How to complain to the BBC about Panorama

Many of our readers feel that the BBC broke the broadcasting code relating to impartiality on last night’s Panorama programme. So if you want to complain to the BBC about the show you may consider using the template below.

BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922

13th January

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: BBC One Panorama : The Battle for British Islam.

I am making a formal complaint about the above programme broadcast on the 12th January 2015.

This programme used the recent Paris tragedy to project the notion that such incidents can happen here, hypothesizing that “non – violent extremists” are leading us in the same direction. There are a number of areas, I feel you have breached the BBC code.

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1. The programme was unbalanced, unfair and partisan. It presented a totally one sided view that causes of terrorism are “non-violent extremism”, a term which remained undefined throughout the programme and was linked to a number of Muslim preachers. It failed to interrogate this theory critically, using experts or individuals who have the alternative views of the causes of terrorism. There is now much intelligence and academic work that provides alternative explanations.

2. The programme made no attempt to trace the origins of radicalization of French Algerian Muslims beyond a particular narrative, for example it did not look at the role of the French backed military coup in 1991-1992 which subverted the democratic process in Algeria and led to the militarization of Algerian political activists, and young Algerians in France, a major cause of terrorism.

3. The programme presented the theory that ” non-violent Extremists” have a “them and us” approach to the world, using Quranic terminology such as Kafir and Kufaar as evidence of such an attitude. These terms were explained as referring to non Muslims which is inaccurate. No attempt was made to explain terms or their common usage in Muslim culture as well as Quranic meaning. These terms were then applied to the individuals highlighted in the programme as evidence of their extremism. No critical attempt was made to assess if they actually held or promoted such beliefs in practice, by for example highlighting all the good community work and engagement work that these individuals carry out in Britain with non-Muslims.

4. The programme used fringe Muslims who have no standing in the mainstream Muslim community and who were essentially supporters of the theories presented, with the exception of one individual who was afforded limited opportunity or time to address the theories presented in the programme.

5. The programme promoted the view that those Muslims that believe foreign policy and the grievances of the Muslim world are an impetus for terrorism are extremists -effectively saying that Muslims who criticise foreign policy are extremists.

6. As such the programme was partisan and politically motivated and amounted to little more than a propaganda piece for the Governments current Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill currently going through Parliament.

I would like a independent investigation into the programme its content and the views it has presented. I would also like to suggest that the BBC prepares another programme which provides the alternatives views to the uncontested theories that were promoted without challenge.

Yours Sincerely

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