MPAC complains about HIGNFY ‘joke’

A campaign group is urging members of the Muslim community to lobby the BBC over a comment made on the channel.

The remark was made on the “Have I Got News For You” show last Friday when host Sharon Horgan said: “The Independent described the Dostoevsky metro station … as the Mecca for suicides. Not to be confused with the Mecca of suicide bombers – which is Mecca.”

Campaign group the Muslim Public Affairs Committee said: “This offhand comment does nothing except reinforce the message that Islam has something within its fundamental beliefs that makes it a threat to civil society. Allowing this comment to go unchecked justifies the statement and condones such demonisation, as the comment implicitly implies that all Muslims are terrorists and all terrorists are Muslims.” The group is urging readers of it’s website to complain to the BBC over the remark.

However, Sharon Horgan has apologised for any offence caused and said she was not prejudiced in any way.

Asian Image, 7 June 2011

According to Sharon Horgan, whose contribution to the “joke” presumably amounted to reading it off the autocue, Have I Got News For You “deals in irony and in that sense it does the OPPOSITE of what it’s actually saying…. HIGNFY, like all good satire plays on prejudices and that’s exactly what we were doing with this joke”. So the joke was intended to mock anti-Muslim prejudice? Really?