I got a little angry as I took notice of ‘Lily Cole: Model apologises for posing in a burka on Instagram’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-58245304). Here we see the BBC in an alleged new attempt to create click bitches. You see, why would the legally allowed acts of a writer (Lilly Cole) require her to publicly apologise for something that is in the first not illegal and not even immoral. In the second, I hereby request a list of ALL the critics that we see in “Critics said posing in the garment, worn by some Muslim women, did not help diversity and was ill-advised given the current unrest in Afghanistan”, so I want that list of critics (and stakeholders too). Diversity is not seen through fashion, to be clear it is my view and when I see “Cole said she understood why the image upset people and wanted to “sincerely apologise for any offence caused”. She agreed it was “ill-timed” and said she “hadn’t read the news at the time”.” I personally wonder who is pushing this anti islamic bullshit. Now, I am not muslim, I do not are whether a person (disregarding religion) decides to wear a Burka, a Niqab, a Hijab, or a Chador. Is that not the freedom we signed up for?
That same BBC is very motivated to push any link to Martin Bashir out of the news (or as far to the back as possible). So I am understandably angry. I do not know what the motivation, or the choice was of Lily Cole to give rise to diversity. And when I see the utterly slim connection of “Cole, 33, posted the pictures as Afghanistan was being taken over by the Taliban, who forced women to wear the burka when they were last in control there in the 1990s” is beyond belief. First these idiots (oops, sorry critics) will optionally be found to have been super silent in cases of Syria and Yemen as well as the inactions by America in Afghanistan, the latter part is getting all kinds of exposure. In the second, the global Islamic population is almost 2 billion, making it 25% of the world population, the Taliban is an estimated mere 230,000 making it a 0.015% of the Islamic population and a 0.00294% of the global population, so why the overreaction? I am speculating and willing to bet that this is due to anti-islamic sentiments and the BBC is reporting this, whilst allegedly ignoring all kinds of issues for their stakeholders?
Does anyone get the drift that the BBC needs to overhaul their editorial staff? I need to be honest, the BBC has done its share in exposing anti-Islamophobia, that should not be ignored, but this piece could have been done a hell of a lot better. So when we look at some of the quotes and we see “The Times columnist Janice Turner accused Cole of “putting Instagram posturing before universal human rights”.” In this I am willing to call Janice Turner a bit of a raving loon. Why? This is about a book, Lily Cole’s book and if she thinks that she is doing the best to produce and promote her product then it is her choice. I have nothing against JT messaging Lily Cole stating that she is not taking the right route, no, the BBC made it all public and no matter how you slice it, she did it on HER instagram account. When I search for Instagram+Scandal I get 85,000,000 hits on Google. In this day and age when ACTUAL journalism is sliding, was there any value in giving Lily Cole visibility in this way? Then we see “Anjum Peerbacos, co-founder of the Hijabi Half-Hour podcast, said the pictures were “disrespectful””, which is a separate and different issue. I cannot comment on that (not Islam and lacking knowledge) and what the BBC did not give us is that she is also a member of AVOW- Advancing Voices of Women against Islamaphobia. OK, this view has merit, but the BBC did not take that path, the path was all accusing on Lily Cole and with the exception of Anjum Peerbacos it was the wrong route to take.
We all make mistakes, there is no denying that. Yet to hammer an activist who just wrote a book it is unacceptable to take such an approach. I believe that islamic people have a decent stance to talk about dress-up, yet her answer “If you are serious about it and you’re passionate about it and you want to see diversity normalised, you bring women forward that are from that diverse background and you platform them”, is a decent intelligent one. A view that almost falls into the background, too far into the background.
So why is it making me angry?
The BBC was ignoring several cases of houthi missile attacks on Saudi civilian targets, the BBC has been adamant on giving the highlights on many causes and that should not be forgotten. Yet in this case it could have taken a very different route, whether this is good or bad for Lily Cole is something that I cannot predict, but I wish her the best. Advocating diversity is a good cause and perhaps Anjum Peerbaco could set up a special in the Middle East Eye (a paper she writes for), or perhaps via AVOW. Let’s not forget that we all make mistakes and teaching us the why can almost never be a bad thing. It might help Lily Cole, I do not know, I am merely fishing here.
Yet I believe that the BBC with that article made a larger mistake and they should repair the damage they do, I truly believe that. And in the end, is fighting against islamophobia and for diversity to some extent not an overlapping interest area?