History is hate speech if it offends a protected specific religious community. The BBC scolds Sikh Peer for offending Muslims.
Radio 4 has a small scripted slot that it airs every morning, Monday through to Saturday, that programme is called “Thought For The Day”. The purpose of this short broadcast is to offer its listeners “reflections from a faith perspective on issues and people in the news”.
Reflections that touched on historical truths about forced conversions of Hindus and Sikhs by their Islamic colonial masters of the 17th century were, however, deemed to be “too controversial” for the BBC. We can now add history as hate speech, or at the very least, quoting historical facts are offensive. History be damned!
Peering Into The PC Abyss
Lord Indarjit Singh has been a frequent contributor to the “Thought For Today” segment on BBC Radio 4. He co-founded the Inter Faith Network for the UK and was the first non-Christain to be awarded the UK Templeton Prize “for the furtherance of spiritual and ethical understanding”. Needless to say, Lord Singh’s credentials for tolerance, peace and understanding are voluminous.
Lord Singh said the BBC tried to stop him from discussing a guru from his religion who fought against the forced conversion of Hindus to Islam in 17th century India. Lord Singh incensed by the BBC’s ‘prejudice and intolerance’ decided it was time to leave the show once and for all, after thirty-five years service.
The BBC told Lord Singh that his broadcast of factual historical events and figures opposing forced conversions “may have offended Muslims”. What was so terrible that would cause such offence? Why would Muslims be offended by their historical co-religionists slaughtering, raping and forcibly converting Hindu’s and Sikh’s? That’s EXACTLY what happened under Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb‘s reign in the 17th century. Non-believing polytheists and Sikh’s were taxed as 2nd class citizens and persecuted by their Muslim rulers, that’s a historical fact. How can that be offensive?
Comply Don’t Complain
Lord Singh said:
‘The need for sensitivity in talking about religious, political or social issues have now been taken to absurd proportions with telephone insistence on trivial textual changes right up to going into the studio, making it difficult to say anything worthwhile.
The aim of Thought for the Day has changed from giving an ethical input to social and political issues to the recital of religious platitudes and the avoidance of controversy with success measured by the absence of complaints.’
He also said he believed Sikhism founder Guru Nanak and even Jesus Christ would not be ‘allowed near Thought for the Day’ if they were alive today.
Despite Lord Singh’s abrupt resignation and justified criticism of the BBC for their ‘misplaced sense of political correctness’ a BBC spokesperson said:
We disagree with Lord Singh and don’t recognise his characterisation of Thought for the Day.’
Apart from not recognising an obvious truth, the BBC also do not want to recognise historical facts for fear of offence and potential complaints. What’s next BBC? Historical revisionism or a ban on history altogether?