BBC Whitewashes Somalia’s Islamists

October 7, 2006, 1:41 pm


By Andrew L. Jaffee

While reading the BBC’s coverage of the Union of Islamic Courts’ (UIC) takeover of Somalia — what I see as the beginning of Taliban II — I was struck with the carefully constructed wording of the British news organization’s language. Their writers tiptoe around Islamist expansionism, yet are critical of dhimmi fears of Muslim radicalism — e.g., from the West and Ethiopia. First, I stumbled upon a BBC report on refugees fleeing the UIC’s advances into villages near the Kenyan border:

UN officials report a big rise in the number of Somali refugees crossing into Kenya to escape instability at home.

At least 2,000 arrived in the past two days, about three times the usual rate, the UNHCR refugee agency said.

The influx coincides with reports that fighters allied to the Union of Islamic Courts have moved into towns close to the Kenyan border, the UNHCR said. …

The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) has taken control of large areas of central and southern Somalia, including the capital, Mogadishu, in the past few months. …

More than 30,000 Somalis have crossed into Kenya this year seeking shelter in camps. …

The UIC says it poses no security threat to neighbouring countries.

But residents on both sides of the border hail from the same clans and there are now fears that the UIC’s influence could extend far into Somali-inhabited north-east Kenya.

This reporting makes the Islamist takeover of Somalia sound at tad bit innocuous, especially given that Muslim radicals — Islamists — are committing genocide against Black Africans in nearby Sudan. There’s no mention of why people are fleeing Islamists. And, consider the fact that now, we are witnessing the birth of another Islamist, terror central in Somalia. If the Union of Islamic Courts has its way, taking the place of the Taliban, Somalia will become the next Afghanistan, a headquarters for the planning of terrorist attacks against the West. So I delved into the Beeb’s “resources” about Somalia’s current upheaval.

Stock Photos from 123RF

In an article covering Ethiopia’s concerns about an Islamist takeover of Somalia, I found a BBC statement that:

Ethiopia has also been uneasy with the military successes of the Union Islamic Courts (UIC), the Islamists who have pacified the capital, Mogadishu, and now control huge swathes of southern Somalia.

“Pacified?” When Israel defended itself from Hezbollah’s Islamist terrorist missiles, the words of the day were “disproportionate” and “war crimes.”

The BBC portrays Ethiopian attempts at protecting itself from an Islamist onslaught as cynical realpolitik:

As Somalia has had no central authority, Ethiopia has often driven its forces into Somali territory – ostensibly to protect itself as well as to support friendly warlords.

“Ostensibly?” For 15 years, Somalia has been a lawless sewer of violence, broken up into medieval fiefdoms, and surely Somalia’s Islamists would like nothing better than to forcibly convert Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, and extend their caliphate westward.

Not only does the BBC whitewash the UIC and claim that Ethiopia has expansionist ambitions, but it also sees U.S. concerns about Taliban II in Somalia as more cowboy imperialism:

Following the Islamist takeover of the key Somali port of Kismayo, residents of Baidoa, the last town in government hands, fear they could be next.

With the US accusing the Union of Islamic Courts of having links to al-Qaeda, some fear they could end up hosting the next stage of the “war on terror”, with devastating results.

Notice that “war on terror” is in quotes; as if it is hypothetical conjecture that Islam is at war with everyone, including itself.

“Devastating results?” Does the BBC mean when the Islamists will start culling the chaff from the wheat — riding the territories they control of Christians and believers in indigenous African religions? Even the Beeb admits that the “UIC is split between its Salafist and Qutubist tendencies.” So will we have another Iraq, where Muslims are each others throats, committing unspeakable atrocities?

It seems that the BBC is stuck in the usual dogma: the white, capitalist, colonialist, imperialists are getting ready to persecute the Muslims either directly, or by using a proxy, e.g., Ethiopia. In fact, it is the other way around. The UIC may have “pacified” Mogadishu, but based on a belief system of utter, intolerant, absolute control; another “ism” like communism or fascism — in this case, Islamism.

Related: Africa, Israel, War Against Islamo-fascism

2 Responses to “BBC Whitewashes Somalia’s Islamists”

  1. marc Says:

    Nice to see more people noticing the BBC’s whitewashing of Muslim issues and bias. What you’ve stumbled upon is just the tip of the iceberg. And since the BBC is the world’s largest broadcaster, broadcasting around the world in many languages and is considered the voice of Britain, this is an important iceberg.

    I’ve detailed the BBC’s far left wing anti American agenda here:

    Tere’s even a British website dedicated solely to exposing the BBC’s bias here:

    I regularly post the BBC here at my blog:

    The world needs to be made aware of the BBC’s agenda. The BBC hired the editor and chief of al Jazeera to train their reporters. I kid you not.

  2. publisher Says:

    Thanks for the info. If you search my blog on “BBC Watch,” you’ll find scads of articles. We keep a close eye on the Beeb. It is a kind of strange relationship. The BBC’s world coverage is incredibly comprehensive. It is the editorializing that is the problem.

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