"Over the weekend, the BBC was forced to remove a highly offensive message about Jesus from its website.
All websites run the risk of being defaced by extremists, but why had this message been allowed to remain there for a week, despite complaints?
Anti-Muslim comments vanish instantly. Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that the BBC has refused to allow Casualty to carry a storyline featuring a terrorist attack by a Muslim suicide bomber. The editorial guidelines department decreed that, instead, the terrorists should be animal rights extremists.
The BBC's coverage of Islamic affairs has been unsatisfactory for many years.
In its international and domestic news reporting, the corporation has consistently come across as naïve and partial, rather than sensitive and unbiased. Its reporting of Israel and Palestine, in particular, tends to underplay the hate-filled Islamist ideology that inspires Hamas and other factions, while never giving Israel the benefit of the doubt. (Disgracefully, the BBC is still refusing to publish the Balen Report, which it commissioned to investigate allegations of anti-Israel bias.)
In its coverage of British Muslims, the BBC has been inspired by two laudable aims: to treat their beliefs respectfully; and to avoid stereotyping ordinary Muslims as terrorist supporters. In the process, however, it has done two rather different things.
First, it has presented Islam on its own terms, as if only Muslims had the authority to describe their religion.
Mohammed remains an intensely controversial figure. Yet the BBC shies away from proper historical investigation of "the Prophet", as it insists on calling him.
Second, the BBC has only scratched the surface of one of the biggest news stories of the decade: the penetration of Muslim youth by Islamic supremacist groups.
Indeed, the corporation has even helped this to happen.