Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The BBC - inciting hatred themselves?

It's not often i find myself defending Islam against the BBC, but does this really help the moderate Muslim cause in Britain?

Omar Bakri on the Today program today

James Naughtie: "So, if you don't agree with what someone says, exercising the right of free speech, you think you have the right to attack them."

Omar Bakri: "Actually, no - nobody said that..."

OB: "... the freedom of speech doesn't mean at all if you disagree with me I'm going to attack you or I'm going to use violence against you - you see, if you disagree with me I have the right to disagree with you ... but I'm talking about, when somebody goes beyond that, and he starts to insult, you see, a sacred man, like the messenger Muhammad, or like Jesus, or like any other prophet."

JN: "So free speech does not give people, in your judgement, the right to say anything which you find offensive."

OB: "You see, anything, which is offending other people belief or their own honour, I think they have the right to be angry, and that will lead for them to react, and everybody react according to certain code of conduct."

JN: "Well ..."

OB: "And our code of conduct is the Divine Text, not really what the man-made law says, but what God says we should react to any, you know, offending material."

JN: "Well, you use the word 'react', and you use the phrase 'code of conduct'. What does your code of conduct, in your mind, allow you to do by way of reaction? What do you think is justified by what you see as an insult to your faith?"

OB: "Obviously the insult has been established now by everybody, Muslims and non-Muslims, and everybody condemned the cartoonist and condemned the cartoon. However, in Islam, God said, and the messenger Muhammad said, whoever insult the Prophet, he must be punished and executed ..."

JN: "Executed?"

OB: "Yes, that is according to Islam."

Hat tip - Scott Burgess