BBC’s objectivitySome things don’t change [Archives:2004/708/Opinion]
By Yehya Al-Olfi
For the Yemen Times
Recently I heard the news about stopping a BBC program because the employee who airs that regular program published a racist article against the Arabs: that they are futile and merely cause of nuisance and terror.
The man is named Mr. Silk, and thanks to him I remembered having written a letter to the BBC World Service Fourteen years ago when I was just 21 years old.
Fortunately I still have the letter and I leave the reader to sense my feelings towards the BBC 14 years ago, when I was still bent upon learning English.
Here you are: the letter in its entirety:
Centuries of misunderstanding
Salam Alaikom, shalom Alaykhem (Peace be upon you).
I am a frequent listener of the News Bulletin and Twenty-Four Hours BBC World Service programs. I feel disappointed for your naive comments and coverage of Arab affairs. You compel any given Arab to hate Britain and non-Arabs to doubt in your comments and news bulletins.
In fact there is an everlasting misunderstanding between the British and the Arabs and most of that is due to the negative British attitudes towards Arabs. Why not tell the British people that they have a lot of Arabic words in their own language. Why not telling them the origin of vocabulary such as Admiral, Arsenal, Cup, Almanac, Alcohol, Camel, Alkali, Coffee, Zenith, Cafe, etc, to mention but a few?
Why not tell them the truth instead of describing Arabs as terrorists, why normal dictionaries do not refer to the Arab impact on your culture. Of course, Arabs now are backward just like you at the time when they were learned and you were ignorant.
So what are you doing in order to enlighten Arabs do you support real genuine democracy and human rights or install agents as leaders to serve your egoistic interests?
Unfortunately, it seems that the British opinions and policies towards the Arabs are overwhelmed by the naive reports of the famous Lawrence of Arabia and the naive opinions of the so-called Orientalists, such as Arnold Twenby not to mention the myths of Theodore Hertzel, and the silly works of Sir John Philby .
The above-mentioned is not everything but the British unfortunately are still employing anti-Semitic personnel (i.e. Anti-Arab) in universities and other important bodies including the management of the BBC World Service.
Of course you undoubtedly shall be curious to know who are those anti-Semites? But, the simple answer is that Jews are anti-Semites, you would say but how! Jews are supposed to be the Semites? Well prepare yourself for the bitter reality, to be a Jew is merely a religious trait and should not by any means, be thought of as a name of a race, then where are the real Hebrews.
Well I venture to say that they were Arabized 15 centuries ago and if any are left they are those living amongst Arabs, not the blonde haired Europeans of Europe, the slitty-eyed Asians or the Black Ethiopians.
In short such Jews belong to their own countries and races but are embracing Judaism just like African Christians and Muslims or Asian Christians and Muslims.
Thus real 100% Semites are the Arabs and it is rather idiotic to call the one and only Semite Arabs “Anti-Semitic.” Please have insightful brains and accord them respect.
All in all, I do not like to implore the British sympathy with the Arab Cause but as the Arab Proverb says “A knowledgeable Enemy is far more better than an ignorant one.”
I call upon British journalists to respect their jobs and become professiona. Tthen, they shall discern that Zionism equals verily Nazism and if you are still in doubt visit the occupied 1967 territories. And once you come to know the truth you shall for sure be eliminated by the Israelis/ Zionists, like many British and Americans who chose to stand side by side with the rights of poor Palestinians against the wrongdoings and barbaric acts perpetrated by the Israeli military, which is composed of every race i.e. based on religious affiliation not ethnicity.