Breitbart Suffers Sense Of Humour Failure Over Nicky Campbell’s ‘Inshallah’.
I have an unhealthy love of the BBC’s flagship religious discussion show The Big Questions. It’s not good for my blood pressure, but it makes for addictive Sunday morning television.
In fact, one of the most entertaining aspects of the show is watching its host and linchpin Nicky Campbell attempt (and mostly succeed) to hold it all together each week.
Navigating the bad blood and cross-talk between Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, atheist, Wiccan, Whateverism guests could well be an exercise in futility in lesser hands.
A wink and a nod here, a beautifully deployed devil’s advocate there and a telling off once in a while, Campbell seems to be in possession of infinite patience. Watching him play conductor in a woefully dysfunctional orchestra is truly brilliant and often hilarious in equal measure. It shouldn’t work, but somehow he makes it work.
I’ve taken to live tweeting the show and as a result, discovered there are countless numbers of others willing to tune in and tweet along with me. We all moan about it, but we’re kidding ourselves. We love it deep down.
“Did he really just say that?” and “She’s not serious is she?” become the common refrains.
This brings me to the latest episode of The Big Questions for which Nicky Campbell is receiving no small amount of vitriol thanks to signing off the show with ‘Inshallah’, the Arabic, Islamic expression for ‘If God wills it’. You can view the clip below:
Furthermore, surely the goal of secularism (if that is your goal) isn’t to eradicate all forms of religious expression from public life. In fact, it would seem almost ideal that these terms become expressions of levity rather than sincere superstitious sentiment – as appears to be Campbell’s intention.
Well, the news platform Breitbart doesn’t quite feel the same as made clear from their article ‘BBC Presenter Signs Off ‘Inshallah’ On Flagship Debate Programme’ . As stated in the article:
The move will no doubt irk some BBC viewers who still regard Sunday as the Sabbath in Christianity. Mr. Campbell’s line drew a smile from a hijab-clad girl sitting in the audience behind him.
Take five minutes reading the ‘Muslim takeover’ sentiment in the comments if you can stomach it. This utter non-story and failure of humour would almost be funny, but predictably, Twitter indignation and abuse followed:
Also, Raheem Kassam, the editor in chief of Breitbart London (and the author of the article) weighed in with his impartial ten cents…:
I think this upstanding individual wins the main prize though:
I’ve had my own issues with the BBC’s religious output in the past. This however, is not worth getting your knickers in a twist about. You should save your ire for real instances of Islamism.
One thing is for certain: so long as there are people (apocalypse pending), there will always be a sizeable inability to recognise humour, mashallah.