The director of the BBC has finally admitted that, yes, of course the BBC treats Islam with unusual deference. Mark Thompson offers a 98 word defense of the BBC’s un-evenhanded approach:
‘My view is that there is a difference between the position of Christianity, which I believe should be central to the BBC’s religion coverage and widely respected and followed.
‘What Christian identity feels like to the broad population is a little bit different to people for whom their religion is also associated with an ethnic identity which has not been fully integrated.
‘There’s no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don’t want to say that all religions are the same. To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.’
Ben Elton, a comedian who took umbrage at the BBC’s oh-so-PC censorship, had a different take on the matter (emphasis mine):
‘I think it all starts with people nodding whenever anybody says, ‘As a person of faith …’,’ he said.
‘And I believe that part of it is due to the genuine fear that the authorities and the community have about provoking the radical elements of Islam,” he said.
‘There’s no doubt about it, the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass. They might pretend that it’s, you know, something to do with their moral sensibilities, but it isn’t. It’s because they’re scared. I know these people.’