I noted this week that the BBC had started to emphasise the non-Britishness and immigration status of terrorist suspects or arrestees - in stark contrast to their reporting of criminal cases.
Here we see common-or-garden young killer Hannad Hassan, described by the BBC as "Hasan, 17, of Colindale, north London" and by the Telegraph as "Hannad Hasan, 17, a Somalian refugee".
Contrast that with the coverage of these three.
"Al-Daour, who was born in the UAE and lived in Bayswater, had CDs containing instructions for making explosives and poisons."
"Moroccan-born Tsouli, of Shepherd's Bush"
If they'd just murdered someone they'd have been "Al-Daour, of Bayswater" and "Tsouli, of Shepherd's Bush" (the third guy was UK born).
So if a criminal's a foreigner we don't mention it, still less if he's a refugee or asylum seeker. Don't want to encourage xenophobia, do we ? But terrorists, since 7/7, are a different kettle of fish. The name of the game is now social cohesion, the celebration of commonality rather than difference. If a jihadi is a foreigner, we'll emphasise the fact.
The Today programme has a fascinating debate (20 mins in, RealAudio) on what seems to be a change in Government terminology. Apparently the words 'Muslim' and 'Islam' are pretty much being banned by government - and they're not "terrorists", they're "criminals". According to Nick Robinson, the M and I words did not cross the lips of either the Jelly Bellied Flag-Flapper or Home Secretary Smith during the recent comedic unpleasantnesses.
Funny - didn't the Labour Party during the Thatcher years go on about how unhelpful it was to call the IRA "criminals", that they were rational people fighting for a political objective ?
It looks from this report as if the BBC are already falling into line. Maybe Mr Altimimi is a revolutionary Marxist.
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