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The BBC Suspends a Major TV Star for Criticising Arabs
Last uploaded : Sunday 11th Jan 2004 at 16:29
Contributed by : The Editors


News Update 16 Jan 2004:

Readers are directed to this link for another editorial about 'Kilroy:
by Carol Gould
11 January 2004

British television has been rocked by the suspension of Robert Kilroy-Silk, host of ?Kilroy,? a popular morning talk show on the BBC.

Kilroy-Silk, a former Labour MP, was the author of an article that appeared in last Sunday?s ?Express? newspaper. Entitled ?We Owe Arabs Nothing,? it is regarded by critics as a ?rant? that defames the Arab people.

we had to step back and think of how shocked we would have been had a top television presenter written ?We Owe Jews Nothing? or ?We Owe Israelis Nothing? followed by a long shopping list of misdeeds. (Needless to say the British media have had no shortage of diatribes about Zionist-Israeli-American misdeeds in the past few years.)

What is so odd is that a similar article appeared in the ?Express? last year but caused little reaction. In its new reincarnation the piece has prompted the Council on Racial Equality to refer the article to the police for offences under the laws relating to incitement to racial hatred. The BBC has suspended Kilroy and cancelled his hugely popular, long-running programme.

The ?Express? does not provide an archive on its site, hence our inability to provide a link but we are grateful to Betar-Tegar UK and KD Web Ltd for forwarding the text of the January 4 2004 article. we would not have commented on this story had we not been able to scrutinise Kilroy-Silk?s editorial.

We do not wish to violate copyright so here are some very short quotes:

?Arab countries are not exactly shining examples of civilisation, are they??

?..apart from oil - which was discovered, is produced and is paid for by the West - what do they contribute??

?We?re told the Arabs loathe us. Really??for giving them vast amounts of aid?For providing them with science, medicine, technology..? They should go down on their knees and thank God for the munificence of the United States..?

?What do they think we feel about them???That we admire them for being suicide bombers, limb-amputators, women-oppressors??

?..We have thousands of asylum seekers from Iran,Iraq,Algeria,Egypt?and other Arab countries living happily in this country on social security?There is not one British asylum seeker in any Arab country. That says it all about which country deserves the epithet ?loathsome.?

It must be stressed that Kilroy is an outspoken journalist and broadcaster who has offended other groups in the past. No doubt his diatribe will enrage many educated and enlightened Arab Christians and Muslims. The problem is that Kilroy has lumped ?Arabs? into one collective pot of loathsomeness when in fact the use of suicide bombers, limb chopping and woman-stoning emanates from extreme regimes who use the Koran to justify these acts.

There has been a groundswell of support for Kilroy in the past few days and our instinct is that this comes from a feeling of frustration and rage amongst British citizens who are appalled when it is reported that Imams in mosques across Britain incite young men -- many of whom are born here -- to become suicide and shoe bombers. We have written about this before, and at the risk of repeating ourselves will remind readers that when a local director was producing a documentary in London during the hopeful, peaceful Rabin-Peres-Oslo-Clinton years in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, she was told she would be ?killed? if sje set foot in a London mosque on Friday.

This is the sort of thing that infuriates the average Brit, whose views are widely reflected by those expressed in Kilroy?s morning show. Although the tragedy happened twenty years ago the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy is still an open sore for many, as is, of course, the Lockerbie atrocity. How narrowly several hundred souls escaped death had vigilant passengers and crew not disabled British shoe bomber Richard Reid.

We would never write a piece in the tone used by Kilroy, but we do worry about the future lives of the young people of Arab descent whom we meet in England and Scotland. Unlike Jewish boys and girls who talk about business ventures, cultural activities, charity youth work and travel, these youngsters are affluent but full of anger. They believe Zionists run Britain and the world. They hyperventilate about oppression of Arab peoples by the West but never seem to see the flaws in the leadership of countless repressive regimes. It is deeply disturbing that there were riots when Pakistan played in the Test Cricket season here and that third generation British Pakistan fans (they had been urged with great passion by England Captain Nasser Hussein to support England, not Pakistan) felt compelled to shout rude epithets at the England and Australia players. Who will soon forget Michael Bevan of the Australian team being hit by a full tin of beer?

The jury is out on the future of Robert Kilroy Silk. We suggest he apply to Fox News where he would find a warm welcome -- not to mention a handsome salary -- alongside Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich and Bill O?Reilly.

We will miss Kilroy. Tom Paulin, whose poem about SS-style Israeli soldiers provoked rage form even Left-wing readers, and AN Wilson, who recommended the dismantling of Israel, are still in active and lucrative employment in the UK. When we tried to sell a feature -length documentary about a year in the life of Israel, we were told by every UK commissioning editor that it was ?too pro-Israel.?

It will be interesting to watch the debate on Kilroy?s suspension. Multi-culturalism is part of British life but no-one seems to get fired for attacking Israel or Zionism.

Your comments are invited:
To read more about the suspension please go to:

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