The Truth About the Border Fence

The Truth About the Border Fence
By Michael Reagan | October 13, 2006

For reasons I’ll never understand, some of my fellow conservative talk-show hosts have turned to that bible of liberalism – The Washington Post – to get the “facts” about the U.S.-Mexico border fence just authorized by Congress.

If they wanted to get the real story – and not the misleading one they read in the October 6 edition of the Post – they could easily have done what I did and called Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the man who wrote the bill mandating the building of the 700-mile border fence.

Chairman Hunter knows what he is talking about. He also wrote a bill in the 1990s during the Clinton administration that created the 14-mile-long double fence in San Diego.

The new bill, he told me, uses the same language as his first bill and will have the same effect – the fence will be built despite the Post’s insistence that it won’t. The bill doesn’t say the fence will be built or may be built – it says flatly that it shall be built.

Here are the facts. In a story headlined “In Border Fence’s Path, Congressional Roadblocks,” the Post reported that as soon as Congress had authorized construction of a 700-mile border fence last week, members “rushed to approve separate legislation that ensures it will never be built, at least not as advertised, according to Republican lawmakers and immigration experts.”

According to the Post, “the House and Senate gave the Bush administration leeway to distribute the money to a combination of projects – not just the physical barrier along the southern border. The funds may also be spent on roads, technology and ‘tactical infrastructure’ to support the Department of Homeland Security’s preferred option of a ‘virtual fence.’”

These so-called “loopholes,” the Post said, “leave the Bush administration with authority to decide where, when and how long a fence will be built, except for small stretches east of San Diego and in western Arizona. ”

In other words, the Post interprets the bill as a scam meant to win votes but not really mandating that the 700-mile border fence would ever be built.

The truth, according to Duncan Hunter, is that the amendments, were passed because if they built the wall as described in the first bill they would have been building it through homes and other buildings.

So they needed to amend it to make sure that other people could have the discretion to build the wall around buildings instead of through buildings.

His press conference Wednesday, President Bush was asked: “Are you committed to building the 700 miles of fence, actual fencing?”

His answer?

We’re just going to make sure that we build it in a spot where it works…we’re actually building fence, and we’re building double fence in particular – in areas where there is a high vulnerability for people being able to sneak in.

You can’t fence the entire border, but what you can do is you can use a combination of fencing and technology to make it easier for the Border Patrol to enforce our border … And so I look forward to not only implementing that which Congress has funded, in a way that says to folks, the American people, we’ll enforce our border.

The president described the plan as:

a combination of fencing and technologies – UAVs, sensors…You’ve got some rugged country; you’ve got stretches of territory where you don’t even know where the border is. You’ve got urban areas, like El Paso, or Southern California, where people have been able to sneak in by use of urban corridors. And so, therefore, fencing makes sense there.

The president cited areas of the Arizona sector, where there are “literally neighborhoods abutting the border, and people come — a hundred of them would rush across the border into a little subdivision, and the Border Patrol would catch two or three, and 97 would get in.”

Buttressing Duncan Hunter’s claim, the president noted: “This border requires different assets based on the conditions – based upon what the terrain looks like. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Finally, if you want to make sure the fence is never built: vote Democrat on November 7.

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Arab Americans trending Democratic in swing states

Arab Americans trending Democratic in swing states

By Eric Pfeiffer
Published October 26, 2006

A new poll of Arab Americans in four battleground states shows a large shift in voter preferences that now favors Democratic candidates. If true, it represents a major shift from as recently as the 2000 presidential election, when then-Gov. George Bush won nearly 50 percent of Arab Americans’ votes.
    The survey, conducted by Zogby International for the Arab American Institute (AAI), of likely voters in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania found that Arab Americans are supporting Democrat gubernatorial and Senate candidates by close to 3-1 margins.
    “This first started in early 2002,” said AAI President James Zogby. “It enlarged in 2004, and now, in 2006, has grown to very large majorities.” And with a number of close races potentially shifting the control of Congress, the major shift of even a small ethnic bloc could give one side the edge.
    According to the AAI, the Arab American community is projected to cast a likely turnout of 510,000 voters who represent “up to” 5 percent of all voters in Michigan, 2 percent in Ohio and Florida and more than 1.5 percent in Pennsylvania.
    Among those half-million voters, 45 percent self-identify as Democrats, while 31 percent call themselves Republicans. In all four states, the Democrats are leading among Arab Americans by large margins, with Florida’s gubernatorial race being the exception.
    “Clearly, there is a trend in the Democrats’ direction,” Mr. Zogby said. “Clearly, there is a vote for change.”
    Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania Democrat, leads his Republican opponent Lynn Swann 67 percent to 22 percent, according to the poll. Similarly, in Ohio, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland leads Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell 60 percent to 21 percent.
    This is also true in Michigan, even though the Republican Senate candidate, Michael Bouchard, is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants. The Zogby poll showed Mr. Bouchard trailing among Arab American voters to Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow 54 percent to 31 percent.
    The numbers are a far cry from as recently as 2000, when Mr. Zogby says President Bush won the support of 46 percent of Arab Americans, compared with 38 percent who went for Al Gore. Independent candidate Ralph Nader, who is Lebanese, received 13 percent of the vote.
    Pollster John Zogby, James Zogby’s brother, said that his initial data on Arab-American voting trends, conducted between 1981 and 1984, showed “a fairly even balance” in voter identification between Democrats, Republicans and independents. For the most part, that trend continued through the late 1990s.
    “In 1996, that parity was present,” Mr. Zogby said. There has been a 12-point shift away from the Republicans over the past decade, he said.
    However, Mr. Zogby said the shift toward Democrats was not necessarily a permanent one. “I’m not convinced those numbers are locked in place,” he said. “John Kerry got 3-to-1 over George Bush, and he didn’t earn it.”
    Mr. Zogby said the door could be open for a 2008 Republican presidential candidate who offers “a dramatic shift in policy” from the current administration. Democrats are benefiting mostly from being the opposition party. “In Ohio, it’s because [Senate candidate Rep.] Sherrod Brown is not the Republican,” he said.    

American Arabs and Muslims begin to flex political muscle

SALEM, Mass., Oct. 24 (JTA) — Arab and Muslim Americans, long in the shadows of American politics, are building on the activism they began in 2004. Next month’s likely election of the first Muslim to Congress, coupled with increased campaign donations and a voter registration drive, indicate that the groups are continuing to raise their profiles after briefly becoming less politically active after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. As of Sept. 30, seven Muslim and Arab political action committees had contributed a total of $160,000 to federal candidates, up from $130,000 at the same time during the last election cycle. There are 52 Arab Americans seeking office this year, up from 49 in 2004, according to the Arab American Institute, a Washington-based lobbying and advocacy group. At least 35 Muslims are seeking office, according to the Web site of the Muslim Alliance, a California-based advocacy group. Keith Ellison, who is heavily favored, would become the country’s highest-ranking Muslim elected official if he wins an open U.S. House of Representatives seat from Minneapolis. The Washington-based Muslim American Society has launched a renewed effort to get the nation’s 2.2 million Muslim registered voters to the polls. The strategy includes a revamped Web site, more voter education programs and more voter-registration machines in mosques. In 2004, 84 percent of registered Muslims voted — far above the national average — compared with 41 percent in 2000, according to the Muslim American Political Action Committee. University of Akron political scientist John Green said participation levels increased because Muslims and Arab Americans were frustrated by what they felt was the singling out of some community members for harassment after Sept. 11. The Arab American Institute has a voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort as well. It includes placing signs in English and Arabic in neighborhoods with many Arab Americans, reading, “our vote is our power.” “The threats to civil liberties from the Patriot Act and concern about the war in Iraq are sources of great concern in our community. That is really motivating our members to vote in greater numbers,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. His organization has formed alliances with a broad array of politicians, including Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, a Jew, because Rendell has been responsive to Arab American concerns on economic and civil rights issues. Zogby said campaign giving has been strong this year, but victims of the war in Lebanon are receiving some funds that might otherwise have been donated to U.S. political candidates. Officials of four Muslim advocacy organizations did not return requests for comment. Of the 3.5 million or so Arab Americans in the United States, 60 percent are Christian. Significant concentrations of Arab Americans live in California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all of which have closely watched races this year. Approximately 4.7 million Muslims live in the United States, more than 80 percent of them black Muslims or non-Arabs from South Asia. California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas have the largest number of mosques, according to the U.S. State Department. “The Muslim and Arab communities around Detroit can make a significant difference in individual races, but elsewhere they don’t have the numbers. But they can make a bigger impact by raising money and joining broader coalitions,” the University of Akron’s Green said. In 2004, Arab Americans and Muslims supported Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) over President Bush by 72 percent to 28 percent. In 2000, Bush received 46 percent of their support, according to exit polls. Efforts by conservative activists such as Grover Norquist to include Arab Americans in the Republican coalition were complicated by Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq. Both parties face obstacles in attracting Muslims and Arab Americans to their permanent support bases. Bush has made several well-publicized visits to mosques and has gone to great lengths to note that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are against terrorism, not against Islam. But he angered Muslims and Arab Americans in several speeches by referring to some terrorists as “Islamic fascists.” Many Democrats have criticized the war in Iraq and what they see as Bush administration attempts to restrict civil liberties at home. However, the strong influence of Jews in the party could make it difficult for Democrats to be overly receptive to the agenda of Arab Americans and Muslims. The Arab American Institute says its top priorities include a more “balanced” U.S. approach to the Middle East, including advocating for a Palestinian state. After Sept. 11 it opposed racial-profiling efforts that the group said unfairly targeted those of Arab background, and opposed the war in Iraq. A survey of 1,000 registered Muslim voters by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, released Tuesday, found that 69 percent believe a “just” resolution to the Palestinian cause would improve America’s standing in the Muslim world; 66 percent support working toward normalization of relations with Iran; 55 percent are afraid that the war on terrorism has become a war on Islam; 12 percent believe the war in Iraq was a worthwhile effort; and just 10 percent support the use of the military to spread democracy in other countries. There currently are five Arab Americans in the U.S. Congress, all of them Christian: Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.). Two others are seeking to join those ranks. In Michigan, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is the GOP challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Republican businessman Ahmad Hassan is seeking to defeat U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in a Houston district. Both parties have ranked those races as likely to go Democratic. While Arab Americans have made progress in fund raising, they lag considerably behind pro-Israel groups. From 1990 through 2004, Arab Americans gave $788,968 in individual donations, political action committee contributions and soft money to federal parties and candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research and advocacy group. During the same period, pro-Israel groups and individuals donated $56.8 million. The candidacy of Ellison, a black convert to Islam, has been a source of both pride and discomfort for some Muslims. A state representative and lawyer, Ellison has past ties to the Nation of Islam, including work on the Million Man March. As a student, he wrote articles defending Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan against charges of racism and anti-Semitism. He has since repudiated Farrakhan. Ellison has earned the endorsement of the American Jewish World, the local Jewish newspaper. Sumbal Muhammad, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Minnesota, told Newsweek that Ellison’s candidacy was “bittersweet,” because while it has increased the level of pride in the Muslim community it also has triggered increased criticism of the Muslim political agenda. Claude R. Marx is a political columnist for The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.  


What CAIR-Saudi Connection? — Please read this carefully it sheds much light on CAIR

What CAIR-Saudi Connection?
By Robert Spencer | September 22, 2006

Preview ImageA few days ago Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations was on Tucker Carlson’s MSNBC show to discuss Pope Rage, and Carlson did a fairly good job pressing him on some points — although Hooper was so combative that Carlson twice had to calm him down and reassure him that he agreed with him.

At the end of the segment, however, after he got Hooper to tell the Saudi government that execution for apostasy was wrong, Carlson challenged Hooper on CAIR’s receiving money from the Saudi government. Hooper declared: “To my knowledge we don’t take money from the government of Saudi Arabia.”

Well, I know that Ibrahim Hooper words his statements as carefully as the Pope does, as in the memorable incident when Hooper told Rachel Neuwirth about allegations that CAIR supported Hamas and Hizballah: “CAIR does not support these groups publicly.” So I’m not quite sure how to take this new statement. Does he mean that they don’t take money from the Saudi government, but from individual Saudis? Or that CAIR may take money from the Saudi government, but if it does, no one is telling Ibrahim?

Your guess is as good as mine, but here is some information about the connections between CAIR and Saudi Wahhabis.

According to Frank Gaffney:

The Saudis have been key financiers of CAIR activities and projects for years. For example, the Weekly Standard reported in June 2003 that the construction of the Council’s Washington, D.C. headquarters was subsidized by a $250,000 grant from the Islamic Development Bank, an international financing organization based in Jeddah and run by a Saudi national, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali. American Libraries gratefully reported in February 2003 that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to a CAIR project that aims to put Wahhabi Islamic reading materials in public libraries across the United States. Given the January 2005 Freedom House report that documented the placement by Saudi Arabia in American mosques of officially published and disseminated materials that are rabidly anti-semitic, anti-Christian and pro-jihadist, we would be foolish to view the CAIR/Saudi library initiative as a gift-horse.

Finally, no less a source than the Saudi Gazette declared in November 2002 that the World Association for Muslim Youth (WAMY) – a government-funded organization responsible for radical, Wahhabi proselytizing and recruitment – gave financial support for a 2002 CAIR weekly advertising campaign in American publications. This gift to CAIR alone was valued at $1.04 million.

And from Daniel Pipes:

A couple of items from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington concerning its support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are worth noting and pondering. The first dates from August 15, 1999, and is listed under “IDB Approves New Projects Worldwide”:

President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr. Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ali announced today that the bank has approved a number of new grants for Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries worldwide. These include U.S. $395,000 to build a school in Tanzania, $250,000 as a contribution to the purchase of land in Washington DC to be the headquarters for an education and research center under the aegis of the Council for American Islamic Relations, and $30 million for Islamic associations in India.

For those not familiar with the Islamic Development Bank, it appears to be an international institution but is in fact an arm of Saudi foreign policy.

Pipes has more info at the link.

Remember, as Warith Deen Muhammad put it: “In Saudi Arabia it’s the Wahabi school of thought…and they say, ‘We’re gonna give you our money, then we want you to…prefer our school of thought.’ That’s in there whether they say it or not. So there is a problem receiving gifts that seem to have no attachment, no strings attached.”

Leading UK Imam: It’s OK To Kill Gays

Friday, October 27, 2006

Leading UK Imam: It’s OK To Kill Gays

The leading Imam of Manchester’s Central Mosque says Islam dictates the killing of homosexuals. (Hat tip: Dhimmi Watch.)

The leading imam in Manchester confirms that he thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified, the rights group Outrage reported.

Arshad Misbahi of the Manchester Central Mosque confirmed his views in a conversation to John Casson, a local psychotherapist.

Casson said: “I asked him if the execution of gay Muslims in Iran and Iraq was an acceptable punishment in Sharia law, or the result of culture, not religion.

”He told me that in a true Islamic state, such punishments were part of Islam: If the person had had a trial, at which four witnesses testified that they had seen the actual homosexual acts.“

”I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community.“

”I checked again that this was not a matter of tradition, culture or local prejudice. ‘No,’ he said, ‘It is part of the central tenets of Islam: that sex outside marriage is forbidden; this is stated in the Koran and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had stated that these punishments were due to such behaviours.’”

Post-traumatic Stress and the Democrat Base

Post-traumatic Stress and the Democrat Base
October 27th, 2006

Why do so many American Jews reflexively support Democrats? A Jewish liberal I know has a daughter who loves art history. She felt very  happy to be admitted to one of the best Art History graduate programs in the country. But after the first few weeks she left, because of the pervasive anti-Semitism she experienced there. And yet, her father is just as liberal as ever. Sure, he understands intellectually that the Left has spread anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on US college campuses. But he cannot learn from his own experiences. Why?

A Jewish college friend told me once that his grandmother had been knouted to death in Poland. A knout is a thick bullwhip that can kill at a single stroke. Such a family trauma sends waves of pain down the generations. Polish Jews had many experiences like that, culminating with Auschwitz. At some point it no longer makes sense to talk about the pros and cons of politics; the pain imprinted  generations ago is too great.

Today’s Democrats make the right sounds for many Jews—they are rhetorically liberal, which sounds warm and reassuring. Historical family trauma makes many Jews vulnerable to con artists and demagogues. They don’t even bother to ask if they’ve chosen the right side. The ultimate irony is that the only source of publicly accepted anti-Semitism today comes from straight the Left, which is rarely challenged on liberal college campuses. In Europe, some socialists are now classic anti-Semites. The Left has flipped against Jews, but most Jews still haven’t caught on.

Many Jews (and African-Americans, too) are easily manipulated by the Left. Many Blacks have traumatic family histories. The NAACP smeared George W. Bush in 2004 by associating him with the murder of a Black man who was dragged to death by a pickup truck in Texas. The criminals were properly caught, prosecuted and convicted. But the NAACP had no interest in assuring its supporters that the time of the KKK is over. Democrat operatives have no guilt about associating a good and decent president with the worst kind of racist crime. The NAACP commercial worked, because the target audience has been so utterly burned by their family histories. Truth didn’t matter. Lies won.

Such trauma must command our respect and sympathy. And yet, if people live in the past they cannot make reasoned choices in the present. The idea that US conservatives resemble  Nazis is pathetic; it is only made possibly by sheer ignorance of  history. The formula “Bush = Hitler” is delusional to the point of madness; on the contrary, “Bush = FDR” or “Bush = Churchill” would be much, much closer to the truth. It is utterly despicable to use such lies to manipulate innocent people. And yet, the Left routinely propagates bizarre ideas with great success. If the Left could not lie through its megaphone of the media, it would lose all its power.

The massive irony is that the United States is as different from Poland sixty years ago as any place in the world could be.  No country in the world  has been kinder and more generous to history’s victims of all races and origins. We have immigrants, traumatized in their native lands, living in this country from Cuba, From Vietnam, from Africa, from Eastern Europe, from Cambodia and from China.  Among many others.

In the last fifty years America’s generosity has applied to Blacks as well. Yet many American Jews cling to their family fears from long ago. Political demagogues play upon that in the foulest way. What turned me against the Democrats more than anything else was the Party’s unbelievable manipulation of traumatized Jews and Blacks. This is as immoral, even evil, as political behavior gets. The demagogue wing of the Democratic Party stands convicted by its own behavior. Nothing the GOP has ever done even comes close.

The irony is that today’s Democrats are using demagogy, guilt by association, and emotional manipulation in precisely the same way  Jim Crow demagogues used to. There is little difference between the race-baiting of the old Dixiecrats and the race-baiting of Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan. It’s not surprising: Sharpton learned his political gambits from the Jim Crow experience.  Only the victims have changed. Bill Clinton learned his sly good ole boy mannerisms from his mentor J. William Fulbright, and today’s liberals fall for them just as Southern whites used to. Only the sides have changed.

No doubt some liberals really believe “Bush = Hitler.” To them any slander is justified. Those people are delusional; they are not in touch with reality. They confuse friends and foes, and end up in effect supporting people like Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad . Such deluded people end up flipping right and wrong, moral and immoral, pro and con, reason and irrationality. Morally, they belong to the side they have chosen.

Many American Jews have a love for Israel, just as Irish-Americans have a special love for Ireland, and English-Americans for England. Before World War I and II, the British Foreign Office was accused of manipulating American public opinion on behalf of Britain. Today American Jews are accused of giving too much support to Israel. But there has never been any problem with American citizens advocating for countries in danger of being crushed by their enemies, especially when the moral differences are so crystal clear. Americans of English descent had the right to make Churchill’s case against Hitler. Jewish Americans should feel no guilt about making the case for Israel against the likes of Hamas and Hezb’allah. It is their right as citizens, and their duty morally.

Tenured professors at places like the Kennedy School of Government are now accusing American Jews of having too much influence on behalf of Israel. Notice well: it’s not the Republicans who are making those allegations. It’s the pervasive leftistists of  Kennedy School of Goverment ilk. But American Jews seem to live with a great blind spot, even when leftist betrayal of democratic and humane values happens over and over again over a hundred years. Jews on the Left end up taking the side of suicide killers in Tel Aviv.

There is no rational argument for such blindness.

The solution to trauma is compassionate therapy, but nobody can give therapy to millions of people living in the past. All we can do is remind them of the reality right in front of their eyes. Just look at reality, and think. Don’t be stuck in the past. Don’t be triggered by reflexes. Open your minds. Think, think, think.

Today’s Blacks are not living in the Jim Crow South, and Jews are not living in Poland. That was then. This is now. Think.

Living in the past means getting suckered by political con artists. It is hugely self destructive. Just think. Open your mind. Think.

James Lewis is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.

BBC Internal Memo Admits Anti-Christian Bias — BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals. They acknowledged that ethnic minorities held a disproportionate number of positions and said the BBC deliberately encourages multiculturalism and is more careful to avoid offending the Muslim community than Christians, . Tossing the Bible into a garbage can on a comedy show would be acceptable, they said, but not the Koran, and if possible they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden, giving him the opportunity to explain his views.

BBC Internal Memo Admits Anti-Christian Bias

Company executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals

By Gudrun Schultz

LONDON, United Kingdom, October 24, 2006 ( – The British Broadcasting Corporation has admitted to a marked bias against Christianity and a strong inclination to pro-Muslim reporting among the network’s executives and key anchors, in a leaked account of an “impartiality summit.”

The Daily Mail reported Sunday on the secret London meeting of key executives, called by BBC chairman Michael Grade and hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley. The report revealed that many senior executives are deeply frustrated with the corporation’s commitment to “political correctness” and liberal policies at the expense of journalistic integrity and objectivity.

BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals. They acknowledged that ethnic minorities held a disproportionate number of positions and said the BBC deliberately encourages multiculturalism and is more careful to avoid offending the Muslim community than Christians, .

Tossing the Bible into a garbage can on a comedy show would be acceptable, they said, but not the Koran, and if possible they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden, giving him the opportunity to explain his views.

“The BBC is not impartial or neutral,” said Andrew Marr, senior political commentator with the corporation. “It’s a publicly funded, urban organization with a abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”

Senior executives raised a chorus of complaints against the corporation for bias against the United States and strongly anti-national reporting. Justin Webb, Washington correspondent, said anti-American sentiment runs so deep in the corporation that the U.S. is treated with scorn and derision and given “no moral weight.”

“There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness,” said one senior executive. “Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture that it is very hard to change it.”

Mary Fitzpatrick, who oversees the corporation’s “diversity” policies, said Muslim women readers for BBC News should be permitted to wear veils while on air, if they choose, after  a female newsreader caused a stir by wearing a visible cross on air. Ms. Fitzpatrick also defended the BBC against internal accusations of selective reporting on issues critical of the black community.

Andrew Marr, in an interview with the Mail, said, “The BBC must always try to reflect Britain, which is mostly a provincial, middle-of-the-road country. Britain is not a mirror image of the BBC or the people who work for it.”

During the recent international upheaval over Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on Islam, the BBC was accused by media watchers of deliberately inflaming the Muslim community worldwide through biased and inflammatory coverage. Political commentator David Warren, writing for the Ottawa Citizen, said the BBC was “having a little mischief. The kind of mischief that is likely to end with Catholic priests and faithful butchered around the Muslim world.”

The international uproar led to retaliatory attacks in Israel against Christian churches and clergy, and the murder of a nun in Somalia