Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Self-Censorship at BBC, Yahoo?

I was reading an article (by Diane West?) recently where she said the BBC someplace on its website feels constrained to suffix the words "Prophet Mohammed" with PBUH (peace be upon him). All references to the prophet in the muslim world seem to do this, even in editorials, etc., but for the BBC to be following suit, I thought, was nothing short of astounding; rather like American news anchors suddenly sprouting the flag on their lapels shortly after 9-11. But then I had somehow nurtured the belief that the BBC was a little more objective and alive to irony.

The article also pointed out that they did no similar thing for Jesus, Buddha, etc., a minor point but noteworthy still. Sure enough, going to the BBC site, I found this was indeed the case. Drilling down to one of the links, I found this appeared to be more like an official policy. Would the BBC provide a similar treatment to Chairman Mao, appending a "The Great Helmsman" after each reference? I didn't check, but somehow I doubt it.

Now comes news that Yahoo will not allow user names containing Allah. A rather hilarious website, owned by one Mr. Kallahar (of Irish descent) says Yahoo rejected his name, because the letters a-l-l-a-h appeared in conjunction. Also rejected were names like Callahan, and youareallaheadofme.

Self-censorship? Seems like an open-and-shut case.

No comments: