation and his admission that out of context he “regretted” his statements and leave it at that?

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About Eric Olsen

  • HW Saxton Jr

    So this is what Political Correctness is
    leading to? Although he may be guilty of
    overgeneralizations and histrionics,Mr.
    Silk certainly hasn’t done anything that
    Al Jazeera does not do on a daily basis.
    I.E:Vehemently express anti-US feelings
    in particular and disdain for much of
    the Western world in general.Which isn’t
    to say that two wrongs make a right but
    in this case I just don’t see where he
    (Mr.Kilroy-Silk)has done anything that
    wrong, besides being brave enough to
    express an opinion that I hear amongst
    everyday people on an everyday basis.If the same point of view was to be taken
    by any Muslim or Arab in regards to the
    USA,Britain or the rest of the western
    world no one would of said anything,lest
    they be accused of racism or worse.Why
    the double standard and public beheading
    so to speak,of Mr.Kilroy Silk? Like it’s
    been said many times before you do not
    have to agree with the opinion,to agree
    with the right to say it.

  • http://radio.weblogs.com/0120356/ taliesin

    Kilroy-Silk has been a damned fool. But I’m glad you mentioned the initial publication of the story last year, which several media “forgot” to do.

    Now it would seem that the man’s secretary e-mailed it back to the paper by accident! Why they used it again is another question and nobody comes out of this story well. If Kilroy-Silk had any sense, he would stop protesting too much and trying to justify what happened.

    But I agree with you that the BBC has again reacted stupidly, and not for the first time over Iraq- or Arab-related matters in the past year or so. To take the man’s programme off the air is a sign of very shaky judgement in top circles at the Beeb. This would alarm me more than it already does were I not aware that most of the editorial staff who work there remain a darned sight more competent than some of their bosses.

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com jadester

    i dunno, his program isn’t exactly good, maybe they were just looking for an excuse to take it off the air early.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Tally said it, that man, much admired by the Right apparently, behaved like a fool. Now, I hope Mr. European Supremacy sucks it up instead of throwing the world’s biggest tantrum like I suspect he will. (The he-man types are the biggest whiners in the world when the chickens come home to roost.) Unfortunately, Tally did not go far enough. An employer firing a stupid person who also happens to be an employee at will ain’t no big deal. There is no freedom of speech issue here whatsoever. If Jade is right about the guy being talentless, period, that settles it.

  • http://radio.weblogs.com/0120356/ Nick Barrett

    Regrettably, there is a freedom of speech issue.
    The show may be crap, but it is — was — apparently popular. What was idiotically published in the paper had nothing to do with the BBC.
    The man probably will throw a tantrum, given his self-righteousness. There was a time when people were put in the stocks. I guess a modern equivalent might be letting him back on air where those who take issue with him can both tell him so live and throw rotten eggs and fruit if they feel so inclined.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    This happened England.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Oops! ‘In England.’

  • Eric Olsen

    Whether or not it’s a “legal” free speech issue, he has been suspended by one medium for something he wrote in another, unconnected, medium. It is certainly a free speech concern, anyway.

  • http://underconstruction David Brown

    Mr Kilroy Silk may well need criticising but not for what he said about OPPRESIVE ARAB REGIMES. For goodness sake we fought in Afghanistan against the Talliban – an oppressive regime – we have fought and refought Iraq – an oppressive regime. In the case of Sadam Hussein he killed his own people just to see if his gas would work. Young girls can still be shot for having sex outside of marriage and the killer would have no case to answer. Women are mutilated so they cannot enjoy the pleasures of copulation. An Arab female is so far down the pecking order it works thus. Father (supreme head of the household), His sons, His livestock, His revered parents and then just maybe his wife or one of his wives gets to take a share of His food. There is a general anti-western feeling from most of the Arab Countries. Despite the fact that they look to the West to develop their country’s resources and then mistakenly believe that they can run it themselves. I have yet to see a profitable Arab-Run enterprise in Petochemical or Water Distillation that doesn’t have assistance from expatriates to keep it going.

    David Brown

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    If David’s comments aren’t racism, I don’t know what is. Apparently, he thinks there is a white or Christian gene required to distill water, among other inanities. It boggles the mind. Ninety percent of the population of the world is ‘inferior’ people of color, according to the ‘reasoning’ of folks like him. About ten percent are white, and mainly Christian, so they are ‘superior.’ If nonwhites don’t have the ability to live without the guidance of white folks, why are there so many of us? Why did so many nonwhite societies prosper before slavery, colonialism and imperialism? Why do those of us not blinded by bigotry see nonwhite people perform high skill tasks admirably every day?

  • Eric Olsen

    Again, I don’t hear David saying anything about race – he’s talking about a culture. There are all kinds of people of various colors living quite successfully in the Western world, where they partake of its culture. Race isn’t the point, culture is.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    So, cultures that happen to consist of people who are nonwhite and/or not Christians need help from Europeans or Americans, who are, just coincidentally, mainly white? I think the word ‘culture’ is being used as a cover for racism in such semantics. Andrew Sullivan has made the same argument as this twit. But, he comes right out and does the White Man’s Burden dance. That is more honest, I think.

  • Eric Olsen

    The problem under consideration here is specifically Islam, and a particular reading of Islam at that. Race has nothing to do with it, ideology and culture do – Johnny Taliban is every bit as much of a problem as any Sauid or Nigerian fanatical Islamic fundamentalist. And what Kilroy-Silk claims he “meant” to attack was authoritarian, repressive, West-baiting, duplicitous, misogynistic Arab-Islamic regimes.

    I can’t for the life of me fathom why you would defend these regimes, fundamentalist Islam, and terrorists who want YOU all Americans – even the very significant portion of Americans who are not white – just as dead as they want me.

    And what, precisely, does it mean that the non-white cultures of the world got along just fine before colonialism? Just fine in terms of human rights, life expectancy, freedom of thought and action, input into their governing, freedom of innovation, etc?

    The indiginous non-white cultures of the world, it seems screamingly obvious to me, were neither as uniformly in need of “civilizing” as the self-congratulating colonial “white man’s burden” point of view, nor remotely as enlightened, contented and pacific as the preposterous post-colonial view of the world, especially when we consider that this view takes in all of the world other than Europe and its offspring. What exactly about these madly disparate cultures of the world are we defending here? Their “nonwhiteness”? Does this confer upon them some special gift?

    Contact with the Christian West was clearly disastrous for some cultures, but is the world as a whole worse off now than it would have been had the West not expanded its influence as far as possible? Islam’s decline was self-inflicted. China’s decline was similarly self-inflicted by hubris and insularity. India was fundamentally flawed by its rigid social stratification. Wildly varied, mostly warring, tribes dominated Africa, North and South America – there was good, bad and ugly about them, as with all cultures. If you like the modern world better than the world of, say, 1000, then you will say the world is better for European development, modernization and expansion, if you don’t you won’t.

  • Sandra Smallson

    I agree wholeheartedly with Kilroy-Silk and its not the 1st time I have agreed with the fellow in recent months. He was the only one who was brave enough to point out that nobody is to blame for the whole Dr Kelly saga than Dr Kelly himself. All this misplaced political correctness and sympathy belong elsewhere than in matters such as these.

    Women are not even allowed to DRIVE in Saudi Arabia and that is just a minor example to other issues. The only problem with the article was the insertion of the word “all” because clearly not ALL Arabs are from the same school of thought.

    What is even more revealing is the fact that this is a previously published article and it escaped all this outcry when it was initially published. Now, due to the efforts by some to pacify the Arabs due to some misplaced guilt about the Iraq War, the very same article is causing all this uproar. Time has shown that the Arab beliefs are entrenched and nothing can dissuade them from their views. Therefore, pacification is a waste of time and energy. You either accept it or you dont, and if you do not, you should be allowed to say you do not. The right to say such things without fear of having your tongue chopped off is just one of the differences b/w the “liberal” world and the Arab states.

  • Eric Olsen

    HI Sandra, nice to see you back. I agree with you here other than I do not see Arabs as inherently incapable of modernizing and waking the fuck up, although it may take continued events as drastic as the forcible overthrow of Saddam Hussein to jar the recalcitrant into as less medeival worldview. The most recalcitrant, the terrorists, will simply have to be killed or captured.

  • http://www.mildewhall.com peterg22

    It’s a real shame that Kilroy-Silk has gone. Now, who shall be next? The BBC seems to be intent on providing us with a stream of innoffensive, non-controversial pap, and the purging of presenters that speak their mind is just the start. All I can say is, “watch out Richard and Judy!”.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    The miscreant (I shan’t dignify him by referring to him by name) is far beyond a ‘mis-speaker.’ Additional research has shown he has a history of making bigoted remarks. I doubt that his white supremacist views are limited to Arabs and/or Muslims. Watch who you support, Sandra. Though you may share his prejudice against Muslims, there’s no guarantee that he won’t come after other nonwhites, including you, next.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Diva, it’s only “prejudice” if it is PRE judging in an absence of facts. Ill judgments of big parts of current Arab/Muslim culture at this point are based on a WIDE scope of facts on the ground- starting with the fact that there are people from that part of the world actively trying to KILL us.

    Trying to avoid overgeneralization is fine- there are certainly many individuals who don’t fit the overall patterns, but it would be committing suicide for the sake of stupid, ill founded political correctness to PRETEND that part of the world is not SEVERELY dysfunctional and dangerous to US.

    In fact, some cultures are objectively and factually superior to others. You can try to argue over definitions of “superior,” but by any meaningful definition US culture is VASTLY superior to any modern Middle Eastern culture (give or take Israel). We’re better morally, we’re richer, we’re stronger. Overall, it’s not even close.

    Sorry if this hurts the feelings of the nicer, more reasonable Arabs. We’re all trying to be careful to make nice with all those individuals of good will, but they too have to face the facts of the cultural rot around them. They most especially need to understand and renounce the wickedness around them, lest they be sucked into it as well.

    In short, TRUTH TRUMPS SENSITIVITY.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    But, are we better? I don’t think so. Take away the trappings, mainly material things and better health care, and the human beast has not changed in eons.

    Maybe I don’t get the chest thumping because it is a white thing. Seems the desire to declare one’s kind superior has a lot to do with ‘race.’

    Furthermore, what is Al Barger doing meddling in Natalie’s sex life? It boggles the mind.

  • Eric Olsen

    Are better as human beings? If you mean are we inherently worth more in the cosmic scheme of things? No, I don’t believe so: all “men” are created equal in God’s eyes.

    But that doesn’t mean that ways of life, ways of being, ways of social and political organization are all equal. They aren’t, and in that regard Al is right on.

    As far as “chest thumping” being a “white thing” – I mean really. If you look at the actual behavior of chest thumping, I would say caucasians rank only above asiatics on the individual bravado scale. Think about it for a moment. I’m sure I don’t have to give a buch of examples to illustrate this point, and if I do I’ll begin with the bling bling.