Friday, October 06, 2006

More on Straw and the BBC

The controversy over Jack Straw's comments regarding Muslim veils grows. Let me start by saying that he raises a very important point that people are choosing to ignore. British culture is one of openness and people feel intimidated when someone is deliberately covering their face. I'm sure you all remember that "hoodies" were banned from some shopping centers precisely because when a person is walking with their hood drawn over their face it makes people nervous. So, Mr Straw does raise an important point.

But, moving on from his actual comments I am fascinated at the Muslim groups that the BBC decided were worthy of quoting. First up we have the Islamic Human Rights Commission. This is a group which is currently running an Islamophobia competition, with entries for people such as Bruce Willis and other Hollywood stars for daring to support Israel against terrorists. But, more significantly, the head of the IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh, called on Muslims to support Hezbollah, asking for "financial, logistical and informational support". He also draped himself in a Hezbollah flag and said that Hezbollah should occupy Israel.

Then they quote from MPAC. This is another supposedly moderate group that is anything but. It's rampant anti-Semitism has resulted in ireceivingng a "no platform"order from the NUS. So, while they aren't allowed to speak at universities they are invited to give their opinions to the BBC.