Free Speech Not So Free on BBC Free Speech Show

Youtube screengrabYoutube screengrabA recent episode of the BBC show Free Speech featured a question from Asifa Lahore, who describes himself as “Britain's first and only gay Muslim drag queen.” Lahore asked, “When will it be accepted to be Muslim and gay?”

Unfortunately, the BBC ironically decided that it would not allow the question to be discussed by the show’s panel. The episode of Free Speech was being filmed at Birmingham Central Mosque, and presenter Rick Edwards said immediately after Lahore’s question was asked:

"We were going to debate that question but today after speaking to the mosque they have expressed deep concerns with having this discussion here."

Watch below:

Shockingly, not a single member of the panel decided to force a debate on Lahore’s question.

The BBC has understandably been criticized for its decision not to allow for the invited panel to debate the issue, with some viewers taking to Twitter to express their disapproval.

Writing in his blog at The Telegraph Dan Hodges says that the BBC should have ignored the mosque's concerns and broadcast anyway:

What was the presenter thinking of? What was the producer thinking of? What is the BBC thinking of?

If their hosts wanted to censor the content of the programme they had no business broadcasting from that venue in the first place.

But once they were there and broadcasting they should have carried on the debate, or pulled the plug live.

Writing at Breitbart London, Raheem Kassam said that the BBC’s decision is the latest example of “how and why the BBC fails to do its job properly.”

A BBC spokeswoman said that the Birmingham mosque didn’t say any topics were off-limits when they offered to host the show, but that the mosque did receive threats after homosexuality and Islam were mentioned as one of the topics to be discussed during promotion. That reaction probably answers Lahore’s question better than any of the panelists could have.

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  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Is there a more useless profession than journalism?

  • Tman||

    System Admin for Reason?

  • Free Society||

    Is there a more barbaric religion than Islam?

  • Paul.||


  • Zeb||


  • Brandon||


  • Paul.||


  • Hugh Akston||


  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I like you Hugh. I will kill you last.

  • Paul.||

    It should also be remembered, as so many mainstream journalistic outlets reminded me after Ambassador Stevens was killed because of YouTube, that the rest of the world doesn't have a first amendment, so we should tone down our rhetoric and expectations.

  • Paul.||

    I'm guessing the moniker Free Speech is just something the producers cooked up to make the show seem edgy. Sort of like when a show is playing that booming music and the voiceover says stuff like "Nothing is out of bounds!" or "Uncut! Unedited!" or my other favorite "Too hot for TV!" while you're watching it on TV. It doesn't actually mean that 'nothing is out of bounds'...

  • ||

    "Free speech!...within limits."

  • William of Purple||

    They should let Jezza host this.

  • Loki||

    Let's see if the comments are working now...

    That would be one way to get Clarkson killed (I'm assuming you're refering to Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear).

  • Raston Bot||

    those spineless Brits never disappoint.

  • Free Society||

    We can't have free speech because what if someone yells something vaguely gay in a crowded Mosque?

  • BakedPenguin||


  • Drake||

    Did they name the show ironically?


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