Beliefnet
(Middle East News Online) London, May 31 -- A Muslim freelance journalist's contract was terminated by the BBC last week for his "strong views on the Middle East issues."

Faisal Bodi was recently hired by the BBC to write and produce a radio show that would reflect a Muslim view on the Middle East and Muslim affairs in the UK.

But shortly after Bodi was on the air, he was asked to leave the company.

The Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz said that the BBC's decision was a result of "protests from British members of Parliament and Jewish organizations," saying that Bodi " openly opposes Israel's right to exist."

In an article published by the British Guardian, Bodi described the BBC's action against him as an "anti-Muslim discrimination."

The head of BBC radio news tried to justify the BBC's action, writing a letter to the Guardian in which he seemed to provided mixed messages.

Stephen Mitchell alleged that Bodi is "not banned by the BBC."

"Faisal Bodi appears to have interpreted the way the BBC has dealt with him as evidence of editorial bias and as a slur on his journalistic integrity. It was neither," he added.

"We have always said that the piece Mr. Bodi provided, and we broadcast, on the political disaffection of young Muslims, was fair, balanced and accurate."

However, "the problem with the broadcast was our failure to give the listeners the full context, in particular the fact that Mr. Bodi has strong views on the Middle East issue which he has publicly stated."

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