Stop Aleem Maqbool’s appointment as Head of religion for the BBC
Petition to: Nadine Dorries MP – Secretary of State for Digital – Culture – Media and Sport
The BBC has, after what they say was a competitive recruitment process, appointed a new Religion editor, Aleem Maqbool. Mr Maqbool, a Muslim and journalist of some note, previously acted as the BBC’s Pakistan Correspondent and Gaza/West Bank Correspondent (https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/2021/bbc-news-aleem-maqbool-religion-editor/). He is due to take up his new position this Spring.
Maqbool succeeds Martin Bashir and, before that, Aaqil Ahmed. Two of these men are overtly Muslim, and one is of Muslim heritage. In Ahmed’s promotion of multicultural programming, there were numerous complaints of anti-Christian bias and calls for his removal.
The BBC was established by Royal Charter in 1927, ‘to inform, educate and entertain’, with committed Christian, Lord Reith, appointed as Director-General. Inscribed over the foyer of Broadcasting House, in Latin, are the words:
“This temple of the arts and muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being director-general…”
Our society and culture are founded on Christian values, and we are a Christian country. According to the Office for National Statistics, 59% of the population self-identify as Christian, with only 6.3% identifying as Muslim. (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/articles/exploringreligioninenglandandwales/february2020; https://www.statista.com/topics/4765/islam-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/#dossierKeyfigures).
On what grounds can and does the BBC justify appointing as Head of religion on the last three successive occasions – since 2009 – only British Asians, two of whom are Muslim, and one from a Muslim family?
This is not celebrating diversity and reflective of our multicultural society. It smacks rather of an agenda, overtly hostile to traditional British values and history and aimed at promoting the progressive Islamisation of our country.
We call for Aleem Maqbool’s appointment to be stopped, and for a fairer recruitment process reflective of our Christian heritage and faith.