IHRC urgent alert: complain to BBC about Panorama documentary

John Ware“The broadcast journalist John Ware, responsible for last year’s one-sided Panorama programme on British Muslim leadership, is making another documentary about British Muslims. This time he is focusing on the community’s alleged support of Palestinian groups and aims to expose activists’ links with political movements such as Hamas which Ware considers to be a terrorist organisation….

“Ware’s last programme ‘A Question of Leadership’ was supposed to examine the role of the Muslim Council of Britain. Instead, it degenerated into an ‘McCarthyite’ attack on Muslims and their beliefs, overflowing with Islamophobic stereotypes and glaring inaccuracies. John Ware’s pro-Israel bias was also evident in the documentary. He reserved all his criticisms and condemnations for the Palestinians without a word of criticism for the Israelis. The programme resulted in the BBC receiving over 600 complaints in the first week alone and provoked wide spread condemnation by Muslim groups and non Muslims alike….

“IHRC is deeply concerned that once again BBC is being used as platform to unleash another prejudiced and hate-filled attack on the Muslim community, by a journalist whose anti-Muslim prejudice has been fully exposed. IHRC also feels that by choosing a journalist with a personal agenda against Muslims, to present a programme on the Palestine-Israel conflict, the BBC will be unable to fulfill their duty to report with accuracy and impartiality.”

IHRC alert, 8 June 2006