12 Jan 2004
The Muslim Council of Britain have dismissed Kilroy-Silk’s expression of ‘regret’ as hollow and devoid of any genuine contrition. The MCB considers Kilroy’s statement of ‘regret’ as motivated more by self-interest than any sincere admission that he was wrong to have demonised the entire Arab nation of over 200 million people.
“The ‘regret’ that Kilroy is now expressing – after the BBC suspended his chat show – about his breathtakingly racist anti-Arab rant is plainly disingenuous and an obvious attempt to save his well-paid career. Unfortunately, Kilroy has a long history of this type of behaviour. He has besmirched the name and values of the BBC. We hope the BBC will now send a permanent and potent signal to all that it regards anti-Arab racism as no less reprehensible and no less odious than anti-Black or anti-Jewish racism,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The MCB also welcomes the call by the CRE Chairman Trevor Phillips for Kilroy to stop playing the martyr and recognise the offence he caused by issuing a full apology and retraction for his ill-informed outburst in the Sunday Express.
“Kilroy’s attempt to justify his appallingly ignorant and offensive remarks in the Sunday Express as merely an exercise of his freedom of speech is deliberately misleading and a clear red herring. The issue is not about the freedom of speech – which we all must value and cherish – it is about abusing freedom of speech to vilify and demonise an entire group of peoples. Kilroy has shown an utter disregard for the law on incitement to racial hatred.” added Mr Sacranie.
Later this week, the MCB will hand over a document to the BBC and the CRE detailing evidence of Kilroy’s previous xenophobic remarks. Many of the Muslim and Arab audience members on his daytime chat show can testify to his biased and insulting approach. We cannot imagine how painful it would be for Britain’s Muslim and Arab communities to participate in any possible future Kilroy programme knowing full well the extent of his dislike for them.[Ends]
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