Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why BBC 2's Newsnight dropped female Muslim for their 'who speaks for Muslims' studio discussion............

 ...................... so they wouldn't upset the Daily Mail!!!!!

A week ago two acknowledged space scientists, Dr Hiranya Peiris and Sky at Night presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock appearing on Newsnight to discuss "detected gravitational waves, an echo of the Big Bang, the universe's cataclysmic birth almost 14 billion years agobrought forth this description by a Daily Mail columnist:
"....two women were invited to comment on the report about (white, male) American scientists who've detected the origins of the universe – giggling Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Sri Lanka-born astronomer Hiranya Peiris"

Read a disgusted Professor David Price, vice-provost for research at University College London (UCL) feelings on the matter in the Guardian:
"I am writing to express my deep disappointment in the insinuation in your newspaper that Dr Hiranya Peiris was selected to discuss the Big Bang breakthrough on Newsnight for anything other than her expertise.
In Ephraim Hardcastle's column on 19 March, he asserts that Dr Peiris and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock were selected based on gender and birthplace because 'Newsnight's Guardian-trained editor, Ian Katz, is keen on diversity.'
The implication that anything outside of her academic record qualifies Dr Peiris to discuss the results of the BICEP2 study is profoundly insulting. She is a world-leading expert on the study of the cosmic microwave background, with degrees from Cambridge and Princeton, so is one of the best-placed people in the world to discuss the finding.
Dr Aderin-Pocock is a highly-qualified scientist and engineer with an exceptional talent for communicating complex scientific concepts in an accessible way.
Full letter here. 

Perhaps fearing the wrath of the Daily Mail, and their contempt for contribution by intelligent females in highly technical matters, persuaded BBC 2's Newsnight team to host an-all male debate -  " last min editorial decision to replace me for 'wider views' (M. Francois-Cerrah/Twitter Feed) on who speaks for British Muslims?

Newsnight 24 March 2014: Who speaks for UK muslims?

On BBC2's Newsnight last night (Monday 24 March 2014),  Myriam Francois-Cerrah was dropped and replaced with  Mohammed Ansar resulting in umpteen minutes of squabbing among UK Huffington Post's political director Mehdi Hasan, Ansar both of whom clearly objected to former radical and 'counter-extremist think tank' Quilliam Foundation's Majid Nawaz, looked on by an unusually hapless Jeremy Paxman. Missing was a rational discussion about there not being a need for anyone to speak for the disparate coterie of Muslims anywhere.

Pity Newsnight backed down on Myriam's views though.