Muslim BBC boss who put an Islamic State backer on a reality show is rewarded with a promotion as she becomes head of religious TV


From the Daily Mail

The executive who put a terror sympathiser on TV now heads BBC religious programming on screen. 

Fatima Salaria provoked uproar by giving Anthony Small a platform on Muslims Like Us, a reality-style show. The convicted fraudster and former boxing champion, now known as Abdul Haqq, was a member of hate preacher Anjem Choudary’s inner circle.He had previously expressed support for Islamic State but was cleared last year of trying to join the terror group.

Mrs Salaria, who is a Muslim, argued in December that it was important to hear ‘authentic voices from a range of backgrounds’ so viewers could ‘gain fresh insights and not just have their prejudices confirmed’. Since then she has been quietly named commissioning editor for ethics and religion. This puts her in charge of all the BBC’s religious content on TV, including Songs of Praise and An Island Parish.

It is the second time the BBC has put a Muslim in charge of religious television programming.

Yesterday, Professor Anthony Glees, of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said: ‘If a BBC executive makes a programme that’s notorious and then the BBC promotes them, it tells me that the BBC has in that area lost its moral compass.

‘People will obviously think that this lady is more sympathetic to extremism and was trying to mainstream it in Muslims Like Us…”

Before Mrs Salaria commissioned Muslims Like Us she worked on a series of programmes about radicalisation, including one called Britain’s Jihadi Brides. She has also argued on public platforms that the BBC needs to give more of a voice to Muslims.

She said last year: ‘We need more people like me to stand up and say: “This is our community and this is how we want these programmes to be made.”’

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