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Too many Muslim stories?

Matt Morris | 16:21 UK time, Friday, 6 October 2006

I happened to overhear a BBC editor saying "these Muslim stories are like buses - they all come along at once". I suppose it might have been expressed more sensitively but you get the point - there were a lot of stories about Islam in the news yesterday.

Radio Five Live logoThe editor of the Six O'Clock News on BBC Radio Four said no fewer than ten items in his running order had a Muslim angle. The big one was Jack Straw's comments about women wearing the veil; but there was also Frank Gardner's piece about the radicalisation of Muslims on university campuses and - earlier in the day - much prominence was given to the case of the policeman who asked to be excused duty at the Israeli Embassy. The headlines all said he was a Muslim; but was that really the point? An emailer has suggested that it was far more relevant that his father was Syrian and his wife Lebanese. There was no need to draw attention to his religion.

Is there force in this? Do we jump at the word Muslim too readily, in these days of relentless debate about multi-culturalism? Should we think harder about whether we need to draw attention to those Muslim angles? The team making Victoria Derbyshire's programme on Five Live usually think hard about these matters - even before the emails come in. They were very keen to test the policeman's motives and to tease out the views of his bosses and fellow Muslims.

One of the guests on Victoria's programmes was Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei, who advises the Black Police Association (hear it here). And the Association of Muslim Police Officers also commented. Superintendent Dal Babu suggested (hear that here) it was a welfare issue and the Sun had been wrong when it suggested the policeman had acted on moral grounds. So - overall - the fact that the policeman is a Muslim is a factor in the story and deserves prominence. But we might never know the full details behind his request to be excused duty at the Israeli Embassy - in spite of everything that's been said since the news emerged.


  • 1.
  • At 05:14 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Mark E wrote:

When you consider the fact that Muslims are a small minority of this country they certainly seem to get more then their fare share of attention in the national press.

Many of these stories have resulted in Muslims shouting about how bad they have it in this country and how the entire world is against them.

These muslims are a minority of the Muslim population yet seem to have an opinion on everything and refuse to accept that others can hold opposing views. Most of my muslim friends are sick of all the attention they cause and just wish that they would shut up.

Even on this web site you have a "Muslim panel" that is asked for their thoughts and opinions on these stories - why aren't members of the other religions given the same right to reply. Just because it is a Muslim issue doesn't mean that members of other religions don't have a view.

  • 2.
  • At 05:16 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • James wrote:

The sensationalist coverage of Jack Straw's comments are an embarassment - this is the BBC not the Sun.

  • 3.
  • At 05:20 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Mark E wrote:

When you consider the fact that Muslims are a small minority of this country they certainly seem to get more then their fare share of attention in the national press.

Many of these stories have resulted in Muslims shouting about how bad they have it in this country and how the entire world is against them.

These muslims are a minority of the Muslim population yet seem to have an opinion on everything and refuse to accept that others can hold opposing views. Most of my muslim friends are sick of all the attention they cause and just wish that they would shut up.

Even on this web site you have a "Muslim panel" that is asked for their thoughts and opinions on these stories - why aren't members of the other religions given the same right to reply. Just because it is a Muslim issue doesn't mean that members of other religions don't have a view.

  • 4.
  • At 05:36 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Ritter wrote:

I think you are probably (just) ahead of broad public opinion on this issue (too many muslim stories?). On a recent BBC News website 'Have Your Say' board regarding the recent speech by the Pope, the second most 'recommended' comment was "oh look, muslims are up in arms. again." indicating perhaps that there is a slight weariness emerging at the regularity of stories in this area.

Pope meets Muslim envoys: Your reaction

Similar comments appear on the Have Your Say board regarding the recent muslim police officer's request to be moved from duty outside the Israeli embassy.

News is news though and undoutedly, Matt Morris has articulated correctly that the BBC was right to report on all the recent stories.

However the 'bus' effect of some, several, many or most muslims being 'angry' or 'offended' at someone (e.g. Pope, Straw et. al.) or something (e.g. cartoons, crosses, school uniform etc) with increasing regularity means that these stories are slowly ceasing to become 'newsworthy'. Much like a 'dog bites man' story, they will naturally start to fall down the running order.

It seems strange to me for a politician to say he needs to see the face of someone and that it aids communication. I see politicians faces all the time, they say one thing, do another . . . showing your face doesn't always mean honesty and integrity - does Jack Straws uncomfortableness say more about him than about muslim women who choose to wear the covering?

  • 6.
  • At 06:02 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Rob Davies wrote:

I suspect that stories with a Muslim angle are increasing in direct proportion to the increase in the Muslims' population size and spread in this country. For instance, who would have thought the BBC would one day be covering a story of racial conflict in, of all places, Royal Windsor? Who would have guessed that the local dairy there would be taken over by Muslims who, in addition to bottling milk, would also be keen to establish an Islamic education centre and mosque there, to the horror of at least some local people. Whenever there are stories in the mainstream media about conflict with Islam, a major factor in the debate is missing, and that is the perception, real or imagined, by many native Brits that the Muslim population is increasing sharply in number and that our country is being steadily Islamicised.

  • 7.
  • At 06:36 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • umar tosheeb wrote:

Islam sells these days.Anything and everthing about Islam is a controversy these days.West has gotten involved in Islam so much, that they should not be distrubed by these things now.I guess in Cold War days there must be these many stories about Soviet-Union. Islam is different because it is an Uma. And countries coulnt less than religion. I guess a story about Italy would be an Italian story, but a story from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan all would be Islamic.

  • 8.
  • At 07:05 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Steve Hughes wrote:

Everytime I hear a muslim representative on the radio complaining about a lack of representation, and how no one understands their way of life.. I wonder how much Muslims know of the way of life in places like the Scottish Highlands, or the Borders - or any of the other places that get no represntation on the news!

  • 9.
  • At 07:55 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Kara wrote:

The problem is that just about anything a Muslim does nowadays (especially if it is negative) seems to constitute news. But most of it shouldn't be published because it is irrelevant and just serves to distort the public's view of Muslims. Since news editors pick and choose what to publish and both Muslim and non-Muslims are sick of hearing these stories, then why does the BBC continue to publish them? The BBC editors are not using good judgment.

No not enough!

Trouble is 99% are shown through the Beebs left wing prism of Islam can do no wrong - Muslims are hard done by etc.

No wonder "Angry young muslims" are being radicalised!

And the rest of us turning off the BBC and looking to right wing politians for the answers!

  • 11.
  • At 08:19 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Sara M wrote:

I think both the excusing of the Muslim policeman from guarding the Israeli Embassy and Jack Straw's comments about the veil are non-issues. I am certain that Mr. Straw had no intention of criticizing or insulting Muslim women who wear the veil, but was merely stating an obvious point - namely, that this form of dress will of necessity prevent integration into British and Western society in general. I actually think his comments should be seen as helpful and contributing to a better understanding among different communities. In general it seems to me that the problem with this story is the angle - the important point was the meeting with members of the Muslim community, and this comment should not have been singled out for special publicity.

  • 12.
  • At 08:21 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Considering that we are in the middle of World War III or is it World War IV, "The War on Terror" and that radical wings of Islam are at war with the rest of the Islamic world and with the outside world at the same time, it should hardly be surprising that there will be a lot of stories about Islam most days. Does anyone think the staff of BBC complained that there were too many stories about World War II while it was being fought? What a bunch of crybaby pantywaists BBC has devolved into. Stop complaining about the news and just report it BBC... and while you're at it, try to make it accurate and objective for a change.

  • 13.
  • At 11:25 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Dave democrat wrote:

Would it be unlawful or discriminatory to have a white police officers association? Like the letter of Mark E, most of my friends are sick to death of radical muslims pushing the boundaries of everything English.Muslims are a minority, and the majority of English people hold the post reformation belief that a persons relationship with his god is a matter for him and no one else. I do not want my whole lifestyle culture background history and tradition diluting on every front by any religion. If it is unacceptable for a youth in a shopping centre to wear a hoody, or me to wear a balaclave in the bank, it should be unacceptable for anyone to totally hide their face in public. I am not a racist, I just believe in a level playing field, This is my England, and I readily accept gradual change, but not at the rate things are being rammed home at the moment. I am afraid that if our radical friends keep pushing they will find that they hit a brick wall from the silent majority.

  • 14.
  • At 11:41 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Sumiah Aduib wrote:

As a Muslim in America, I turn to the BBC for accurate reporting on the Muslim world.
That said, I do see how frustrating it could be for the rest of the non-Muslim world to listen to story after story with "Muslim angles".
Yet currently the Muslim world is one of the most critical and pivotal areas in the world making what happens to Muslims in the UK as well as worldwide seemingly newsworthy.
I do think it is overdone at times. Sometimes a story wouldn't even be a story of the person involved wasn't Muslim.

  • 15.
  • At 11:42 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Sumiah wrote:

As a Muslim in America, I turn to the BBC for accurate reporting on the Muslim world.
That said, I do see how frustrating it could be for the rest of the non-Muslim world to listen to story after story with "Muslim angles".
Yet currently the Muslim world is one of the most critical and pivotal areas in the world making what happens to Muslims in the UK as well as worldwide seemingly newsworthy.
I do think it is overdone at times. Sometimes a story wouldn't even be a story of the person involved wasn't Muslim.

  • 16.
  • At 01:11 AM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

There is a problem here that is showing signs of not being capable of resolution in a peaceful way: it amounts to far more than the wearing of veils.
We have a minority in our midst that has already committed mass murder rather then accept our democracy. Furthermore their first loyalty is not to Britain and some of their leaders have been lukewarm in condemning their actions. The British people, who are very slow to take action, are beginning to show their displeasure.

  • 17.
  • At 01:50 AM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Shauncey Stephen wrote:

I just wanted to say if Muslims have so much problems in Uk or for that matter in any european or western country and their poor souls are facing discrimination as a minority, why dont you shed some light on Muslim countries on how they treat other minorites for example Christians, hinuds, etc. None of the muslim countries have any human rights or any religious freedom, yes to the west they chant that Islam is peaceful religion, but infact it is a religion of deception, a whole corrupt system in which 2 billion people beleive in and physically and emotionally damage and destroy other religions on a international level.

  • 18.
  • At 02:19 AM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Dave L wrote:

I see you haven't posted my last comment on this, despite the fact it was correct and proper.

There is no doubt now that the anti-Islamic rhetoric is being ramped up by to Bushco and his media supporters (Fox, AP) intending to bring the Iran situation to a head for the mid term elections.

Generate some fear and hatred etc, and we can see what the effects are with the woman who had the veil ripped from her head in Liverpool today.

Straw is not producing these stories, the right wing press is, and the BBC simply echoes what line the big boys in the states are pushing.

It's time editors on the BBC looked at what they parrot in a bit more depth, or we will all be led to disaster by these warmongering crazies.

For the good of the UK and the US.

  • 19.
  • At 06:53 AM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Mark William wrote:

I think I couldn't agree mpre with the previous post. Muslims seemed to be getting over-publicity especially in these last few years. But at the same time also symphatize them for the simple reason that most of the publicities are negatives. I'm not into conspiracy theory but somehow I feel that there is a concerted effort to paint a negative picture towards Muslims. To give you example when a Christian or a Jew has committed a crime than it is he who is guilty and nothing is mentioned about his religion. If a Muslim committed the same thing than the headline would be something along the line of "A Muslim guy has committed this and that". I mean what his religion has to do with his crime. Perhaps we should be fair with with how are we presenting our reports so as not to demonize other groups than our own.

  • 20.
  • At 09:25 AM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Colin Tozer wrote:

Yes there is far too much prominence given to Muslims and the issues. Why do you give so much 'air' time to them? They are a tiny (albeit vociferous) minority, but you seem to seek out Muslim issues and the reactions of Muslims to every lttle issue so feeding the fire, as it were. Why do you have a 'Muslim Panel'? Where is the Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist panel? Why is HYS always got to have so many Muslim issues? I'm very angry about a number of political issues, but you don't seek me out for my reaction in the same way. The BBC MUST go back to reporting the facts in a measured, calm unbiased way, and STOP CREATING THE NEWS.

  • 21.
  • At 03:34 PM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Aaron McKenna wrote:

This is what happens when the world, or at least the media, falls over itself to represent the views of a minority within a minority to the extent that it would appear, if you stacked up the amount of media coverage for example relating to Muslims, that they are the vast majority of the people.

Frankly this level of coverage is becoming dull and repetitive - just like we become fatigued by wars, famines and strife so that they are no longer interesting to pay attention to, this focus on the Muslim community is tiring people out.

Just because a minority happens to be a vocal one does not mean that they should get the lions share of the coverage, at the expense of the silent majority. Have we forgotten that people of other backgrounds have problems in their lives as well? I think if we stacked up what was really important to the vast majority of people in their daily lives the news would have a much heavier focus towards issues of health and policing.

Don't ignore the minorities and their problems, but waking up to "Some Muslims Screaming About Something Else" doesn't do the majority of the Muslim community any favours, it doesn't do your news coverage any favours and it sure doesn't do the rest of us in and around this country any good.

  • 22.
  • At 03:37 PM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Chris Harker wrote:

The media directs national focus and, unfortunately, the media seems more and more willing to push the race card. Anything involving two people of difference race/culture is portrayed as racist - can a black person and a white person not simply disagree with each other without "racist" being shouted across the rooftops?

The Muslim Panel is an excellent example - Muslims are a small minority of this countries population and yet they are given a soapbox on the largest news website online? Why aren't other religions given a say? Where's the Christian Panel?

I have one question for the panel: What DOESN'T cause a Muslim uproar?

There is a hidden agenda to all of these Muslim-related stories and I believe it has one reason behind it - to sell news.

  • 23.
  • At 04:04 PM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Nerys Madhavan wrote:

You don't have to post this...

I would just like to comment that I wrote my oppinion yesterday about the Catholic teaching on 'limbo'.

It was not posted, even though I am a Christian, and was giving info on what the bible says about this subject.

All the other posts where obviously written by non religious people, and a Muslim was also allowed to say what she belived on this subject.

Now I thought that Catholic was supposed to be Christian....So don't you think that a Christian's oppinion would have been interesting enough to post?

BBC, please stop being afraid of hearing from 'other' voices in this country....

  • 24.
  • At 10:56 PM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Ragnar wrote:

It would help if the likes of the world service did not try and find a "muslim angle" to virtualy EVERY topic it covers.

I HATE football, but during the recent world cup, which team, were followed? Iran.

Womens hour "Muslim women and football".

Science "What do the muslims think of Mars exploration".

Money programme "What is the Saudi view".

The ticket, "the lates films out of XYZ muslim country/director etc"


What the HEL has the fact that he is "muslim" got to do with it?

Music shows NEVER fail to have a "special selection of middle Eastern music" included in their 3/4 hour.

etc, etc, ad infinitum.

  • 25.
  • At 04:50 AM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

You are likely to attract more attention than usual:
if you startle people, and make them feel uneasy, by going around dressed in black from head to foot (including face)
if you blow up fellow Britons because you do not accept democratically determined foreign policy, and your leaders are lukewarm about condemning your actions.
It is not really surprising.
Any religion, that feels left out, now knows what to do.

  • 26.
  • At 08:08 AM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Tony P wrote:

Its the fundamentalists in the minority who shout the loudest. Most Muslims are tolerant and peace loving.

Unfortunately, it has come to the point where the rest of the muslims have to complain less about feeling persecuted.

Instead, they must do more to make it clear to the world that the vocal few who slant world opinion do not represent the muslim community as a whole, and do not act or speak on behalf of Islam.

  • 27.
  • At 10:58 AM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Rachel Sidery wrote:

I am not a muslim but I do feel that if wider society is made aware of multi-cultural issues and religion specific ones, for example the existence and influence of Ramadhan, ethnic minority groups (for want of a better description) will feel that their cultural values are recognised and, to some extent understood and the kind of resentment that builds up to create fundamental extremism can be dissappated. It is time that the british public realise that we are a multi-cultural, multi-religious society that needs to be able to discuss issues openly about religion and culture without being censored by the 'politically correct'.

  • 28.
  • At 11:00 AM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

With regard to the police story, I think it was irrelevant that the officer in question was a muslim.

Here we have an officer, assigned to protect the Israeli embassy, who has family in a war zone. The family of this officer could have been used to coerce this officer to provide information that could have been useful to anyone targetting the embassy, which should have been regarded as a high value target. For me, the story here is the poor level of judgement exercised by this officers management in assigning him to this role.

The fact that the officer concerned had to ask to be reassigned reflects well on the officer, but calls into question the competence of his superiors.

What exactly does that have to do with the officers religion?

  • 29.
  • At 11:16 AM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Darren wrote:

Dear Sir,
Given the friction and the problems with moslem migration, why does the country keep the asylum door? Look at how Paris burned, I thought it was the absolute hellish scenario if we don't control the asylum claims.
I have known many professionals leaving the country because of the increasing social tension in the UK.
MPs are amking the problems worse by compromises.

  • 30.
  • At 12:57 PM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Heather wrote:

It's mass hysteria. Whenever Islam is even mentioned in a news story there's outrage, condemnations, misrepresentations, sweeping generalisations and knee-jerk reactions. It's like logic and rationality are obsolete when it comes to this issue. I agree, there should be less focus on the religion aspect and more on the facts.

  • 31.
  • At 01:14 PM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • P Roache wrote:

Could someone at the BBC kindly explain why Barbara Plett is garbed in Pakistani traditional dress when reporting for the BBC. When she was in Israel she did not wear the dress of the ultra-religious Jewish women...whilst grieving on air over the death of Yasser Arafat

  • 32.
  • At 10:07 PM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • RobC wrote:

"I suppose it might have been expressed more sensitively but you get the point"

That's insufficiently 'sensitive'? how so? What possible offence could that expression cause to any reasonable person?

Your quoted BBC editor did NOT need to be more sensitive - but maybe you need to worry a little less.

  • 33.
  • At 02:15 AM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Nafees wrote:

The only sure way of getting media attention is to say or do something against islam or muslims, and every second person is doing that, including J Straw. Why not just let us live with our faith?

  • 34.
  • At 07:00 AM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Sami wrote:

I can't help, but laugh myself until I forget what I was laughing about. Before I say anything else, I would like to say I am a muslim (oh no, I think someone just took a picture of me). I have a view on everything in this life, who isn't? I became really became disappointed on how my religion was introduced to the wider audience on 9/11. Most of western societies, didn't have a clue of what Islam is before that. If you ask a non-muslim now, and say to them what is the first word that comes to their mind when they hear 'Islam', most of them will reply 'Terrorist', when they should reply 'Peace', because thats what it is all about.

I get annoyed when I open up a newspaper and read that a muslim should do this and a muslim had done that. It feels like it never ends. I know there are bad muslims, but most muslims are good law abiding citizens. But when someone offends me and my way of life, I would certainly take a stand and defend myself and my way of life. I do not push anyone to follow my way of life, instead I ask them to respect it and as I would respect theirs. I may not agree with your life, like you may not agree with my life, as long neither one of us hurts society, then we should respect one another. Everyone has the right to express their freedom (including me). Just as long as it does not hurt anyone.

  • 35.
  • At 07:06 AM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Kathryn Pollard wrote:

In the Melbourne Age I noticed recent reports about taxi drivers not being prepared to transport blind drunk people and blind people with guide dogs who are drunk or sober.
Life’s a dog.
Other taxi drivers are reported as refusing to taxi people carrying alcohol outside their bodies even if they are sober.
Them's the brakes of living in an exceptionally tolerant society they say.

Then there's talk to of Melbourne taxi drivers being banned from speaking about controversial issues other then the weather and sport.
And, some folk say that the business of taxi drivers refusing to transport blind people with guide dogs and drunks is related to religious beliefs.
Jiminy Crickets!

  • 36.
  • At 10:31 AM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Mark E wrote:

"The only sure way of getting media attention is to say or do something against islam or muslims, and every second person is doing that, including J Straw. Why not just let us live with our faith? "

The thing to remember is we don't have to live with your faith. Faith is a private thing for most people, if the vocal muslims stop hitting us around the head with their faith then I suspect that the vast majority of this people will be a lot happier.

I don't care what faith you are, you can be Muslim, Christian or a devil worshiper it makes NO difference to me. However, what does make a difference is when issues which otherwise seem to be unimportant suddenly become very important just because Muslims are involved.

This country has gone over the top with political correctness. We as a society feel that Muslims have to have attention otherwise we are not being fair to them. Muslims have protested outsite churches making remarks about Jesus. Could a Christian abuse Muhammed outside a Mosque, without being arrested? NO

  • 38.
  • At 12:14 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Ray wrote:

This ws circulated on the web a while ago, and expresses my sentiments about this quite well...

IMMIGRANTS, NOT BRITON'S, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on London, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits. However, the dust from the attacks has barely settled and the politically correct" crowd begin complaining about the possibility that our patriotism is offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Britain. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of London being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Britons, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.

This culture has been developed over centuries of wars, struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language! "In God We Trust" is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, Because God is part of our culture. If St. George's cross offends you, or you don't like " A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY,OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or

Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great British freedom, "THE RIGHT TO LEAVE". If you aren't happy here then go elsewhere, we didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it. I

  • 39.
  • At 02:52 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Sarah wrote:

I think BBC journalists and editors need to get out more, especially out of London. Have a look at the real UK, where people's lives aren't dominated by religon, but by issues like health, education and taxation. The fact that the Jack Straw veil story led all of last Friday was appalling. It was an insignificant story, fed in by a contact with their own agenda, swallowed whole by the media, and then added to by Prescott on Sunday. Pathetic.

  • 40.
  • At 03:21 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Dean-Adrian Evans Jnr wrote:


My personal opinion on this "too many muslims story" is simple and i feel the problem lies where u have too many people having too many opinions and not enough facts, i personally have never come across a country where its citizens critize with out considering what the consiquences are and will be, personally i am some times ashamed to be human, i wonder when i look at my nephews and young children, what type of world are we the generation who have the ability to change what needs to be changed in order to obtain peace, what are we going to leave the next generations to come.
so next time ask your self is it fair?

  • 41.
  • At 03:59 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

Since the Muslim community is much the same size as the gay community, can we look forward to an informative feast of gay editorial content in your current affairs programmes?

No, I didn't think so.

  • 42.
  • At 05:01 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

I think Paul has the point exactly right. A lot of news stories would make more sense if they talked about Lebanese or Pakistani (or whatever) descended brits.

Why should people be classed by their ancestral religion? There must be quite a few secular people with Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds who do NOT want to have their local cleric claiming to be their voice.

Put it another way: I may be culturally Christian, but if I did something newsworthy I would not expect some self-appointed 'Christian community leader' (Dr Paisley?) to be interviewed to explain or justify my actions.

  • 43.
  • At 05:22 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Tony Hannon wrote:

#10 - Tim, says as the BBC looks at these Muslim stories through the left wing prism etc and he then goes to right wing politicians for the answers.

More fool you Tim. The BBC isn't left wing - just like the majority of people, the "Beeb" is merely to the left of you and you're clearly left behind.

I am sick to the back teeth of Muslim non-stories dominating the media. I would hate to be a Muslim in present day UK with moron after moron lining up on my behalf to denounce reactionary moron after ill-informed moron speaking against my religon.

These stories seem never about normal Muslims and they never seem to raise the level of debate and understanding - merely reduce it to the base and simplistic level.

  • 44.
  • At 05:24 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Liz wrote:

Yes, I'm sick and tired of endless stories about "Muslims behaving badly", such as overreacting to the Straw statement (which got ramped up out of all proportion as though he were proposing a ban on veils, which he clearly wasn't). Also, journalists are so lazy - why don't they actively seek out 'moderate' Muslim opinion rather than having the usual bunch of nutters on speed-dial? Why don't they go find some non-veiled Muslim women and ask them whether they feel pressurised by women in niquabs acting "holier than thou"?

  • 45.
  • At 10:21 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • john wrote:

The BBC has at last destroyed its record of reporting impartialy and telling the truth.
The time is now. to get rid of political editors, and get back to that old fashioned person a Reporter.
They were the people that reported facts and attempted to give the facts whithout embelishment.

Today we are assailed by the personality Political Editor attempting to put his own personality into the reports and expectind to be believed that he is impartial in his reporting.

  • 46.
  • At 12:35 AM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Jack Maclean wrote:

One must assume that the polive officr's background was fully vetted, and if so, why did his duties involve the protection of Iraeli govermental personnel? Maybe any concerns were cowered by 'islamophobia' or some other 'discrimination' wrap. And it was only with the war and the sharply mounting casualties that the possible consequencies of any family vunerability - or perhaps, other idealogical factor, forced his removal.

  • 47.
  • At 02:47 AM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • C. Alexander Brown wrote:

All Things Must Pass. And will.

  • 48.
  • At 03:38 AM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Harun Abd As-Sami wrote:

No publicity is bad publicity... as they say.

  • 49.
  • At 08:59 AM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • L Heywood wrote:

It is not the fault of either the press or the British public that Islam dominates the news. No other sector of our society goes out of its way to court publicity than moslems. Witness Stop the War marches with its controversial banners. The old CND was a peaceful organisation which wanted to stop wars full stop. The new generation however doesn't want to stop wars, merely to direct wars the way they want them to go. Really peaceful people are the Armish, Christian nuns, for example, who practice peace. Moslems however talk peace whilst practicing terror. Covering a woman's face does not make her modest if, from behind the veil she is beligerent, undemocratic, defiant, aggressive etc.

  • 50.
  • At 09:47 AM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • RobC wrote:

Ray [Comment 38], 'In God We Trust' isn't our national motto, it's the USA's national motto. And 'a fair go' is what you expect to get in Australia.

Perhaps you need to learn a little more about the country you claim to be living in ...

  • 51.
  • At 12:49 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Hope Full wrote:

Yeah. leave us alone!

  • 52.
  • At 01:41 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Roger wrote:

I believe the most illuminating aspect of these debates is the lack of any stlwart support of muslims from folk who normally spring to the defence of any group usually attacked in the media. It would suggest that being negative about islam and muslims is an acceptable prejuidice. This is not an informed debate or an open discussion this is a creeping malaise that acts as a recruting sergeant for extremes

  • 53.
  • At 02:12 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Mezaan wrote:

I was taken aback when reading Jack straw's views on the Veil. More so it is appalling to see "the have your say section" filled with insensitive, and ingenous reflection on Jack Straw's comments. I don't think Jack straw meant it insensitively. But I think the "general" mob reaction to his comments are falsifying his intended message. To those mob, I say , why should you expect women of another faith to compromise values that your society cherished not but only a century ago ? Modest dress code has being part of this society for a very long time, until we have sold our rationale to nihilists. I am amazed at the level of double standard treatment present in the so-called democratic western society. Just because westerners no longer have any sensibilities of modesty, and continue to approve social decadence in the name of "freedom", why should we expect the same for the muslim women or the amish women or even the mormon women ? Kudos to the muslims and the moderates, who stand by the rights of these women as they try to practice their faith, unadulterated by flimsy western nihilistic concerns ! Perhaps British society should focus more on addressing "whorish-britany-spear -plunging-neck-line-butt-crack-low-rider" dress code that is making the West a culture of immodesty and promiscuity. Talk about distraction !! We should really stop pretending that this society is making progress. British morals have eroded, let's not try to dictate what others should or shouldn't do.

  • 54.
  • At 03:07 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • MAYousaf wrote:

I think some of the people who are posting their views on this topic's underlying subject - Islam - should learn a little more about the subject matter that they're giving their two pence worth on. Muslims don't ask for publicity.. it's the media who continually keep them on the front page and in the headlines. Ignorance breeds ignorance. Educate yourselves with an impartial view and an open mind.
Muslims are not against dialogue and debate but why is it that when some elements in the western social and political world talk about debate it has to be by first insulting and then appeasing?!? How can you expect to have a debate when you insult someone? As for the veil... it is a free choice made from wee will. I mean, if a female wants to dress like a male and have a bald head there is no problem or if a man wants to dress like a woman that is also accepted, so why can't a woman protect her modesty? What we need is mutual respect and education on issues. Islam is not to blame for the problems that are going on at the moment. Rather this is due to some fringe element who us the religion for their own purposes. Islam is a complete way of life and the Prophet (pbuh) taught Muslims to respect all faiths. Islam is peacefull relgion and has coexisted with other faiths since the beginning of time. Christians and Jews and all major religions such as Hinduism are seen as being 'people of the book'. We all share one common God. And we are all the children of Adam (pbuh) So please let's work on this for the sake of God and our humanity.

  • 55.
  • At 03:34 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Nik wrote:

It is ridiculous to talk about 'Muslims' as if everyone who is a Muslim holds the same views and behaves in the same way. I am fed up of hearing arguments like 'look at how Muslims behave towards Christians in other countries' and phrases like 'I'm not racist, but...'. It's time we learned to gt our facts straight, think rationally and stop repeating the same ignorant drivel that's been doing the rounds in various guises for decades. People are all different - get over it!

  • 56.
  • At 09:50 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Bill wrote:

What should be address is what the real reason for the amount of coverage and expansion of BBC news services to Iran and elsewhere are for. The British and European governments are afraid of the growing Muslim populations in their countries whose loyalty is to an outside religion and Islamic nation idea first and then to the host country (if at all). There is fear of the damage an uprising similar to that in Paris last year.

  • 57.
  • At 05:27 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

I am amazed that any ethnic minority is so brazen to complain about the liberty afforded them. If Britain had no refugee or immigration policy then these minorities would suffer much more in their own country.

Why apply to come here & then play the victim, threat, retaliate game. It is absurd; no wonder the majority of British subjects are up in arms about the behaviour of some ethnic minorities. Humility is the key ingredient here; enjoy the opportunity that has been afforded.

If acts of violence like the London bombings continue then Britain will be justified in viewing the perpetrators as a major risk & as such are free to apply counter measures.

How many non ethnic British subjects have bombed ethic institutions & killed a whole heap of people?

Can we see the day when Britain will say to refugees you are not welcome anymore? That would be a shame, however one does wonder if Britain will be forced to do so.

  • 58.
  • At 10:10 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Kev wrote:

In response to Ray (#38) - Unless Britain really has become the 51st State, "In God We Trust" is not the national motto of the UK, nor was this country "founded by Christian men and women". You appear to have taken a piece of US literature that has been editied to include references to the London bombings.

  • 59.
  • At 10:15 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Charles wrote:

It's amazing how Muslims are so sensitive no one can [seemingly] have discuss or have any meaningful ideological debate with them. When one visits Muslim countries they are supposed to conform with Islamic institutions even if they don't subscribe to those beliefs. Yet Muslims who reside in secular Britain expect and demand that the country kow-tow to their systems of belief. That is pure arrogance. A secular society is like a keyboard. There are different notes and keys which interact at various times to create harmony. If all keys are played at the same time there is discord - cacophony. So cannot all continue to sing from an Islamic song sheet.

  • 60.
  • At 02:11 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

It seems likely that we will have many more Muslim stories in the days to come.
The element that spawned the British mass murderers of British people will not have vanished into thin air.

They have already cost Britain millions of pounds in security provision. They will still be active pressing for the advancement of their religious interests: sometimes in a small way such as persuading women to wear veils: an increase in the number of women doing so is probable.

  • 61.
  • At 03:13 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Peter Bolt wrote:

The Muslims living in the UK will continue to figure prominently in the news for many years to come. For the first time since 1066 we have in England a substanstial population with a different religion,cultural background and social order.
Almost every aspect of British life is and will continue to be affected.
As long as the Muslims seek to express themselves and their views publicly they will be "newsworthy".
It is "the man bites dog" syndrome.

  • 62.
  • At 07:55 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Sam wrote:

In Answer to Ray #38

That quote was bordering on the extreme, but if you take out all the Christian rubbish and the national motto rubbish most of the rest of it is true. To reiterate 'in god we trust' is not our national motto we're not yanks and we certainly were not founded by christians on the conterary we were founded by paegan celts and saxon barbarians.

Anyway i do agree with the emphasis on Englishness (notice i said Englishness and not Brtishness it is still allowed isn't it?) and the thing about learning the language and basically saying 'how dare you be offended by our culture we are proud of England its great thats why your here in the first place adapt' is all true.

You see i think that it is deeply damaging to have a multicultural society becuase culture isn't a religeon its somthing that unites the people of a country and if all the people there have a diffeent culture then there is no country just a bunch of people standing near each other. Multiracial/religeous whatever yes multicultural no.

If you go to New York all the Asian/Arab taxi drivers have 'god bless America' on stickers on there windscreens they are proud to be American and although i hate to agree with America they got this right. Could you imagine that here? Thats how it should be.

Everyone who lives in England should love this country and be proud of it and integrate.

  • 63.
  • At 09:46 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Umm Yusuf wrote:

I have two points:

It seems to me that 'Islam'/'Muslims' will be very much in the media spotlight from now until/if the 'war on terror' ceases to be because unlike other wars, this war is largely being conducted by/in the media as a clash between Western & Islamic civilisation, so these stories are just 'evidence' of this perceived clash. Aferall, Muslims have been around for over fourteen hundred years -they didn't suddenly pop up post 9/11!

And, while the 'English'ironically complain about their 'horror' at the not-spread-by-the-sword Islamicisation of Britain, the Muslims complain about the more-often-than-not-undemocratic Westernisation (and/or military -UN/NATO- occupation) of so-called 'Muslim countries' -perhaps both sides need to focus not on our differences but on the positive aspects of the 'other' and the things in common that we share so that we can ALL live in peace?! I say this as an half-English Muslim!

  • 64.
  • At 10:15 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Mark E wrote:

I find it odd that the same "Muslim leaders" who attack free speach and freedom when it comes to the "Mohammed cartoons" or the Pope's speach or anything else which goes against their own narrow world view then fall back on it when it suits them.

It seems that in the eyes of these Muslim leaders who don't seem to speak for anyone but themselves only feel that free speach should be allowed if it conforms to their world view. They talk of free speach the way dictators do - "you can say what you like as long as it is what we tell you to believe". This is not a Muslim country and blind following of Muslim teachings is not going to happen here and they will have to accept that and not kick up a fuss when things don't go their way.

Jack Straw hasn't told women wearing the veil to remove it, he has asked them to. And he is well within his rights to. Covering your face when you talk to someone is not only considered rude in this country but also intimidating, respect for cultures has to go both ways. Some Muslims wish us to respect their culture (and wearing the veil is a cultural thing not a religious thing) yet seem unwilling to show us the same respect.

The vast majority of Muslims in this country are good people who have great respect for those around them, however the impression we get is shaped by those who shout the loudest and cause the most problems.

  • 65.
  • At 11:18 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Ayesha S wrote:

Mark E offers a prime example of why these stories need to be reported.

'When you consider the fact that Muslims are a small minority of this country they certainly seem to get more then their fare share of attention in the national press.' What would their 'fair share' be, then? As a Muslim woman, I feel completely non-represented in all media forms. Infact, even the material ABOUT Muslims in the media assume that their audience is exclusively non-Muslim. When you bring into that equation racial (i.e. non-white) identities, then the situation becomes even more bleak.

I wonder also who Mark is referring to when he talks about 'these muslims', who 'have an opinion about everything', is it the veiled muslims? the terror suspects? or is it all one and the same now?

  • 66.
  • At 06:53 PM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Nicola wrote:

Yes! Please!
Thank you Matt Morris wherever you are. Clearly the world has found less and less to discuss and nothing of real interest if we all keep going back to the age-old religion banter.

It's boring. Wear whatever you want, bow down to Santa Claus if you wish. We live in the US and like most people here we're more afraid of what Bush is going to do next, not muslims. Try terrorists perhaps....or bible-beating protestants, or our own child stalkers on the Hill, or people in Utah that are training their kids to be Christian 'warriors' with war-paint and all. How's that for religious talk? Agreed, ready to move on already.

Less Muslim stories? Please! Two words for those that aren't bored yet, cheap-shot. Yawn-fest.

  • 67.
  • At 10:19 AM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Mark E wrote:

Ayesha, I might not have made it clear from my message that the muslims I was talking about were the ones who make the most noise. The ones who constantly protest when things don't go their own way.

However, the fact remains that for a small population in this country Muslims make a lot of noise. Especially when you consider that this is not even the wise of the majority of muslims (well based on the ones I have met) who just want to "live and let live".

Of course the media targets it's news stories to non-muslim audiences - this is a non-muslim country the vast majority of the population is non-muslim, it would be stupid for the main stream media to assume otherwise. That is not to say that there is not media which is more targeted, I have seen papers and heard of radio channels which target muslim audiences. Do you honestly believe that the media should assume a muslim audience?

Some members of the muslim community (a tiny minority) expect the best of all worlds - they wish the right to free speach when it comes to attacking the western way of life however, they also wish us to be denied that right when it comes to attacking things that are sacred to them.

The problem is that this vocal minority is starting to shape the impressions of the public. This is because the majority seem either unwilling to speak out against them or just aren't being given the chance.

  • 68.
  • At 05:25 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • raj wrote:

You cannot watch the news or listen to the radio for 5 minutes without the words 'Islam' or 'Muslim' being mentioned.

Don't get me wrong - in fact my BEST friend is a Muslim and he is more than a brother to me (a secular Hindu).

Perhaps we should now vote for a world sans religion - at least one where all public manifestations of any religion are not permitted ?

Whilst I am on that subject may I add:

Security cameras cannot identify anybody wearing a veil - or a hood. Take them off, and make this world a safer place. This has nothing to do with religion or personal preferences.

  • 69.
  • At 08:19 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Cheryl wrote:

The general consensus amongst my work colleagues, family, friends & neighbours is that the central focus on Moslems & issues affecting Moslems is totally over the top & is really hacking everyone off. There's been nothing else in the news lately. Is nothing else newsworthy? More importantly as everyone in the general media is so PC when discussing race, religion, beliefs etc...what's the point as no-one gets down to the bones of anything but instead pats themselves on the back and pontificates about how liberal, tolerant, none -judgmental etc they are. Boring, old hat...heard it all before. How REAL life is that??!! Give us all a break, whose kidding who!!

  • 70.
  • At 09:26 AM on 14 Oct 2006,
  • Claude Hand wrote:

There is insufficient coverage of Muslim issues.Ask the so-called "moderate" Muslims if their religion denies unbelievers equality of human rights and dignity? Do they support dhimmitude? Is it accurate that the Sharia law allows non-Muslims to practice their religion but makes them subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued".Do they want Sharia law in Britain? Do they reject violent jihad?

  • 71.
  • At 11:56 AM on 14 Oct 2006,
  • miriam wrote:

i think one of the reasons muslims are getting so angry, ( cos thats wats happening,we're lashing out more furiously nowadays) is this little-by-little taking away of civil liberties, things making them insecure, like shoot-to-kill policies, or the 60-day guilty until proven innocent laws etc.we wont be too too surprised if eventually islam will be banned or something. it's a scary thought. and dont even say anything about "liberties in islamic countries by comparison" because at least u can sleep at night in those countries without being woken and shot.
oh and by the way, i wear a veil and its not "only a cultural thing" something people only do in the middle east and which is non-islamic. im north-indian and this is my interpretation of the rules regarding modest dress.

  • 72.
  • At 02:59 PM on 14 Oct 2006,
  • Umm Yusuf wrote:

In response to Mark E's comment that the majority of Muslims are unwilling or 'not being given the chance' to speak out about the issues that effect them, i just want to say that you hit the nail on the head -we definately aren't being given the chance but not by the extremist elements of the community, but by the media and the British public! As a British Muslim (and hopefully a 'moderate' one!), i can tell you in all honesty that my Muslim father never forced me to become a Muslim, nor did he force me to wear a headscarf, nor to marry my husband, nor was he tempted to perform an 'honour killing' when my sister married an african (he was very pleased)! Similarly, neither my sisters or myself have had female genital mutilation or been prevented from education or driving a car etc, etc, etc AND I PERSOANLLY DON'T KNOW ANOTHER MUSLIM WHO HAS and i know a LOT of Muslims! The problem is, that this makes me rather dull in the eyes of the media and were i to repeat this over and over again until i was blue in the face how many of the british public would actually believe me or at least not think that i was an anomally and not representative of the wider Muslim community?!
In the same way that i think the London bombings were a terrible crime i believe the mindless 'security' reaction to them in the form of the blind, cold-blooded killing of the arab/muslim-looking Brazillian in the underground cannot be excused either. What is the british public doing to try and understand the 'moderate Muslim' view? How many times have you sat in the underground -next to a veiled Muslim woman- reading the latest unsavory Muslim rant in the paper -WHAT'S STOPPING YOU FROM SAYING "Excuse me, i hope you don;t mind me asking you this but i'd really like to know what a 'real' muslim thinks on this issue..." or seen scores of veiled women or bearded men on university campus' or walking down the street and stopped to ask them their views? Or if you're REALLY keen and quite intrepid why not pop into an Islamic centre or mosque?
Because, given the anti-Muslim climate (just judging by this blog alone!) Do you really think that the 'moderates' are going to start marching up and down the country demanding their right to be heard like the fringe element? Seriously, what would you have us do (apart from abandoning our veils, allowing our religion to be publicly mocked and ridiculed and/or leaving the country!)?

  • 73.
  • At 05:59 PM on 14 Oct 2006,
  • Nige wrote:

Regarding Raj's comments above:
"Perhaps we should now vote for a world sans religion - at least one where all public manifestations of any religion are not permitted ?"

I agree utterly - at the moment it's Muslim extremists causing trouble, but you only have to look at the views of Fred Phelps to realise that Christian extremists would be equally dangerous given the chance, and I doubt that any other religion is incapable of producing such repugnant individuals. If we can't leave all this primitive tribal superstition behind, I doubt we'll make it to the 22nd century.

  • 74.
  • At 01:05 AM on 15 Oct 2006,
  • C. Alexander Brown wrote:

Britain was not founded br Christians, as Ray (post 38), seems to belive. Britain as a country and a political entity predates Christianity. Go ask the Druids. And "In God We Trust" is an American motto, not a Canadian one. If you are going to pretend that you are British and living in Britain, no matter where you may be writing from, at least get your facts straight and learn British history, for goodness' sake. And from my experience, the sentiments you express are commonplace in America, but are not in at all in Britain.

  • 75.
  • At 08:15 AM on 15 Oct 2006,
  • Ian Wright wrote:

I am sure that many muslims want as quiet a life as most of us non-muslims want. Unfortunately we seem to be seeing a victim mentality form some muslims, which always gets the headline coverage. I just wonder why every story which may show a negative view or and attack on islamic way of life. Is given such top billing, after all it could be said that many ethnic cultures may feel their way of life could be threatened, by the type of stories that arise from the msulims communities. One would assume that muslims have become the main community in the UK, or is it that the press/media will hype a story which involves anyone poltical. Then we have to ask is it that big a deal, or is it yet the attempting to dislodge a MP from their post.

  • 76.
  • At 11:28 PM on 15 Oct 2006,
  • Clive Hutchings wrote:

I agree with comment 68
Hoodies and motorcycle helmets are banned from most banks/shops due to the fact that the person wearing them cannot be easily identified by the security cameras yet muslim women are allowed t wander around with everything bar their eyes covered over
How can this be fair
How would you even know it is a woman?
What about airport security?
Also how come health and safety guidelines state that people have to wear hard hats on building sites or (as I was a BT engineer) at the top of utility poles, yet sikhs can get away with wearing Turbans?
if they fall and hurt themselves they are still covered by accident insurance yet they are not wearing prescribed safety wear???
If they want to live here then follow OUR rules. If they dont like it then dont come here. A person at the company I work for had her hours changed cos her religion stated she couldnt work past 6pm????
Yet the job was advertised for 5pm - 9pm so why did she apply if she couldnt work - moreover why did the company pander to her request instead of stating that the hours she is contracted to are the hours she has to work. If those hours are not suitable then she will have to leave!
You wouldnt go to the job centre and apply for a job that you couldnt do wold you???
I will end it here or I wll not stop!!

  • 77.
  • At 09:56 PM on 16 Oct 2006,
  • Cathy wrote:

The point is, too many Muslim stories, not too many Muslims! Judging by the comments above, you'd think it was Muslims causing this excessive news coverage rather than just lazy journalists (though the BBC are not as guilty of this as much of the British press). Go on, journalists, go and find some real stories. More reflection and less populism, I say. Take more space and time and report the real story or just leave it alone - don't give in to the superficial soundbite.

  • 78.
  • At 04:20 PM on 17 Oct 2006,
  • Yasser wrote:

I think that Islam is spreading at an enormous speed passively. Ironically My Christian friends at work know more about Islam as cpmpared to their own religion.

  • 79.
  • At 04:40 PM on 17 Oct 2006,
  • Se wrote:

The fact that over 70 people have commented on this post just shows that the number of Muslim stories out there are not too many, because people are interested in these issues!

  • 80.
  • At 07:10 PM on 17 Oct 2006,
  • Barry James wrote:

I do not object to the large number of stories about Islam, since this is clearly one of the major social issues of the day. But I would beg you to keep things in proportion. For example, regarding the recent story about a teacher who insists on wearing a veil -- how many people does this involve? One? Ten? Hundreds? Thousands? This is the kind of detail that would help us decide whether a story is important or not.

  • 81.
  • At 12:04 AM on 18 Oct 2006,
  • Dr wrote:

The reason we Muslims are vociferous is because we are scared. We feel we will be targeted and punished for the crimes of Murderer`s and Crazy people(terrorists). And innocent comments on our religion through this lens of fear are twisted into threats and orders.

I am a Final year Medical student and have burnt the midnight oil so I could become a Doctor and improve health service in my community. A British community. To be then grouped together with Terrorists via my religion is saddening.

Alarming to us in Canada; that the traditionally strong and steadfast Briton seems to have softened so much.

Your Tony Blair is brilliant and powerfully informed.

Tony Blair demands a stiffening of the British backbone against the surging strength of the Muslim Jihadist movement. Our hearts drop at the plight of France and Sweden who may be beyond the tipping point.

If Britons fail to pull together and understand that not only is your freedom and democracy in dire jepardy, but so to is ours in Canada and the USA.

President Bush may well be something of a public relations failure but he is not at all mistaken in defending hundreds of citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan against the razor edged injustice of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. All those who chose peace and fairness and risked their lives with the telltail purple finger of voting.

Pulling back at this stage will be suicidal to Europe as well as the West because that would unleash an Avalanch of Muslim terrorism upon the free world.

MY language here seems blunt and alarmist but it is only the clear truth directly stated.

A freedom of expression open to one who comments while not available to the professional media like the BBC.

The major media do a great job of providing a flood of news stories. However In an effort to avoid the adding of any *spin*, they are reluctant to join the dots and paint a complete picture.

I, as a commenter am free to join the dots.

Consider Pakistan has given over a district for Taliban and Al Qaeda comfort and training camps.

Pakistan has multi-Billion$ pipelines under construction for SECURE oil delivery to China and natural gas to Iran.

[check Al Jazeera site]

Russia has organized crime migrating into government ministries where they refuse to cooperate with the West to curtail servers sucking fraudulent Billion$ from free world markets.

A Canadian developer suffered a Moscow hotel takeover by the crime gangs. Russian authorities do nothing to help solve a 14 Million$ lawsuit.

Time and space limits me here. Suffice to say, Our stand against Hitler may have been a lesser struggle compared to the enemy today. = TG

  • 83.
  • At 03:14 PM on 18 Oct 2006,
  • Ray Ross wrote:

Mr Powell was quite correct!

We have created this problem for ourselves. However we should be thinking proactively about the problem, if some Muslims are not happy with the laws and 'live and let live' philosophy we have in this country, then they are all welcome to leave.
Those of us who are happy will not miss them.

On the subject of religious symbols and dress - I do not have a problem with people wearing crosses or stars of David or pagan symbols - BUT I DO HAVE A BIG PROBLEM WITH THE MUSLIMS' WEARING OF VEILS TO HIDE THEIR FEELINGS, ATTITUDE, AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE BEEN BEATEN.
No other religious symbol hides a person in this way; surely a Nuns habit would suffice in stopping unwanted eyes.

  • 84.
  • At 07:34 PM on 18 Oct 2006,
  • stefan wrote:

the frequency of news surrounding muslims in my view is as result of the conduct of a few or some of the muslims. some muslims want to be treated with kid gloves. they want to share and impose their views but will pay no heed to other views. the world does not owe them anything apart from respect, and everyone expects them to lend the same to others. as long as they see themselves under the siege they caannot see reason in any view. no one is pursuing them besides their own shadow.

  • 85.
  • At 07:26 PM on 10 Nov 2006,
  • me wrote:

i think muslims should be able to express their own feelings and be able to be looked at fairly like other religions like christianity or judaism. and be respected for it. i also think that they should be able to cover their heads and not be told off or forced to uncover their heads as everyone has his/her own rights.

  • 86.
  • At 06:39 PM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • niall golding wrote:

Am I right or is Islam just a minority religion in the UK, nothing more. Surely the media can find issues more pertinent to the rest of us and and remove the oxygen of publicity from what after all is only a radical minority within a minority.Helped in Northern Ireland.

  • 87.
  • At 04:02 AM on 13 Nov 2006,
  • Amitabh Thakur wrote:

There is no doubt that in the recent years, there seems to have come a great upsurge in religion-based news items and stories. Religion based hardline approaches, controversies, militancy, terrorism etc. have come to occupy the center-stage today. This is the case with most of the religions in many parts of the world but more prominent in this regard have been those related to Christianity and Islam. The reasons are many but the most important is that these are the only religions that have a truly global presence and whether accepted or not, there seems to be some undercurrent of struggle for dominance going on between their followers.
Though the blame game is going on both sides and there undoubtebly would be some culprits or other but can there be denying the fact that such a situation doesnot augur well for the people at large? Doesnot it seem that suddenly we have become a fragmented lot?

Amitabh Thakur,

  • 88.
  • At 09:41 PM on 13 Nov 2006,
  • Ahmed Abouelhodaa wrote:

I am yearning for the day when the sound of "Muslim stories." Sounds as awkward and as vague as "Christian" stories, we've finally realized that referring to Africa, as one functional unit is borderline racist and gauche lets do the same for Islam.

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