Thursday, 3 March 2011

The cry of "Allahu Akhbar" that the BBC ignores

In Libya rebel forces cry it as they advance through the dessert

In Frankfurt the killer of two US soldiers cried it as he shot at them on the bus:
'Running on to the bus screaming "Allah Akbar" - meaning "God is Great" - he fired nine times before the gun jammed and other passengers subdued him, ABCNews reported.'

At Fort Hood, Major Nidal Hasan  cried it as he went on his rampage:
'he heard the gunman shout out "Allahu Akbar" just before the firing began.
"After I heard that I pretty much froze up because I knew what that meant," said Zeigler, referring to the Arabic phrase meaning "God is great."'

Many of the crowd on the streets of Cairo shout it:

The men who shot Israeli border guard Isam Abu-Rish were shouting 'Allahu Akbar' as they shot him in the back

Of the Islamist Chechens who massacred three people in Grozny last year:
'One blew himself up and two others went on the rampage inside, spraying bullets and screaming "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest"), a witness at the parliament building said.'

The attempted Portland bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud began shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and struggled to get away from arresting officers when the “explosive” laden van failed to detonate and agents swooped in on him.

In Jerusalem in 2008 a
'Palestinian terrorist screams "Allahu Akbar" as he rams bulldozer into pedestrians, cars and packed buses'

And yet when I search the BBC website for the phrase Allah Akhbar I find just six instances:

1) 'Hopes fade after Java landslide' - 2006 -
'One man described watching helplessly as dozens of his neighbours were buried alive.

"They were yelling 'Allah Akhbar', and then were slowly buried," 50-year-old Saryono told the Associated Press. '

2) 'Bosnia leader was war crimes suspect' - 2003 -
'The main streets in Sarajevo were closed to traffic, and thousands of people queued outside the presidency building where Mr Izetbegovic was lying in state, his coffin draped in the blue and gold Bosnian flag.

Crowds prayed and chanted Allah Akhbar (God is great) as his coffin was driven through the streets. Some carried the coffin on their shoulders for the final part of the journey. '

3) 'Saddam tape' - full text - 2003 -
'Be united all under your flag, under the Iraqi flag, under the slogan Allahu Akhbar, all in one trench. '

4) 'Israel orders army restraint' - 2002 -
'The Israeli army has been told to exercise restraint and refrain from initiating attacks inside Palestinian-controlled areas, government sources say.


Hours after the announcement of the new measures, a Palestinian man was killed at an Israeli military outpost Halhul - near the West Bank town of Hebron.

An Israeli army statement said the man - identified by Israeli public radio as Firas al-Bau, 22 - was killed at the fence after running towards the outpost shouting "Allahu Akhbar" [Allah is Great] - a phrase believed to be uttered by militants before an attack. '

5) 'Anti-war protest in Nairobi' - 2001 -
'Thousands of Muslims in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have defied a police ban and protested against the American-led attacks against Afghanistan.

Demonstrators came out onto the streets after Friday prayers carrying pictures of Osama Bin Laden, the main suspect behind last month's attacks on New York and Washington.

Banners criticising the United States, Britain and Israel were held aloft and there were chants such as "Down, Down, USA!" and "Allah Akhbar" (God is great) '

6) 'Egyptian death sentences passed' - 1997 -
'A security court in Cairo has issued death sentences on three Islamic militants convicted of killing a large number of Egyptian policemen in attacks carried out five years ago. The men, two of whom were sentenced in absentia, are members of the same faction which carried out the massacre at a temple in Luxor in November, in which nearly 60 foreign tourists were killed. Our Middle East correspondent Jim Muir reports:

The three convicted men are from a group of more than thirty members of the Gama'at al-Islamiya who are on trial for carrying out a series of attacks in upper Egypt in 1992 and 93, in which more than 20 Egyptian police officers were killed.

Only one of the three condemned men was in court to hear the sentence pronounced. His response was to chant 'Allah Akhbar' -- god is greatest. The sentences meted out by the military and security courts are not subject to appeal. '

So across the whole of the BBC news website there are just six reported instances of people crying "Allah Akhbar" and only one of these is associated with Islamic terrorism, and that one is from 1997. Is it any wonder that many people believe that the BBC is deliberately underplaying the influence of Islam on Islamic terrorism?

Let's give the BBC the benefit of the doubt though I thought, maybe the BBC's search engine is playing up; so I searched for Major Nidal and found plenty of article but none that included the reports that he had shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire. I tried similar searches on the Frankfurt Airport attack and the Cairo protests and not a word on the BBC, it's as though the BBC do not want to report the fact that Islamic terrorists are crying "Allah Akhbar" (God is great) as they make their attacks; why not?

UPDATE 03/03/11 21:30
Thanks to DB in the comments for bringing another incidence of this BBC pattern to my attention:
'Here's another use of it in a BBC News story, once again as a benign expression.

One does wonder if there's some sort of editorial dictact regarding when the phrase can and can't be used.'

1 comment:

DB said...

Here's another use of it in a BBC News story, once again as a benign expression.

One does wonder if there's some sort of editorial dictact regarding when the phrase can and can't be used.