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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ethnocentricity and the BBC

Ethnocentricity is a word I first heard in The States in the early 1980’s. It means the tendency to view other cultures through a narrow majority perspective. This was usually accompanied by a sincerely felt shame that our hero or heroine expressed for an insufficient display of obeisance or humility before the cultural attributes or behaviours of the minority.  Inevitably it led to demands for the provision of superior rights to the minority as indicative of sincerity by the majority. Examples of this abound at the BBC. Rageh Omaar’s four-part biopic of the Life of Mohammed asked only two serious questions and glossed over the consequences for human history in his reply to both of those questions. Shappi Khorsandi is a Persian Comedienne who presented a documentary on the contribution of foreign food to Britain last week. What she basically stated was that all Asian / Near-Eastern food is Islamic.  Once again the BBC gave a proponent of Muslim cultural colonialism a platform for propaganda that essentially denied the contribution of any one else to the British way of life.

Claudia Roden was interviewed selectively to support this position which is interesting because the history of British cookery writing can be reductively divided between the contribution by British Cookery writers beginning in the early 1940’s with rationing and the foreign born cookery writers who teased Britain out of its provincial culinary mind set in the 1960’s. The two writers most responsible for the latter were Madhur Jaffrey, an Indian actress and Hindu food writer who introduced the Western world to the diverse cuisines of India (and she, unlike the Muslim, Shappi, credits everyone) and similarly, the Jewish Claudia Roden, born in Egypt and best known as the author of ‘Middle Eastern’ cookbooks who again never attempted to compartmentalise cookery as the inheritance of any one people.

How interesting that the BBC could so shamelessly broadcast a solid sixty minutes of documentary propaganda which was clearly an outrageous, prejudiced attempt to define Britain’s acceptance of diverse culinary traditions as solely Islamic.  The stated conclusion was that the weakening of ethnocentricity in Britain is part of the Muslim inheritance that defines its universal contribution to society.

This programme was no less than cultural rape.

The BBC should be ashamed, but it won’t be. I am sure it is patting itself on the back for yet one more obsequious and toadying biopic of historical revisionism.


  1. Have you ever noticed that there in BBC series, such as Robin Hood or Leonardo, there are Muslims and blacks presented. Yes, there were PROBABLY both in the countries depicted but there were CERTAINLY Jews. We are being written out of history.

  2. I did write to the BBC and asked them why they are so anti Israel and anti Jewish. Offered the suggestion that it may be because their country has so many Muslims and so few Jews. They have yet to get back to me!

  3. In the past I have written to the BBC to complain, occasionally with some success but not recognised success. They will try to get away with something offensive but back off sometimes if enough people complain. However on complaints I have taken all the way they either ignore you until you persevere or they take a very long time (months) to conclude an investigation and then only with much prompting or, they will actually remove offensive comments from an investigation so that there is nothing to deny. The BBC is a corrupt organisation that is fundamentally incapable of policing itself.