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A former governor of the BBC has slammed the public broadcaster for its coverage of the Salman Rushdie attack, alleging that it “could amount to glorifying terrorism,” the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Baroness Ruth Deech sent a letter to BBC Director General Tim Davie after a British-Palestinian Arab commentator, Abdel Bari Atwan, interviewed by BBC News Channel, was sympathetic to Rushdie’s attacker’s extremist ideology.

On the BBC’s Dateline London, Atwan blamed Rushdie for putting himself in danger by talking about Islam.

“The Satanic Verses actually is blasphemy completely and it is offensive. You know, Salman Rushdie, he was very, very cruel when he talked about the Prophet Muhammad and his wives, and actually, to talk about the wives of the Prophet is really very, very dangerous,” Atwan said.

Atwan was previously “exposed in the past for praising terrorists as "martyrs" and calling the shooting of three Israelis in Tel Aviv a "miracle" by the Chronicle.

He also said of Rushdie’s stabbing: “About 90 per cent of the people of the Muslim world believe that freedom of expression [is] practised only to insult Muslims.”

But the BBC refused to issue an apology or commit to any action, telling the news outlet in a statement that it was “editorially justified” in bringing in Atwan for the segment.

"We believe the discussion was fair and duly impartial and we believe it was editorially justified for Abdel to appear. If extreme views are expressed on the BBC, we would always seek to challenge them,” a spokesperson said.

“I don’t think the BBC should have given him airtime. I think his comments about Rushdie could amount to glorifying terrorism under the 2006 Act. It is absolutely unacceptable to respond to comments with murder or violence,” Deech said.

“The BBC should have put someone else on at the same time (as a precaution, knowing that Atwan was likely to offend) who would have defended free speech (within the law) and pointed out that no matter how offensive, it is absolutely unacceptable to respond to comments with murder or violence.”

A complaint against the BBC has also been filed by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).