By Dan Hodges March 13th, 2014, Telegraph
I’ve just been shown an amazing clip from a BBC programme called Free Speech.
The programme was conducting a live debate last night in the Birmingham Mosque, in which people are invited to submit video clips on various current affairs issues, which are then debated by an invited panel.
One of the questions was from Asifa Lahore, who self-describes as “Britain’s first and only gay Muslim drag queen”. The question Asifa wanted answered was: “When will it be accepted to be Muslim and gay?”
The question was shown, and then just as the panel appeared to be preparing to debate the issue, the BBC presenter Rick Edwards announced, “We were going to debate that question but today after speaking to the mosque they have expressed deep concerns with having this discussion here… so we’ll move on to our next question.”
You can read more detail about what happened in this post from Raheem Kassam.
The program is called “Free Speech”. Its website boasts that “Britain is a democracy where we can say what we want. So let’s say it”.
Let’s say it? Let’s say it unless you’re a gay Muslim appearing on the BBC.
What was the presenter thinking of? What was the producer thinking of? What is the BBC thinking of?
If their hosts wanted to censor the content of the programme they had no business broadcasting from that venue in the first place.
But once they were there and broadcasting they should have carried on the debate, or pulled the plug live.
It’s not the BBC’s job to pander to censorship or prejudice. The corporation has some serious explaining to do.