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?