A senior reporter has left Channel 4 News amid presenting a package last week promoting a racist Islamist who supported ramming attacks. Last Thursday Channel 4 News aired a film presented by reporter Assed Baig showcasing Muslim women who “fight back by rejecting stereotypes”. The film heaped praise on notorious anti-Israel activist Nadia Chan, who has previously:
Channel 4 has pulled the report and video from its website and deleted tweets promoting the piece…
It’s the latest in a series of controversies concerning Baig. Last year Guido revealed his racially charged tweets referring to Muslim supporters of government-hosted Ramadan meals as “uncle Toms”. Baig slurred Ahmadiyya Muslims and also said of British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan:
“They are not my boys or ‘our’ boys… Since when did we start calling paid soldiers, with Kevlar protection, air support, heavy machine guns, armoured vehicles and tanks heroes? In this narrative the farmer who is defending his country from the occupier is the bad guy. Who are the real heroes?”
A Channel 4 News spokesman told Guido:
“Last Thursday, Channel 4 News broadcast a report looking at the role of Muslim women in British society. Following inflammatory comments made online by one of the women featured after the pre-recorded interview took place, we decided to remove the piece while we investigate further.”
The spokesman also confirmed that Baig left Channel 4 News before the piece went to air. About time…
I have been the subject of some criticism over past remarks I have made in blogs and on social media.
— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig) April 11, 2016
In a recent report on the Ahmadiyyah, I used a phrase used by other media. For the record #c4news always refer to the Ahmadiyyah as Muslim.
— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig) April 11, 2016
An apology for “offence caused” is not an apology…
Note that Baig fails to apologise for his tweets on “House Muslims”, “uncle Toms” and “coconuts“. He also refuses to clarify if he recognises the Ahmadiyya community as Muslim. Channel 4 have refused repeated requests to disclose how many complaints they have received about Baig’s conduct, and what their investigations into his behaviour found. They also won’t tell us if they are happy with his non-apology, which only made things worse for Baig. Guido’s inbox has been inundated with complaint after complaint sent to Channel 4 about their extreme reporter…
It has emerged that Channel 4 News were repeatedly warned about the conduct of their reporter Assed Baig well before Guido revealed his racially charged tweets and slur on injured British soldiers. Guido has seen a complaint sent to Channel 4 News about Baig back in November 2014. The complainant, himself a Muslim, claimed that Baig displayed “worrying tendencies” and warned “there is a clear line of racism in many of his comments”. They suggested Channel 4 take “a quick look on Twitter at Mr Baig‘s feed”. Channel 4 responded that “Your concerns have been passed on to the editorial team” but seemingly no action was taken.
Guido also understands that another complaint was made several weeks ago about a report Baig fronted on the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Baig is said to have described Ahmadis as “people who describe themselves as Muslim”, a controversial statement given the persecution they face at the hands of other Muslims. Channel 4 News have refused to give Guido an answer on whether they are investigating complaints about Baig. They will only tell Guido that Baig’s other views were expressed before his employment. Yet this is something he said on air on Channel 4, and bosses have done nothing…
On Friday Channel 4 News reprimanded their reporter Assed Baig after Guido revealed his racially-charged tweets. They were only the tip of the iceberg. Back in 2012 Baig wrote a blog arguing that injured British soldiers do not deserve the charity of the public as “they knew what they were signing up for”. He goes on say British soldiers aren’t “heroes“, suggesting the “real heroes” are the “resistance” fighting them:
“They are not my boys or ‘our’ boys. This may sound harsh to some, but they knew what they were signing up for, they went to fight in an occupation of a foreign land. If they get injured in the process it is the government’s responsibility to take care of them, not for them to rely on the charity of the public… On the back of the envelope [from the Royal British Legion] there is a ‘send a message of support to an injured hero’ plastered next to a British flag. Hero? Really? Since when did we start calling paid soldiers, with Kevlar protection, air support, heavy machine guns, armoured vehicles and tanks heroes? In this narrative the farmer who is defending his country from the occupier is the bad guy. Who are the real heroes?
We have whole-heartedly bought into this premise that soldiers are sacred and their role should never be questioned. I for one cannot accept it and must see the world in a much wider context. Rich versus poor, ruling elites versus the proletariat, the politicians versus the people, big business versus the indigenous people, the well-armed Western soldiers versus the rag tag resistance of Iraq and Afghanistan.”
This man is now employed as an investigative journalist by Channel 4 News…
It doesn’t end there. Another blog by Baig promotes conspiracy theories about the death of Osama bin Laden:
“as the news spreads out across the world, it raises more questions than it answers… Many will be suspicious of the US narrative. Many believe he was killed years ago since he has not played a major frontline role in recent years.”
In another blog, Baig played down the crimes of the Islamist extremist group Al Muhajiroun, Anjem Choudary’s Salafi group which has been a proscribed organisation since 2005:
“For all their ills, Al Muhajiroun have only carried out insensitive political protests at inappropriate times.”
Baig wrote that British Muslims should not celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee:
“There are a minority of Muslims that are falling over themselves to please the establishment and sign up to a colonial notion of tolerance and integration. Maybe… these Muslims have forgotten about the stolen jewels on the Queen’s crown, the British flags that once flew over the lands of their forefathers planted by an occupying British army and how colonialism still lives on in the shape of the occupation of Afghanistan”
Why is Channel 4 News employing a man with these extreme views?
In October Guido reported that Channel 4 News was employing a former CAGE extremist who had supported an Islamic theologian infamous for defending Hitler. Today we can reveal they are employing another reporter who sent a string of vulgar racially-charged epithets. Investigative journalist Assed Baig attacked moderate Muslims with racial terms including “uncle Tom” and “house Muslim”, even claiming that British Muslims who attend Islamic events hosted by the government are “Uncle Toms”, a derogatory phrase meaning a black person who is obedient to whites:
Baig suggested moderate Muslims “dance” for their “master” because they are “house Muslims“, another racial slur:
In response to a story about a Muslim Tory candidate calling for Muslims to join the British Army, Baig shockingly wrote:
Baig also claimed that the terms “choc-ice” and “coconut”, racial slurs which speak for themselves, are “not racist terms”:
At the time of going to pixel Baig had not responded to a request for comment. For Channel 4 News to employ one reporter with extreme views could be considered misfortune, to employ two…
UPDATE: Channel 4 News statement:
‘We are aware of the tweets in question by Assad Baig which pre-date his employment by Channel 4 News. They are clearly a personal view relating to that particular period in time. However, he has been reminded of his responsibilities as a journalist to be fair and impartial when representing Channel 4 News at all times.’
UPDATE II: Anti-Islamphobia campaign Tell Mama condemns use of “House Muslim“ phrase.