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BBC is less anti-Catholic under Muslim head of religion, says Ann Widdecombe

By and on Friday, 5 August 2011

Ann Widdecombe spent 10 weeks as a contestant on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing (PA photo)

Ann Widdecombe spent 10 weeks as a contestant on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing (PA photo)

The BBC has become less anti-Catholic under a Muslim head of religious programming, according to former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe.

Miss Widdecombe said that since Aquil Ahmed was appointed two years ago the BBC’s religious coverage had “improved vastly”.

Speaking to the Irish Catholic, she said: “He isn’t a Christian but he understands faith, he understands religion.

“I’ve recently done a few programmes for the BBC, which I’ve been allowed to do absolutely straight – no agenda at all, … not slanted or sarcastic or anything. I think it’s helpful we’ve got somebody there who understands what faith is about.”

But she said it was “undeniable” that the BBC had a Leftwing bias.

“Yes, it caters for Christians – and that is undeniable – it’s got its religious programming, it’s got ‘Songs of Praise’ … but in commentary and debate it is weighted the other way,” she said.

Miss Widdecombe said that over the last decade or so Britain’s attitude towards Christianity had changed “from indifference to active marginalisation” – and that persecution was not too strong a word to describe the way Christians were being treated.

“When you’ve got an airline which can seriously say that a Muslim can wear a hijab, a Sikh can wear a friendship bangle or indeed a turban (in the case of men) but a Christian may not wear a cross, then you have got something that is very difficult to say is not persecution,” she said.

“These days [a doctor or nurse] can’t even say to a patient, ‘I’ll pray for you.’ There was a time when the response would have been ‘thank you,’ because that is the polite response. Now, it’s to put in a complaint and get the worker sacked.”

Miss Widdecombe retired from politics last year and spent 10 weeks as a contestant in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. She turned down the chance to become Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See because she had to have emergency surgery to her eye.

In her interview, Miss Widdecombe also praised the Catholic Voices initiative during the papal visit, and said the Church was “useless” at PR. During the abuse crisis, she said, the Church “never stood up for itself”.

“It didn’t point out that the biggest abuse actually happens within families; it happens in scout groups, choirs, anywhere you care to look – the teaching profession – there is nothing unique about it to the Catholic Church,” she said.

  • http://twitter.com/Harry_ca_Nab Geoffroy Mjollnir

    Way to go Annie.

    But should we wholly blame the BBC when the CofE has been asleep at the controls for more than a generation?

    Remember – there are three kinds of people. Those that make things happen. Those that let things happen. And those who wonder what the F*CK happened !!

    The BBC come into the first category – they have consciously downgraded and belittled Christianity and British culture as a part of its Socialist agenda to destroy a sense of belonging and community amongst the British.

    Islam, however, has blindsided them as they are obliged to show this cult craven “respect” as it represents minorities and non-British culture. That is now the Achilles Heel that our church leaders should exploit to the full.

    The CofE falls into the latter category and to some extent, the Catholic hierarchy in the UK.

    The Lefty CofE clergy and the “Magic Circle” in the UK Catholic Church – neither of whom are mainstream and yet wield power – have destroyed Christian belief and worship from within and failed to defend it against the Left.

    Just look at church attendance, knowledge of our christian heritage amongst the British and total loss of moral standards. 

    Perhaps Rowan Williams and other senior church figures should be placed in a cage, like Hosni Mubarak, and asked to explain themselves.

    I would gladly buy a ticket to that show!

  • dolly

    I must confess, Anne confuses me. On the one hand she is outspoken (rightly so) on issues of anti-Christian bias and discrimination and is happy to castigate the socialist media outlet, the BBC (bang on) for it’s appalling discriminatory slant against Christian religion prevalent in our wonderful country. But what is really at the crux of my suspicions about her is she is reportedly a very quite but ferverent and by some accounts determined supporter of the EU. This enterprise is based on communism which cannot tolerate a free religion as communists countries around the world testify too.

    She is a pro–european which she must be aware (presuming an astute political mettle) operates an under the counter policy of stamping down on Anglican catholics and soon roman catholic.

    Come clean Anne?

  • https://openid.org/locutus LocutusOP

    Much as I dislike what the EU has become, I really couldn’t call it based on communism. If we’re to believe that it’s original stated goals were free trade and movement of people, then it was based on capitalism. The question, of course, is whether it’s original goals were not a diversion tactic to obscure its real aims.

    Whatever the case, the EU most certainly has no respect for any notion of subsidiarity.

  • Dolly

    The original goals were/are just stepping stones from a relatively free and democratic Christian based moral society to a marxists state.

    Take a look around yourself; socialism has strangled captalism – deliberatly with the coniverance of the unelcted eu commisoners. Complain and you could end up being found in breech of the eu zenophobic laws and be ‘legally’ kidnapped and hauled thousands of miles away for  gaoling without trial for years on end.

  • Parasum

    ““When you’ve got an airline which can seriously say that a Muslim can wear a hijab, a Sikh can wear a friendship bangle or indeed a turban (in the case of men) but a Christian may not wear a cross, then you have got something that is very difficult to say is not persecution,” she said.”

    ## Not necessarily - whether or not her conclusion is valid depends on the reasons for the permissions and prohibition. To look at the results of the decisions, is not a sufficient guide to whether or not her conclusion is justified.

    If someone is forbidden to eat meat, that could be because the Church tells them to observe Friday abstinence; or because the meat is not kosher; or because the meat is infected with BSE. Or because the person forbidden is going to have an operation the next day.  Identical result – but different reasons for it in each case.  

  • Aisake

    (There is nothing unique about it to the Catholic Church),this is another comment basically  about the abuse but the Church is once again be victimize by a action or issues not only committed by the Catholic’s but also other religion. Saint John Marrie Vianney said i quote” the world looks at how we live better in this place but the eyes of Christian looks beyond to eternity.

  • ms catholic state

    It doesn’t matter what the EU is based on.  But if it is not based on Christianity….then its base is false.

  • Anonymous

    Funny how history is being rewritten isn’t it?

    Exactly who defended the Pope during that long period of anti-papal witch-hunt/smear campaign?

    I’d suggest in this country a significant factor was performed by one young fiery female out-of-work journalist
    who after many months of tempestuous arguments and incisive factual reportage actually converted many popular secularist activists on the Left AWAY from the Protest the Pope campaign…
    We who were on the front doing the majority of the fighting know who she is – whereas I’d bet most of you have never even heard of her – she’s a lady who was deemed ‘simply too mad’ to participate in Catholic Voices.

    Yes Ms Widdecombe is right in that it most certainly wasn’t the Church hierarchy or the CCN – but is AW suggesting that Catholic Voices did it all?
    I think she’ll find that the vast majority of the long-term online defences and counter-attacks were performed by US bloggers/journalists and on the home front a handful of British Catholic bloggers addressed the maniacal secularist assault head-on and took the fight to them…and we continue the fight to this day – we didn’t [like Catholic Voices did as soon as the papal visit was over] sit down and enter dialogue with our avowed ideological enemies and discuss how we could ‘do business as new humanists’.

    Yes the BBC has ‘mellowed’ under the tenure of Aquil Ahmed ; but we still have to endure the revisionist anti-papal sneerings of Robert [it's pronounced with a B] Piggot, the interminable anti-Catholic venom of Ernie Rea; the anti-Catholic propaganda inherent in its light entertainment via the chattering anti-papists and STILL after so many guarantees from the Religious affairs team – the majority of guests invited to participate in discussions to speak for Catholicism are very much from the progressivist Tabletista wing where heresy, treachery, revisionism and the advocacy of moral turpitude flows like an open sewer.

    …and our Clergy?
    Where they are not silent on,
    or in denial of,
    or apologising for,
    or equivocating away
    - the inherent Truth – The person of Christ – which subsists in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?….

    …then they are misreporting, or misdefending or mistaking their own opinions for authentic Catholic teaching and praxis.

    The CCN scandalised, humiliated and embarrassed us all with their ineptitude, negligence,acedia and downright refusal to defend His Holiness and the Church last year – How they have been allowed to maintain their roles – and the name – is beyond me!

    …If the BBC has mellowed under Mr Ahmed it must be solely through his own efforts – in no way whatsoever has our hierarchy or our media representatives/spokespeople been in any way effective in countering the onslaught against us over recent years – and one of the most culpable [and silent on every issue except through compromise or inanity] has to be the captain of the Good Ship S.O.S Westminster. Take a look at http://vincentnichols.blogspot.com/ and please bear in mind that all these issues are not my main bone of contention with His Grace , nor is it his treatment of Edmund Adamus or the fiasco over the Cardinal Vaughan or the treatment of his auxiliaries . No – my fury is vented at the advocacy of the scandalous murderous Connexions program in Catholic schools [where illegal underage sexual activity is [state-sponsored] covered-up and contraception and abortion provisions are readily available] and the promotion by Conference of the euthanising Liverpool Care pathway where clinical nutrition and hydration may be withdrawn and our terminally ill are murdered in the most excruciatingly painful way – all with the tip of the mitre from Bishops’ conference.

    Christ is being re-Crucified at the hands of His Apostles.

  • Enoch

    99% of those organisations and internationa bodies who are helping the famine stricken land of Somalia (100% Muslim country) are non-Muslims, mainly Christian organisations. Yet, the BBC was mentioning again and again: “We are talking to an Islamic Charity which is active in Somalia”, of course, a shear effort to manipulate those who frequently ask, “Why don’t Muslims help victims of natural disasters?”. The BBC has become very pathetic lately.

  • Parasum

    “The BBC has become less anti-Catholic under a Muslim head of religious programming, according to former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe.
    Miss Widdecombe said that since Aquil Ahmed was appointed two years ago the BBC’s religious coverage had “improved vastly”.
    Speaking to the Irish Catholic, she said: “He isn’t a Christian but he understands faith, he understands religion.”

    ## WW Michael Voris Think ? LOL

  • Rezwan

    Prime minister erdogan and his party is taking turkey into a conflicting situation with both western world and shia religious clerics.By going against asad regime in damascus turkey also have a big opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the people of arab streets.neo ottomanism have already started.it is not only in the news articles!!!!
    fahad.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    Miss Widdecombe said the Church was “useless” at PR. During the
    abuse crisis, she said, the Church “never stood up for itself”.“It
    didn’t point out that the biggest abuse actually happens within
    families; it happens in scout groups, choirs, anywhere you care to look –
    the teaching profession – there is nothing unique about it to the
    Catholic Church,” she said.

    ON SOME OCCASIONS THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD’S PEOPLE SAVED JESUS; GO THROUGH THE GOSPELS, YOU WILL DISCOVER.

    OVER THE CENTURIES THE BIG CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN  AND THROUGH THEIR OFFICIALDOM  REDUCED THE PEOPLE OF GOD INTO LAY PEOPLE AND WALKED OVER THEM. THE CONSEQUENCE: CLERICALISATION… . A CASE OF MEANS MAKING ITSELF THE END.

    WHEN THE TIME OF  A RELATIVE  JUDGEMENT CAME THERE WERE NO PEOPLE LEFT.  EITHER THEY LEFT THE CHURCH (THE CASE WITH THE YOUNG)  OR THEY WERE TOTALLY INCAPACITATED BY OLD AGE. AND YET WHO IS DEFENDING THE CHURCH, BE IT IN AND THROUGH THE CATHOLIC HERALD, U.K OR THE IRISH CATHOLIC? O GOD, TAKE NOTE!

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal