Friday, February 03, 2006

Explaining the inexplicable: the BBC response to looney toons.

The BBC know next to nothing about religion: that's the root cause of their absurd response to the controversy, exaggerating both the number and nature of the cartoons, then portraying the protests as spontaneous, the anger disinterested, the Danes as instransigent etc etc. Their limitations are on display.

Because they wouldn't touch a literalist approach to the Bible with a barge-pole, they have a problem when faced with Muslim literalism, which, because 'foreign' they must dignify somehow. Except that it's not literalism at all- it's Koranic hyperventilation, as the BBC's own article about the Koran's anti-imagery ethos proves.

Point one: the Koran doesn't anywhere say not to make images of GOD, let alone Mohammad.

Point two: although the Koran rails against imagery, no-one is going to worship those Danish cartoons!

The whole thing makes no sense, and the Beeb can only try to pad it out by assuming some mysterious exegesis of the Koran. Anyone who had the slightest experience of actually attempting exegesis of religious texts would be falling about laughing. The fact is that the Koran posits a mysterious and grand God, and a mighty messenger. Therefore it's the lack of our reverence for that that's at issue. It's just pure religious bigotry which demands that others share the same feelings, the same understanding etc.

But Muslims = foreign = in need of special care and attention; the more so because if we don't they'll blow us up.

That's why the BBC's overall account has to assume some (serious) fault from the Danish side. Sorry Beebies, there's none.

eg. "Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met ambassadors in Copenhagen to talk about the row. Danish officials said they could not expect an apology.

Syria and Saudi Arabia have already withdrawn their envoys.

The meeting comes three months after Mr Rasmussen rejected a request for talks from 11 Muslim ambassadors in Copenhagen.

The prime minister was criticised for not meeting the diplomats. The BBC's Julian Isherwood in Copenhagen says Friday's meeting seems to be an attempt to redress what was seen as a diplomatic snub to Muslim countries."

eg. "Jyllands-Posten has apologised for causing offence to Muslims, although it maintains it was legal under Danish law to print the cartoons."

Of course it was legal. Any law which invalidated those gentle little sketches would have to be devised by Tony Blair himself.

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