Emails to the MCB on issues and events since Sept 11
|13 /01/ 2004
I am a 15 year old student from Norfolk; I am of British nationality and have lived in this country for all of my life.
Ever since September 11th 2001 I have noticed a gradual change in the way that British people are allowed to express their opinions, publicly or privately. The ever-growing ethnic groups inhabiting Britain have now suddenly decided that it is perfectly ok for absurd comments to be made about the British and Americans, but however it is not ok when the situation is reversed. We cannot live in a country where by different rules apply for different cultures – once a truth that ethnic minorities wanted fulfilled. I am not a racist and never will be, but I have a problem with extremist action groups who show no consideration for other opinions (N.B. I am not applying this to your organisation) If Mr Kilroy-Silk wishes to express his opinions to his viewers, he should be able to do so; after all free speech is something that Britain has been accredited for in the past.
I am sure that if in an Arabian country one was to badmouth the English, little or nothing would be done about the matter. After all, there are some groups in Britain, that go to lengths of cheering for the deaths of innocent British and American people, and burning the flag of the country they live in! If these people have a problem with the country, they obviously do not wish to be here. It is about time that people grew up and accepted that everyone has different opinions about different matters. The British government is constantly scared into being lenient towards other racial groups; something that I am sure would not happen in Arab countries.
In all, I think it is an outrage that Mr Kilroy-Silk’s opinions are causing such a disturbance, if he were to burn an Arab flag on television; chances are he would be arrested. If it were an Arab burning a British flag nothing would be done.
I would be grateful to hear a reply, I would understand if you wish not to.
|13 /01/ 2004
I would just like to say, your swift action with reference to Kilroy the racist, was absolutely correct. The BBC have taken the necessary steps and I hope that he never re-appears on television ever again.
You have my full support, yesterday I e-mailed the BBC expressing my views on his statements.
May Allah bless your good works (Aameen)
|13 /01/ 2004
Why don't you lot grow up. Since when has it been an offence to speak the truth in this country. You should know by the polls made on the internet and in the papers that your wrong.
Your very sad people that are going to put yourself in the manure
Oh and Yes I know this wont make it to your website because its not one agreeing with you!
|13 /01/ 2004
This is a letter I've just emailed to Channel 4 regarding Richard Madeley's support of Kilroy.
Dear Channel 4/ Richard and Judy,
I am writing in response to the fact that Mr Richard Madeley has publicly spoken in support of Robert Kilroy-Silk following the latter’s racist remarks.
Mr Madeley obviously has no problem with the comments made by Mr Kilroy-Silk, and this I find disturbing. He talks of another agenda, which is apparently the real reason for the Kilroy show being taken off air. Is the fact that Mr Kilroy-Silk made highly offensive, ignorant and racist remarks not a good enough ‘agenda’ for Mr Madeley? Does Mr Madeley have any knowledge of what it feels like to be discriminated against based on his colour/religion/gender?
Mr Madeley obviously has no qualms about not only aligning himself, but whole-heartedly supporting, a man who has called a race of people suicide bombers, limb aputators and women repressors. Mr Madeley seems to find it outrageous that because of an ‘error’ Mr Kilroy-Silk has been punished. Was it an error when, in 1995, Mr Kilroy-Silk said, in the same weekly column that Muslims are ‘backward and evil, and if it is being racist to say so then I must be and happy and proud to be so’? (Daily Express, 15th January 1995). Or when he proclaimed his belief that Ireland was a people governed by ‘peasants and pixies’? This new article is as outrageous as these past remarks, however Mr Madeley seems to find it perfectly reasonable to stick up for such vile and inexcusable words. Whether or not the words ‘government’ or ‘states’ were missing is to miss the whole point. Muslims have been completely persecuted in recent times in a so-called ‘war on terror’ by deceitful governments. This has led to the scape-goating of an entire group of people by the media and a large number of ill-informed/prejudiced people world-wide. Influential people like Mr Kilroy-Silk, help to fuel this anti-Arab hysteria and it is for this reason that the media is so damaging. If there is anyone in this whole scenario with an ulterior motive then isn’t it obviously Mr Kilroy-Silk himself?
I have always respected Richard and Judy and even Robert Kilroy-Silk. However, when I hear of people – and especially those in the media – inciting racial hatred, excusing the inexcusable and basically using their position in a negative way I am outraged. We live in farcical times; thousands of civilians are bombed to death and the media barely registers that it has happened. The media plays a huge role in shaping people’s opinions and informing them. It is then such a shame that we have so many people in these powerful roles who are themselves so completely ignorant. When Mr Madeley talks of ‘other’ motives, I wonder if he even knows the damaging agenda of the Express newspaper itself? Probably not. For someone who has so much experience in front of the camera, he would do well to find out some of what goes on behind the scenes. At a time when our government is killing people in the Middle-East, how anyone can deny that Kilroy-Silk’s words were despicable is absolutely and completely beyond me; whilst we are killing for oil and greed based on lies and deception, prominent figures on television are promoting and excusing racism. Tony Blair must be rubbing his hands in glee.
Whether or not Mr Madeley is a friend of Mr Kilroy-Silk’s or whether he fears the same treatment should he ever wish to express such revolting opinions I do not know. However, I would advise him to think very carefully before siding with such bigotry. I previously enjoyed the Kilroy show however I could never have brought myself to tune in again if it had remained on the air. I also enjoy Richard and Judy but Mr Madeley’s earlier bizarre statement has sickened me to be quite honest. At a time when we are not only battling deceptive and murderous governments but also the rise of the BNP, these actions need to be condemned and stopped in their tracks. Freedom of speech is a very separate matter from inciting and promoting the hatred of a large proportion of the human race.
People who presently work as journalists, presenters, news reporters, authors etc will by judged by history. Most are responsible for normalising barbaric acts of war, ignoring hideously unfair trade agreements, turning a blind eye to the Aids plight, promoting damaging stereotypes and basically keeping people as divided and under-informed as possible. Whether they realise they are doing this or not, they are. Broadcasters such as Channel 4 rank higher than most of the media in my opinion for its willingness to air informative programmes and also its more bearable style of reporting the news. Programmes such as Bremner, Bird and Fortune for instance can only be commended as it is not very often we are actually allowed to hear such refreshing honesty. Of course, as a broadcaster you are something of a rarity and on the whole people are forced to endure a very limited and biased media. Mr Madeley should therefore have thought more carefully before siding with a racist as he is a representative of Channel 4 and not merely an independent voice.
|13 /01/ 2004
|Cllr Chris Burke
|May I first of all thank you for publishing Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk's article in full on your web site http://www.mcb.org.uk/letter60.html enabling those who doubted the seriousness of this event to appreciate the depth of racism inherent in his Daily Express article.|
As an occasional watcher of Robert Kilroy-Silk's programme I largely considered him as a general, though occasionally misguided, force for good. That said I had never read any of his Daily Express articles nor was I aware of the anti-Arab views that he clearly holds.
Speaking personally: I am deeply disturbed, as an individual holding office as a Labour Councillor that a former Labour Member of Parliament could hold such views and have such little respect for a majority of people he has never met and whose culture he so clearly knows nothing about. I can say with certainly that no Labour MP or councillor I have ever met would express such disrespectful views and furthermore I am impressed with the determination of all of my county colleagues of whatever persuasion to improve the Councils position here. We will be meeting as a Scrutiny Committee next week at the request of the Executive tasked with ensuring that our draft racial equality policy reflects the quality that all our communities deserve and effectively consulting with the Lincolnshire Racial Equality Council and the CRE. For Lincolnshire this will be an important step towards a better understanding of the positive roles all people of good will should now wish to fulfil in any decent community.
The implication that all asylum seekers are here simply to draw benefits is an offence to them and ignores the fact that the asylum seekers he refers to are here legitimately because we recognise they are in genuine danger at home. I have met very few asylum seekers who would not prefer to return home as would most people forcible removed from their communities. The benefits they receive constitutes a level of income Mr Kilroy-Silk has not seen since his his last paper round.
I feel a former colleague has betrayed us in our work. Ironically I might well have believed an unconditional apology. Oswald Moseley comes to mind instead, himself a former MP of both major parties.
As a Christian, I might observe also, that the three major world faiths, Moslem, Jewish and Christian all arose in that part of the world he says we owe nothing to along with great empires, such as that of the Egyptians and the Persians. All this and much more emanating from the Middle East has proved a positive force for culture, learning and faith.
Even more disturbing is the decision of a national newspaper to risk inciting racial hatred by persuading its readers to publicly endorse Mr Kilroy-Silk's position. Such behaviour by two "institutions" which claim positions of respect in British society could cause incalculable damage to local relations even here in Lincolnshire where much good work has gone on to build trust, respect and to celebrate diversity.
I believe that the Daily Express Front Page of January 12th deliberately misleads the public regarding Mr Kilroy-Silks article with the statement that “97% of you support Express writer gagged by BBC after criticising rogue Arab states”. Without question Mr Kilroy-Silks rant attacked all the countries of the Middle-East irrespective of their support or opposition to terrorism.
May I express, as an individual, my full support for the courageous action you, the CRE and the BBC have taken and assure you of my best wishes for a just resolution of the offence that has been given to so many innocent Moslems both here and abroad.
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain
London E15 1NT
Tel:0208 432 0585/6
Fax:0208 432 0587