BBC censors word Palestine out of song


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The BBC censored the words ‘Free Palestine’ from a Mic Righteous rap song.


By Elham Asaad Buaras

The BBC has removed the word ‘Palestine’ from a song broadcast on BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The word was filtered out of a recording as the artist Mic Righteous sang the words ‘Free Palestine’. The edit, three minutes into the song, took place on the BBC show, Hip Hop M1X with Charlie Sloth on February 11.

The edit has been condemned by many listeners who contacted the BBC to complain.

In a statement to The Muslim News, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Director, Sarah Colborne, said, “Ironically, the lyrics were ‘I can say Free Palestine’. Well, apparently, you can’t if you try to say them on the BBC. What kind of Orwellian world are BBC directors living in? How can the BBC possibly justify removing these words? This kind of censorship of artists should be strongly opposed by anybody who believes in a free society, and anybody who wants to uphold the centuries old tradition of making political comment through art.”

She added: “The Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are living under Israeli occupation and military rule and their desire for freedom is no different from that of any other population who have suffered under oppressive regimes. Just how far is the BBC going to take its censorship, or is it only the Palestinians’ demands for freedom that will fall foul of BBC censors?”

On the BBC Radio 1Xtra website, fans vented their anger at the decision to censor the word Palestine. One poster wrote, “Disgraceful and appalling censorship…so what happens if they play Desmond Dekker’s ‘Israelites’ track? Blatant BBC bias against Palestinians – yet again…Death in the Med…etc. This has to stop.”

Another commentator adds: “Is the word ‘Palestine’ controversial only when used in songs, or will the BBC be deleting it from all its programming? Is the word ‘Israel’ similarly controversial?”

However, the BBC said Dekker’s 1969 track ‘Israelites’ was an apolitical song about Rastifarianism which has not been played in the stations for years.

A spokesman for the BBC told The Muslim News all its “programmes have a responsibility to be impartial when dealing with controversial subjects and an edit was made to Mic Righteous’ freestyle to ensure that impartiality was maintained.”

Source: Muslim News


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