The slaughter of Lee Rigby

The slaughter of Lee Rigby

BBC blasted for giving airtime to Muslim hate preacher Anjem Choudary

ON Friday, Anjem Choudary, a key figure in the banned extremist group, Al-Muhajiroun, was given 12 minutes of airtime on Radio 4’s flagship Today Programme, during which he refused to condemn the savage killing of drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London, earlier this year.

He was interviewed after Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of the murder of the British soldier.

After the verdict was given, Adebolajo kissed his Koran and raised it in the air. The two devout Muslim zealots will be sentenced next month.

British soldier Lee Rigby and his killers, Michael Adebolajo, centre, and Michael Adebowale

British soldier Lee Rigby and his killers, Michael Adebolajo, centre, and Michael Adebowale

After the verdict, Prime Minister David Cameron said:

The whole country was completely shocked by the murder of Lee Rigby and the whole country united in condemnation of what happened and I’m sure everyone will welcome these verdicts.

Well, not quite.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether he condemned the Woolwich murder, Anjem Choudary said:

I think that what is important is to learn lessons from what has taken place. Whether you agree or disagree with what took place, you cannot predict the actions of one individual among a population of 60 million when the Government is clearly at war in Muslim countries.

I condemn those who have caused what has taken place on the streets of London, and I believe that the cause of this is David Cameron and his foreign policy.

Asked about comments by Al-Muhajiroun founder Omar Bakri Mohammed, who said he was proud of Adebolajo, Choudary said:

He was talking about Brother Mujahid in terms of the fact that he has been invited into Islam, he is a practising Muslim, he is a family man and by all accounts I’m very proud of him as well, but as for the incident we are talking about, something where we differ about is the Islamic opinion that he adopts.

I can’t control what the youth do. The sad reality is that people have cut off individuals like Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, Sheikh Abu Qatada and myself, they ban organisations who are in fact channelling the energy of the youth through demonstrations and processions. These people are now going online, finding al Qaeda, swallowing that narrative and seeing Britain as a battlefield.

The Government’s former anti-terrorism adviser Lord Carlile told Today:

Mr Choudary is a demagogue, he doesn’t like the United Kingdom, he doesn’t believe in democracy. He wouldn’t be allowed to say what he has said in almost any other country in the world, including Muslim countries. I think he is an ­outrageously bad influence on young Muslims in this country.

I think British imams should be more ready than they are to preach the antidote to people like Mr Choudary.

It was later revealed that the BBC used licence payers’ money to ferry Choudary to its studios where he was allowed to spout his “poisonous narrative” over the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby

Prime Minister David Cameron denounced Mr Choudary’s views as “absolutely despicable and appalling” and said he represented a “minority of a minority”.

But despite widespread condemnation of his views, the BBC insisted it had been correct to allow the extremist a platform on one of its most iconic programmes.

The interview was conducted by presenter John Humphrys, but Choudary repeatedly ignored calls to express his condemnation over the terrorist murder, and used the time instead to attack British and American foreign policy in the Middle East.

At one point he said he did not believe in democracy, but insisted he had every right to stay in Britain because it was where he had been born and brought up.

Cameron, speaking at the end of an EU summit in Brussels, said:

This is an absolutely classic case of that poisonous narrative of extremism and violence. We must defeat it by demonstrating what a minority view it is.

John Spellar, the Labour MP for Warley said:

I find it quite extraordinary that someone who is so hostile to British values and so unrepresentative of the Muslim community is endlessly given space by the BBC.

Left wing veteran Diane Abbot also hit out at the decision to allow Mr Choudary on the radio. Writing on Twitter she said:

I am a big believer in free speech. Opposed the war in Iraq etc But WHY give airtime to Anjem Choudary!

The Muslim Council of Britain, which has strongly condemned the Woolwich murder, also criticised the BBC for giving Mr Choudary the “oxygen of publicity”.A spokesman for the group said:

This was a dishonourable act and no cause justifies cold-blooded murder. Mr Choudary is a self-serving publicity seeker and the BBC was unwise to give him so much airtime, unchallenged.

He relies on the oxygen of publicity to influence impressionable young people at the margins of society.

A spokesman for the BBC denied accusations of “lazy journalism” and insisted a great deal of consideration had gone into carrying view points from across the political spectrum.

The spokesman said:

We have a responsibility to both report on the story and try to shed light on why it happened. We believe it is important to reflect the fact that such opinions exist and feel that Choudary’s comments may offer some insight into how this crime came about.

His views were robustly challenged by both the presenter, John Humphrys and by Lord Carlile, the government’s former anti-terrorism adviser.

However while Mr Choudary was on air for more than 12 minutes, Lord Carlile was given less than four minutes to respond.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

29 responses to “The slaughter of Lee Rigby”

  1. Alan Wright says:

    The ‘interview’ was a disgrace because John Humphries didn’t allow the argument to develop, instead focusing on Choudary’s refusal to condemn the murder.

  2. jay says:

    quite a difference from the days when IRA leaders’ voices were overdubbed in newscasts.

    Nonetheless, in this case it’s plain for people to see what kind of crap this guy is actually preaching … a summary by a reporter would not be so direct.

  3. barriejohn says:

    What was even funnier about this – if one can use that term – was that the BBC, in the interests of “balance”, wheeled out some “moderate” old imam who stated that Choudary “wouldn’t have got away with this in a Muslim country”, thus betrayng their view of the freedom of thought and expression that we enjoy in this country (and to which he then alluded, if anyone feels disposed to accuse me of putting two and two together there!).

    And a GREAT cartoon in the Christmas edition of Private Eye – now available from W H Smith and reputable newsagents. One Muzzie to another: “There’d be no need for gender segregation at universities if they just banned women from going there in the first place.”

  4. Har Davids says:

    Send Anjem Choudary to a country like Afghanistan, without any financial support, and give him all the air-time he wants while keeping us up to date on life in a country we should envy for its Islamic way of life.

  5. L.Long says:

    If islame is so wonderful then why are the counties with their theocracy in charge are hellholes no one with a real mind would want to live there? I know a few men who would like to live that way because they hate women and to have legal abuse would be a joy.

    Yes they biggest help in getting people to realize how bad islame is, is to have these dimwitted wankers on the TV.

    We also need to STOP prosecuting these crazed muslins as muslins. They should be called what they are – murderers pure and simple. Calling over attention to the fact they are muslins puts false sense that all muslins are this way. And we know that many are better then their BS religion asks them to be, just like the crazed fundy Xtians, some are better.

    He said…”they ban organisations who are in fact channelling the energy of the youth through demonstrations and processions.”
    Hey how about channeling the youth into jobs-learning-charity work-etc.

  6. Broga says:

    I thought Choudray ran rings round the much vaunted John Humphrys who never laid a glove on him. There is an answer, an effective response, to the murdering Muslims. It is a response that must never be mentioned because it also impinges on the deluge of Christian propaganda in which we are deluged by the media every day.

    The answer is to tackle the problem at its roots. We need a new and enthusiastic approach to rational thought. And that means secularism, atheism and critical analysis of the holy books and the sacred figures who provide the authority for the religious abominations.

    Instead secular contributions are censored by the BBC. Religious figures, even when spouting nonsense are treated with respect. What we need is to tackle these abominations with vigorous criticism and exposure of the nonsense on which they are based. Instead of being allowed to spout their nonsense they should be challenged: what is your evidence; what do you mean by God?Allah; how can any sensible person believe what you are claiming.

    They answer lies in the way people think which affects hoe they behave.

  7. E Thompson says:

    Am I the only one here who thinks the BBC was right to allow Anjem Choudary the opportunity to expose his views to debate? The BBC has a duty to present a balanced range of views. At least Choudary was cross-questioned, and not given the sort of unchallenged pulpit provided to other religious speakers on ‘Thought for the Day’.

    To quote John Milton’s 1644 Areopagitica:
    ” I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. …
    Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates and hearing all manner of reason? And this is the benefit which may be had of books promiscuously read.”

  8. Trevor Blake says:

    Not one word or deed from these three was beyond prediction, nor was it extreme. They did what their religion always has done, following what it has always openly proclaimed. May Islam wither under the twin suns of reason and scorn. In the mean time, prison for the murderers is an act of mercy.

  9. Broga says:

    @E Thompson: Perhaps Choudray had something going for him. If I were a young Muslim, if I knew that other Muslims were being held and tortured in Guantanamo, bombed by drones from the safety of the USA and UK, and that the UK, with Mr T. Blair, devout RC, a leading light in all this I would have a very different opinion.

    I say this still regarding their religion as a plague. Just trying to see the other point of view. And I still don’t see why they should live here as parasites instead of going to one of these countries that follows the rules of which they approve.

  10. Matt+Westwood says:

    I’m worried about the influence these shitheads will have once in jail. Prison is already a breeding-ground for radical Islamism, it can now only get worse.

  11. Broga says:

    @Matt+Westwood: I think the UK has lost the plot in dealing with this nutters. I suppose in prison they will have to be allowed to pray five times a day. Beats me how the warders deal with the situation. They must dread turning up for work every day.

    I would like to see them, preferably individually, confronted with the contradictions and incredibility of what they believe. But I feel the same way about Christianity. Instead we nurture the religious plague with faith schools, an unchallenged platform on the BBC, financial privileges and 26 unelected bishops of the House of Lords. Instead of cauterising the festering sore of religion we are forced to protect it.

  12. Caute says:

    Choudray is not dim witted but probably is an enthusiastic onanist. Choudary is a very revealing example of the dangerous hateful excremental bigot that islam incubates. He will one day, hopefully in the near future, meet his end. I for one will drink a toast in celebration of his demise in the knowledge that there is no heaven for him to befoul. The BBC was right to give him the airtime to demonstrate, to even the slowest intellect, the terrible damage islam inflicts on the human mind. I wager that when Choudary is not vomiting his nasty islamofacist bile he has his hand up his semen stained nightshirt beating away over internet porn babes in ignorance of the fact that the sexually liberated women he drools over would puke up all over him in disgust at the prospect of even being in the same room.

  13. barriejohn says:

    I agree that, as long as he is not himself advocating violence, the fact that Choudary is able to make his obnoxious views known just demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of not just Islam, but religion in general. I remember as a young man, when my parents took the Daily Mirror (a very different kettle of fish to the current rag, as I have stated before), reading an article which stated that The Reverend “Dr” Ian R K Paisley took blindfolded journalists to a secret location at night and showed them large numbers of armed “loyalist” paramilitaries as a warning of what lay ahead if concessions were made to the IRA. He was also photographed marching with hooded paramilitaries. Such a Man of God!

  14. Brummie says:

    Choudray knows how to use brinkmanship. He has the best of both worlds by shitting in his own nest and gaining fame(notoriety) in a western democracy. He will always stay within British law.
    Clever bloke.

  15. Brian Jordan says:

    The BBC should just have given Choudary the Thought for the Day spot. Then he would have got his airing but nobody would have heard him!

  16. Caute says:

    Thug for the day.

  17. Denis says:

    “He relies on the oxygen of publicity to influence impressionable young people at the margins of society.”
    Muslim Society of Great Britain
    Absolutely right. That large and most dangerous group the disaffected.
    Choudhry claims to be a Law graduate, but unsurprisingly has never practised. I wonder how he supports himself in between those pointless, violent outbursts?

  18. Broga says:

    Lee Rigby died an unnecessary and horrible death when he was murdered by two pitiless and determined killers with faith infected brains. It seems to me that he deserves better than for his memory to continue to be used and abused. The churches moved in quickly and the politicians were there as well performing with their usual holier than thou sanctimony.

    We expect that as par for the course. But now we see tattoos displayed with Lee sprouting angels wings and under the aegis of a shield and an emblem of St George. The attempt to conjure up the tragic Lee into a super hero is never going to succeed. And the materials used to achieve his apotheosis seem like tat.

    Is it just me who thinks that the Lee Rigby industry has already gone too far and is doing no service to this decent young msn?

  19. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Thanks for that. It is an interesting comparison with Lee Rigby. I have no idea how religious Lee Rigby was or if, as I suspect, he was at best indifferent to religion. That hasn’t prevented his memory being used, and still being used, as a vehicle to promote religion. The Lee Rigby with angel wings is crass and does nothing for his memory.

  20. barriejohn says:

    Broga: I bet Lee Rigby was “C of E”!

  21. barriejohn says:

    Or maybe not:

    Two surveys conducted by YouGov reveal that out of 8,455 British adults polled, 38 per cent – 3,199 in total – said they have ‘no religion’.

    This is most notable in younger generations, with almost half (48 per cent) of those under 30 identifying themselves as having no religion, while only 27 per cent of over 60s said the same.

    Furthermore, for the first time ever, ‘no religion’ has become the identity of the absolute majority of those aged 18 and 19.

  22. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Encouraging.

    This is an interesting little snippet which rather confirms, I guess, the opinion of most on this site. My son and his family are here for Christmas. I mentioned that a friend of ours had adopted two children aged three and four. The children are Asian, our friends are white.

    “Attitudes have changed so much over the last few years,” my son said. But added, “But not everywhere.” He said he had a friend who was gay and living in a secure relationship with his partner. They are planning, with hopes of success, to adopt a four year old.

    They decided to check out the nearest school. Their nearest school is C. of E. and the response they got, more tacit than stated but clear nevertheless, confirmed their view that they did not want to be gay parents with a child at that school.

    They are both highly paid professionals in secure jobs so they decided to phone, followed by a visit, a private school in the area. One of them said to the headmaster, “We want this stated right from the start. We are gay and living in a secure relationship. Please tell us if you have a problem with that.”

    The headmaster said, “Of course not. We have a number of gay parents with children here already.”

    The C. of E. School have lost a couple who could have definitely been as asset to the school.

  23. Broga says:

    The comments on the article are fun to read. Meanwhile, there is an enlightening profile of the Daily Mail editor in this week’s New Statesman.

    Cameron is a berk. Does he really believe this fantastical nonsense?

  24. barriejohn says:

    Broga: I can’t find that article. Of course, they now have it in for him over press regulation (where I agree with him 100%) and the scurrilous attack on Ed Miliband’s father. Why couldn’t they have just apologized over that? Dacre isn’t on speaking terms with the Mail on Sunday editor now, which is ridiculous for two newspapers in the same stable and sharing the same website, and my feeling is that after a respectful delay he will be “resigning” to pick up a suitable reward from Her Majesty for his paper’s sycophantic support for The Royal Family over the past years. That’s the way that democracy works.

    I love the Mail comments, surpassing anything that one would ever hope to read in the letters pages!

  25. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I must say that the Mail comments are showing some serious form. They must be a problem for the paper which writes articles on the royals or religion and the comments are often antagonistic to the opinion in the article.