Pakistani student murdered in the name of the blasphemy laws, latest on the Grenfell Tower fire and Jon Ronson on his latest offering, Okja.
Browse content similar to 30/06/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
A brilliant student in Pakistan is brutally murdered in the name
The mob think he is a blasphemer. This is where he tried to hide from
the mob. They found him here. They kicked him, beat him, hit him with
sticks and shot him. and how British Imams should be
responding. I've therefore decided to step down
as leader of the council. It's ridiculous he thought he could
hang on. It's really great. Kensington and Chelsea
council leader steps down We speak to Jon Ronson,
co writer of Okja, the latest film to confront our
insatiable carnivorous habits. Good evening, first, more on the
controversy over lading and buildings razed by the Grenfell
Tower tragedy. Newsnight discovered crucial details about why so many
about buildings managed to get cladding installed that does not
meet normal safety standards. Chris, what have you found out this
evening. We have to take a step back to
remember how you get cladding signed off by the building inspectors. The
first way is to test all of the parts of the cladding you wish to
put up in a laboratory and check it is basically impossible to set on
fire. The second thing you can do, we have a video showing it, is if
you want to use a bit of material that is a little flammable, is you
can put that material into a furnish arcs effectively, in the
configuration you want to use it to see if it holds up. But there are
other routes, one is a desktop test. You say, you have done a proper fire
test in a laboratory, I want to do something similar to that, so I'll
get an engineer to say what you are proposing is the same as that over
there. What we discovered over the last few weeks is that the desktop
tests are used more widely than anyone respectable or responsible
thought and there are serious problems with the quality. We think
they are widespread. We have managed to get hol of a couple of things
that are secretive. These are documents. We managed to get hold of
two produced by a company. They relate to using combustible
insulation like a Grenfell Tower with aluminium composite panels on
the outside like the Grenfell Tower. They relate to quality like Grenfell
but the same sort of design. The thing about the panels, is that they
behave oddly in a fire. It is two bits of aluminium around the core of
a substance. Some have plastic inside? Some do.
In the fire the aluminium can expose what is on the inside. So in a fire
that is dangerous. So aluminium combustible panels behave in an
unusual way. We have two of the examples and a quote here. It shows
that they say, they believe that the panels, if tested would believe the
same as a test that they conducted with ceramic tiles. They do not
behave in a fire in a similar way to ceramic tiles. The documents are
handed over to a building inspector, and on the basis of them say that
you have done the work, tick. We know that for example, this research
was used in Portsmouth in Unite student accommodation. This is
justifying stuff going on this buildings. We spoke to people who
did not believe that this was being used. But this is how some of this
stuff is on the buildings. What are the implications tonight?
We have to say that the Unite students who own that building in
Portsmouth says it has a large number of fire safety measures, they
were open with us, doing routine fire testing and taking up the
Government's offer much the free testing of the cladding. They were
open with us. Kingspan, they paid for the reports, they make the
insulation, they paid the engineers to produce the reports so that the
insulation is used in the context. And said that they always get this
from the UK's most respected fire inspecting consultancis, and they
are confident that they are not compromised.
But another company, refused to comment throughout on the basis of
client confidentiality. We have some of the reports but they are yet to
respond for comment. Keep going. Thank you, Chris.
The brutal killing in Pakistan of Mashal Kahn exposes deep
divisions in the country, and puts pressure on British Imams
to distance themselves from the country's blasphemy laws,
and the way they are used to legitimise violence.
A brilliant student, Mashal, was brutally murdered by a mob
on a university campus in Pakistan earlier this year after he was
The killing has caused widespread outrage and has even led to calls
to change the country's strict blasphemy laws.
A horrific lynching captured on camera on a university campus.
The mob, though, think he's a blasphemer.
This was Mashal Khan's room, where he tried to hide from the mob.
They kicked him, they beat him, they hit him with sticks
The issue of blasphemy has long divided Pakistani society.
And some hope this case could finally lead to some reform.
But others are deadly opposed to that.
This is the village of Zaida in Pakistan's northern
And it's where his family still live.
Mashal was an outstanding journalism student with an interest
Abdul Wali Khan University is one of Pakistan's newest institutions,
with a student population of over 12,000.
It is just an hour's drive away from Mashal's village.
The campus has been closed since Mashal's murder.
Over there, that building is the Department of Journalism
Over there is the hostel that he lived in and it is where he died.
This is him alongside Abdullah, who had also been
accused of blasphemy, and another journalism student.
Mashal would debate with more conservative students.
He described himself as a Muslim but also as a liberal.
Over time, debates turned to threats.
He used to discuss with religious fanatics.
He knew that but he used to discuss these things.
He was accused of being an atheist agnostic.
Blasphemy allegations are often used in Pakistan as a way
Mashal's father believes this video of him criticising alleged
corruption in the university a few days before his death led
Police have also collected evidence suggesting student politicians,
jealous of Mashal's influence, wanted him out of the university.
It is hard to know what of that is true.
What we do know is that most of those who took part
in the violence did believe Mashal was a blasphemer.
I think at one time the notion was, that if somebody wanted
to get somebody killed, they will go hire what are known
He will either be killed or forced to leave the country.
The day of the lynching, it seems, began like any other.
Mashal apparently had no idea what was about to happen.
A group of students demanded to see the lecturers,
accusing Mashal and two of his friends of having
As the mob continued to grow, Mashal was frantically
"They are falsely saying I insulted the Prophet".
His friend replies, "Mashal, where are you?"
Then the mob made their way to Mashal's hostel.
There, they found him hiding in his room on the second floor.
I came here the day after the murders.
Now, over a month, and nothing has changed.
These are the bloodstains where it seems the authorities think
that Mashal was lined up against the wall and shot.
At least two eyewitnesses that I have spoken to say that
after he was shot he was still alive and they tried to carry his body
To try to get him some help because after the shots rang out,
the mob dispersed and they were able to try and rescue him.
But when they got to the bottom of these stairs, the mob had
reassembled and they managed to grab his body back.
From this point, Mashal's last moments are captured
His fellow students beat him as he lay dying.
The videos were instantly shared across Pakistan.
Mashal was eventually dragged outside.
Even long after he was dead, they continued beating his body.
Police were present but were either unable or unwilling to stop them.
Dozens of Mashal's fellow students who appeared in the videos
Some were members of religious student organisations.
I wanted to understand what was behind their brutality.
Wajahat is not accused of having beaten Mashal but of helping incite
the attacks by accusing him of blasphemy in front
We have got hold of a letter written by Wajahat to a number of religious
scholars he is effectively encouraging to support
And in it, he goes into a lot more detail about the alleged blasphemy
He talks about one conversation in particular that he had
with Mashal about Adam and Eve in which Mashal is saying,
why is incest forbidden in Islam if Adam and Eve's children
would have had incestuous relationships with each other
Mashal's killers have their sympathisers.
This was a rally just weeks after the murder,
It was addressed by a number of former MPs, including this man,
a leading local figure in an Islamist party.
Whatever he might, or is alleged to have said, nothing can justify
killing someone, and especially not in that way.
After the death, the family are hosting a memorial.
40 days after Mashal's death, the family are hosting
A rally this large in support of someone accused of blasphemy
Most Pakistanis, religious or not, are sympathetic to Mashal's case,
But none of the political parties are seriously talking
about reforming the blasphemy law because of the resistance
Unlike extremist groups such as the Taliban, the law does have deep
support in many quarters. the law does have deep support
in many quarters. Mashal's family are torn
between hoping that his death could lead to a more open,
tolerant society and worrying alleged failings by the police
and the university could be covered You can see a longer version
of Secunder Kermani's film on Our World on the BBC
News Channel at 9.30pm on Sunday night and,
of course, on the iPlayer. We're joined by Haras Rafiq,
who is the chief executive of the counter-extremism
organisation Quilliam International. What is your reaction to that film
and what happened? I have seen some of this before and this is the tip
of the iceberg, since 1987 thousands of people have been accused of
blasphemy and charged and at least 65 of them have not made it to
court. In the case of accusing someone of blasphemy, has that been
a cover in many ways to attack them? Obviously lynching is not allowed
but has that been a copper because he expressed left-wing views or is
it a straight blasphemy accusation? Will not, if you look at the
blasphemy laws, at some stage you do not need witnesses. At the top end,
the long sentences somebody to death, then you need witnesses and
what we have seen is instances where people have used it to settle scores
but more than that, there has been a deep sanitisation of the normally
very tolerant versions of Islam and people are believing that the law
gives them the opportunity to behave that way. How does that correspond
to attitudes here and what the imams are saying here? This is the most
recent one and there was a case before this were a politician was
actually killed for daring to challenge reform of the blasphemy
law, killed by his bodyguard, who was from the moderate tradition.
Moderate yet Conservative, moderate in every other way when it comes to
Islamist and terrorism but on this issue, very focused on the blasphemy
law and when his killer was sentenced, he was praised, the
killer was praised here in some of the largest mosques in the country.
Are you suggesting that there would be a situation where what happened
to Mashal would be condoned here? It was, the killing of somebody because
they dare to challenge blasphemy laws was condoned and by imams...
Interestingly, some imams will be very vociferous about this but do
you think that people still fear speaking out, even to say that
blasphemy law should be changed? We have been talking about repealing
the blasphemy law in Pakistan because it is not fit for purpose,
it is not Islamic, it was brought there by the British Empire. Why is
it so important for people here to relate to the blasphemy law? If you
look at the last census, nearly 69% of Muslims in this country, from the
Indian Pakistani and Bangladeshi region and the overwhelming majority
come from Pakistan, they control the imams, who have been supporting the
blasphemy law there and the killers still control a lot of mosques in
this country and the largest mosque outside London was actually
supporting the killer of Salman Taseer publicly. What should be
done? You are in organisation trying to stop radicalisation of you
suggest there is no appetite amongst imams to speak out? The problem is
not the appetite, it can be dangerous. If you look at before
Finsbury Park, the last three high-profile killings in this
country were done by other Muslims because you were considered
non-Muslim enough, Glasgow, Rochdale and London. It can be dangerous as
well but above that, there is a tradition, but I come from, where
the majority of Muslims in this country who want everything else are
moderate but on this issue still support the blasphemy law. We have
no idea what the attitude is in the mosque you are talking about but
thank you very much for joining us. It has taken pressure
from Downing Street and nearly two weeks of condemnation but finally
today the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has resigned
over the Grenfell Tower tragedy. In a statement, Nicholas Paget-Brown
said he accepted his share of responsibility for the perceived
failings of the authority. The latest of those was his refusal
to let the local residents and the press into a council
meeting last night.... Then, when a court order
overruled his decision, He has faced a barrage of criticism
since the night of the fire, criticism which came from all sides,
not least about the council's chaotic response and his refusal
to admit they could not cope. I have to accept my share of
responsibility for these perceived In particular, my decision to accept
legal advice that I should not compromise the public enquiry
by having an open discussion in public yesterday has itself
become a political story. I therefore decided to step down
as leader of the council. Almost immediately after
Paget-Brown stepped down, the deputy leader of the council
also resigned and, earlier today, Robert Black, the chief executive
of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Association, announced
he was stepping aside from his role Pilgrim Tucker is a community
organiser who is working Quite a lot of activity today but
what difference will this make to residents? Hopefully, now that Mr
Paget-Brown has gone and the Deputy Leader has gone, we can replace them
with people who are competent and care about the residents. It is the
case that Sadiq Khan is denied saying that the council should be
set aside and new commissioners should be put in by the government,
would the residents support that? I think trust in the Cabinet has gone,
trust in the console and they were not confident in them years ago.
They were complaining and trying to raise these this year's and the
aftermath has been disastrous, as we can see, and new people need to be
put in place. In terms of on the ground, a council workers augmented
by central government civil servants, how either residents
doing? Westminster is still struggling, there is a lack of
communication, they are unclear about what is happening in the
future to them regarding housing. They are still confused. Are they
all highest? They are in temporary accommodation. -- highest. Hotels?
Yes, but I know there are families in unsuitable accommodation,
children sharing rooms with adults, in one room, and so on. You have
worked with the residents would you talk about the fact that people
actually have not been exercising their rights, is a feeling that in
the past, although you have been pushing for the residents because
they have serious concerns, that there is a feeling that the
authorities seem to know best? Those residents really tried very hard to
exercise their rights and that console, two of those councillors
have stepped down, those councillors did not respond and would not
listen. That is a big problem with democracy and accountability. And
they listened more to the private sector. Do you think there is a
democratic deficit, not least because you do not have the same
system of local papers and so forth to dig stuff out? There is a
democratic deficit, we also have this increasingly powerful private
sector involved in local government. And councillors in this case wanted
to listen to them but I think even in other areas of London, where
councillors are trying to respond to residents, the private sector has
too much power and we need to increase scrutiny and oversight and
I think we need to diminish the role of the private sector in local
government and increase regulation and start to appreciate the
important things that the state and regulation can give us. That is the
vehicle for us to have democracy. You talk about things that can
change and it is often hard to see what good could come out of this
dreadful tragedy but do you think there could be further re-engage
meant in local politics and a different way of doing council
activity? Hopefully people will recognise the importance of our
local governing institutions and the importance of them really being
responsive to the people who have elected those people, councillors,
government, locally and nationally, have a duty of care, they command a
lot of resources on our behalf and it is very important that they are
responsive and this is a terribly horrible example, the build-up to
this went on for years with people trying to get these people to
listen. These people need to step down and the whole council needs to
step down. What is important that the government must start listening
to residents and the public enquiry. Before that, this new deadline for
next week for people to get houses, what are the chances of not being
met and what would happen if it is not met? I think the only thing they
have assured us is more temporary accommodation so I think there are a
lot of promises which are not being met and fluffy statements which are
temporary buffers to keep people happy for now. And the really
important thing is, like the residents have said so very clearly
to politicians, be honest with us, treat us with the intelligence and
respect that we deserve and most important is the public enquiry. Do
not give us false promises, we are intelligent people and we will hold
you accountable. Thank you very much indeed.
The plight of animals bred and either paraded as entertainment
or slaughtered for the delectation of humans has long been fertile
territory for Hollywood, from Charlotte's Web to Babe
But the latest feature film to confront our insatiable
carnivorous habits has been made not for the big screen but by Netflix
for our tablets and iPads, and packs a much more visceral punch.
I will be joined by the director in a moment but first, a club.
Okja is the new film by Korean director Bong Joon-ho and stars
an adorable giant pig-like creature called Okja and her even more
beguiling friend, Mija, who grow up together
But the big, bad American food corporation who created her
I'm joined by the film's co-writer, Jon Ronson.
Good evening. The film starts off very much as a lyrical fairy tale,
incredibly soft, and then you get into a really visceral world where
actually, a lot of dreadful things happen to this wonderful creature or
potentially? Who is a film for? I think it is finding its audience,
people are watching this and loving it, the director, Bong Joon-ho, is
so great that he can do these crazy tonal shifts, sometimes it is like a
children's movie, beguiling, like fable, and then becomes dark and
upsetting and is appealing to all those people although it should not
be watched by young children because it does get incredibly and dark
later on. It does pack a punch. Is it a straightforward campaigning
film or is it more nuanced about human feelings? It is not a
campaigning film, what it is, most of all, I hope, is a beautiful film.
It is enchanting and disturbing and dark and entertaining so I think we
valued aesthetics over ideology. However, it is really dark and it
ends up in a slaughterhouse for magical animals and as a
consequence, a lot of people will become vegetarians! You say this is
not a campaigning film but if you look at a number of other films,
Hollywood movies, the inexorable drive is towards vegetarianism. Is
that what you think is the message of the film? It is not the message
of the film, it is the inevitable consequence. I guess one of the
messages is about cognitive dissonance. We treat ourselves into
believing that the meat that we eat has nothing to do with the pets that
we love but we know that pigs are just as adorable and smart as dogs,
so to eat the meat you need to see inside the slaughterhouse. What is
so amazing about this film is the director has made the scenes inside
the slaughterhouse which most other directors would make grotesque, he
has made it haunting and beautiful. But it is absolutely visceral, we
must not shy away from that. Much more so than any other of these
Hollywood movies. Netflix has made this! What do you make of this? No
one else would have. This is a $50 million movie, half of this is in
Korea and it ends up in incredibly dark places and no studio would have
allowed Bong Joon-ho to do this but Netflix did so and I think it is
giving us freedom and money in a way that Hollywood has rarely done since
the great days of early Martin Scorcese and Woody Allen, Bonnie and
Clyde. This is a golden time. And anyway, this film celebrates direct
action? Yes. We have an animal liberation front in this film but
they are not entirely heroic, they are stupid at times and slapstick.
One character is so determined not to leave our carbon footprint on the
earth but he has given up eating entirely. There are very funny
moments. Yes, so they are not entirely heroic. The bad people in
this film are not entirely bad and the goodies are not entirely good.
Like humans, there are grey areas. Thank you very much.
But before we go, you won't have been able to visit
a great maypole in London unless you were around in 1672.
It was then that the capital's pole was blown away be a storm.
Now a competition is underway to replace it
If anyone is thinking of taking on the challenge -
NEWSREEL: In this festive season, Coronation celebrations are the rage
Here we are at Elstow Green, Bedfordshire, where Phyllis Izzard
drives to her throne to be crowned May Queen while the people
of the village turn out in force to attend this old English pastime
The May Queen of 1935 is crowned by her predecessor from 1934.