BBC: Give Islam Preference

The BBC’s willingness to broadcast content that offends Christians is nothing new.

But this certainly is: A public declaration by the head of the British state broadcaster that media should treat Islam more sensitively than Christianity.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said Oct. 14 that Muslims deserve more careful coverage than Christians because Muslims are a minority in Britain.

“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,” said Thompson, who is Catholic. “To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.”

At the same time, Thompson denied the BBC is anti-Christian despite its airing of controversial programming such as “Jerry Springer — The Opera.”

Jesus is portrayed in that show as a talk show guest who admits to being “a bit gay,” the Daily Telegraph noted in its coverage of Thompson’s comments.

Thompson cited several recent broadcasts of Christian events and coverage of other religions as proof that the BBC is not hostile to religion in general or Christianity in particular.

Said Thompson, “It’s hard to square any of this with the idea of the BBC as the anti-God squad.”

Readers who responded online to the Telegraph’s coverage of Thompson’s remarks were skeptical.

“I’ll believe the BBC treats all religions equally when they do a dramatization of ‘The Satanic Verses,’” commented one reader. “That’ll be the day.”

— Tom McFeely