Channel 4 has announced that it will broadcast a call to prayer every day during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
As you could imagine, the tabloids have jumped on this.
The Sun goes with the headline ‘Ramadan a ding dong’ and goes on to explain:
“Daily broadcast of Muslim call to prayer ‘stunt’ could inflame tension”
The article expands on this point through the ever valuable medium of the UKIP’s spokesman. The Sun writes:
“But UKIP accused Channel 4 of a cynical PR stunt and said it risked further inflaming tension between communities in the wake of the Woolwich killing of soldier Lee Rigby – allegedly linked to Islamic extremists.
A spokesman said: “This is a priceless piece of attention seeking. I cannot believe that the majority of mainstream Muslims want to see this. It will inflame community tension.”
In light of this, I have a few questions for the editor of The Sun:
- Can you clarify why you think the broadcasting of the call to prayer will inflame community tension?
- Would you agree that quoting “Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, accused of encouraging terrorism” and “Abu Zakariyya, of the radical Islamic Emergency Defence Group” as your two Muslim representatives might be more of a cause of ‘inflaming community tensions’, than the broadcasting of the call to prayer?
- Did you approach the Muslim Council of Britain for a quote? If yes, why did you not run with it? If no, why not?
- Why did you use a UKIP quote in this story? What connection do they have to broadcasting, Islam, sociology or any other element to this story?
- Do you accept that the structure and nature of your article perpetuates the false link between Islam as a religion adhered to by millions and the extremist violent ideology adhered to by a minority and that this link risks ‘inflaming community tensions’?
And of course a few questions for UKIP:
- Can you clarify why you think the broadcasting of the call to prayer that will inflame community tension?
- Do you feel that The Daily Express’ use of the adjective ‘fury’ to describe your party’s reaction to the news is accurate? If so have you considered collective anger management for the party (it could be part of the membership deal)?
- Can you explain how Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the call to prayer differs to the BBC’s decision to broadcast a Sunday morning service? If you’re answer is numbers (more people are Christian) can you explain why you think a broadcaster should not show minority interests?
- Can you really not believe that the majority of Muslim’s would want to see Ramadan highlighted like this?
- How would you respond to the accusation that your party is a baseless bandwagon jumping parasite?
Lastly, an open question to anyone:
- Why would Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the call to prayer ‘inflame community tensions’?
This list of questions is by no means exhaustive….feel free to suggest others.