My Appearance On BBC’s ‘The Big Questions’

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I always make sure I tune in to The Big Question on the BBC for some entertaining religious debate. I’ve been in the audience a few times, but last Saturday on the 14th May I was invited along to be a featured guest. The two questions I was brought in to discuss were: “Do we have the right not to be offended?” and “Is death easier if you believe in god?”.

I think it went well enough for my first live TV appearance. I’m especially pleased to have raised awareness of ex-Muslims on the UK’s largest broadcaster, much to the chagrin of the Muslim gentleman sat behind me.

You can watch the full episode on BBC iPlayer here if you are in the UK.

For others, see the YouTube clips below, before they are taken down:

‘Do we have the right not to be offended?’

‘Is death easier if you believe in god?’

 

Here are a few select clips:

 

I intend to share my thoughts on the whole experience in an upcoming Taking The Myth edition of the podcast, so be sure to subscribe to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast on your preferred device.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

7 comments

  • Regarding the position and defence of free speech as absolute, spot on. The quibblers and “buters” always seem to bring a caveat to free speech from their own war chest of foibles. I have limits to free speech myself, but they are my limits, before I utter something I dismantle it a bit. Is it worth the breath? Can the idea take some strikes? If not, then silence is golden. This happens internally. (Of course I live in the world where some of these limits are already set for me)

    Also, I do understand that feelings matter and that words can wound, but I also understand feelings change and wounds heal. It seems that an army of the meek, who seem to feel that they shall inherit the earth by default, have bellowed, “But I’m offended (the inverse is, “I must offend”)!” once too many times. It has become a joke to be offended and to offend. Perpetual offence is not a position, it’s a neurosis. Perpetual spewing of offense is plain assholery.

    The first clip, the one I watched, was a perfect example of how to have a conversation. Mannered and polite. Towards the end, it began to creep slightly towards the point where offence matters most, but the host swatted that ball quickly back into play. Good conversation, hopefully some inner thought followed.

  • On watching Question Time (25/05/2017) there he was prominently positioned in the centre of the audience. I refer of course to the muslim gentleman who took great exception to your comments on ex-muslims during The Big Questions. Pure coincidence that he has featured as a prominent member of the audience on two BBC current affairs shows in a week? Or is he simply one of the BBC’s ‘go-to’ muslims for such programmes? It certainly gives credence to the longstanding claim that the Question Time audience is, shall we say, ‘carefully selected’.

    • To be fair I reckon it’s more right place at the right time, it’s not hard to get in to an audience and this guy’s from Manchester so he doesn’t have to go far.

    • It’s not difficult to be an audience member on Big Questions. If you’ve already been part of the audience before you get an email next time the production is in your city. As he’s a Muslim chaplain at Manchester University and the fact that he’s more than willing to speak up makes producers even more keen to have him on.

      • Thank you Iram for confirming his identity. Perhaps that’s why he also gets invites onto BBC Question Time, BBC News & Channel 4 News? My issue is not with his regular TV appearances but more the shows’ inference that he’s there by chance.

        • Big Questions and Question Time are open to the public for audience participation. I got the email for Question Time and I don’t live in Manchester.

          I don’t think he was invited on to BBC or Channel 4 News, he hung about Manchester city centre on the day waiting to be interviewed by many of the tv crews down there.

          He’s visibly Muslim and is very willing to talk on TV, there is no canard going on, there’s already a conspiracy meme that’s done the round on Twitter about him lol!

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