BBC accused of ‘extraordinary’ censorship after cutting honour-killing references from radio drama for fear of offending Muslims

That’s the headline to a report in the Daily Mail.

Speaking at an Index On Censorship conference, playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti has complained that she was asked by BBC editors to remove a single line from a radio play she has written on the subject of an honour killing in a Muslim family. The reason given was that “we don’t want to suggest the entire Muslim community condones honour killings”, which sounds like a perfectly reasonable concern in the present climate. (See also the Independent, the Telegraph and Jihad Watch.)

You might wonder why a playwright with a background in the Sikh community, about which she could presumably write with some personal insight on the basis of direct experience, should choose to concentrate on honour-based violence among Muslims. After all, honour killings are not exactly unknown in the Sikh community. Bhatti evidently preferred to reinforce the myth that they are a specific feature of Islamic culture.

And, not content with that, when she was asked to make a small change to the script Bhatti ran off to complain that she had been subjected to “extraordinary and awful” censorship, in the full knowledge that in the current atmosphere of anti-Muslim hysteria the issue would be used to stoke up Islamophobia. Hopefully the BBC won’t be commissioning any further plays from her.