BBC Sport whitewashes Islamist bigotry with a euphemism

An article by BBC Sport titled “Rio Olympics 2016: Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby sent home for handshake snub” appeared on the BBC News website’s homepage and Middle East page on August 15thReaders of the report were told that:Egyptian judoka story

“The Egyptian had come under pressure from some conservative voices in his homeland to withdraw from the bout.”

The same euphemistic statement appeared three days earlier in BBC Sport’s previous article on the same topic (in which, at the time of writing, the Israeli judoka’s name has still not been corrected).

Other media outlets were less coy about informing their audiences of the ideologies behind the pressure on the Egyptian judoka to withdraw from the competition against an Israeli.

Times of Israel:

“The 32-year-old Egyptian, a world championship medalist in 2010, had faced pressure on social media and from hardline Islamist groups in his homeland to withdraw from the fight.”

Telegraph:

“The athlete, who is an ultraconservative Salafi, had come under pressure from hardline Islamists on social media and from television pundits not to participate in the match.

“You will shame Islam. If you lose, you will shame an entire nation and yourself,” one comment read.”

AP:

“Islam El Shehaby, an ultraconservative Salafi Muslim, had come under pressure before the games from Islamist-leaning and nationalist voices in Egypt to withdraw from the first-round heavyweight bout against Or Sasson. […]

On Thursday, Moutaz Matar, a TV host of the Islamist-leaning network Al-Sharq, had urged El Shehaby to withdraw.

“My son, watch out. Don’t be fooled, or fool yourself, thinking you will play with the Israeli athlete to defeat him and make Egypt happy,” he said. “Egypt will cry; Egypt will be sad and you will be seen as a traitor and a normalizer in the eyes of your people.””

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘conservative’ as:

“Averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values”.

Clearly the BBC’s portrayal of “conservative voices” is not conducive to full audience understanding of the story. It would of course be very surprising to see the BBC describe anyone urging an athlete not to compete against a gay or black opponent as “conservative” and such bigotry portrayed as a ‘traditional value’.

But – not for the first time – we see that the BBC is reluctant to explain discriminatory Islamist ideology to its audiences in clear and precise language.  

Related Articles:

BBC Sport reports snub to Israeli judoka – but gets his name wrong

 

Advertisements

BBC Sport reports snub to Israeli judoka – but gets his name wrong

On August 13th BBC Sport produced a report which was billed “Egyptian refuses to shake Israeli’s hand” on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.

However, those following the link to the article titled “Rio Olympics 2016: ‘Not what the Olympics are about’ – judo player refuses to shake hands” were inaccurately informed that the latest Israeli sportsperson to encounter racist snubs from fellow Olympians is called “Os Sasson”. The judoka’s first name is of course Or.

Or Sasson art Sport

Related Articles:

Tepid BBC report on Lebanese Olympic team’s bigoted agitprop

Tepid BBC report on Lebanese Olympic team’s bigoted agitprop

On the morning of August 7th an item billed “Lebanon and Israel teams in bus dispute” appeared on the BBC News website’s homepage and Middle East page.

Olympics bus story on HP

The link led to a short report by BBC Sport which is more accurately headlined “Rio 2016 Olympics: Lebanese athletes refuse to travel with Israel team“.

“Lebanese athletes refused to share a bus with the Israel team to get to Friday’s Rio Olympic Games opening ceremony, members of both teams said.

Lebanon and Israel are officially at war and have no diplomatic relations.

The incident happened as the Lebanon team sat on the bus waiting to head to the Maracana stadium, before demanding the Israeli athletes must not board.

Israel’s athletes insisted on doing so, but the two teams were eventually taken to the ceremony in different buses.”

Much of BBC Sport’s report appears to have been recycled from an article by AFP, including the spelling of the name of the head of the Lebanese delegation, named elsewhere as Salim al Haj Nakoula.

“Head of the Lebanese team Salim al-Haj Nicolas told AFP news agency he demanded that the door be closed on the Israeli team, but they “insisted on getting on”.”

BBC audiences were not informed that Nakoula’s actions were lauded in Lebanon.

“Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sport Abdel Motaleb Hannawi told a Lebanese news site that this was not the first time Israel has attempted to embarrass a Lebanese delegation in this kind of circumstance. He praised the delegation’s behavior, Nakoula’s specifically. “His stance was principled and patriotic,” he said.

Nakoula became the hero of the day in Lebanon after the incident was publicized. The Al Mayadeen and Al-Manar news networks, both associated with Hezbollah, gave Nakoula praise, with the latter also interviewing him. Hezbollah supporters and officials praised him on social media, with one Al-Manar broadcaster tweeting, “The Israelis were sent away from the bus because normalization (with Israel) is not to be had in any form, and because the Lebanese identity (is that of) resistance. Be proud to be Lebanese.””

Neither were they informed that a similar incident occurred at the previous Olympic Games.

“The Lebanese judo team at the 2012 London Olympics refused to practice next to the Israeli one on Friday afternoon, and a makeshift barrier was erected to split their gym into two halves.”

The report also fails to note that no statement regarding the Lebanese team’s bigoted behaviour has been issued by the Olympic organising committee.

BBC still won’t call Munich Olympics massacre perpetrators terrorists

In 2014 the BBC described the terrorists responsible for the murders of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games as “militants”.

Harari art text

In 2015 the same terrorists were rebranded as “Palestinian extremists” and a “Palestinian extremist group”.

This week in history Munich

In a filmed report which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on August 2nd 2016, the terrorists are described as “militants”.

Munich massacre memorial

The same euphemistic term is used in a written report by Jonathan Josephs which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page the following day. 

Munich massacre written

Once again the ‘values’ behind the BBC’s supposed avoidance of “value judgements” are on display.