Why would Channel 4’s decision to broadcast call to prayer ‘inflame community tensions’?

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.


Filed under Far-right politics, Media, Politics, Religion

6 responses to “Why would Channel 4’s decision to broadcast call to prayer ‘inflame community tensions’?

  1. Gareth

    If I could make one final point:

    When an Islamic terror attack happens in the UK it is quite right that the media and the vast majority of peace loving UK muslims are able to condemn it and disown it.


    Where and when will the media and community space be given to debate the human rights violations by mainstream muslim communities against apostates and minorities?

    For example the converts in who were forced from their family homes and threatened with honour violence.


    For example this morning on BBC Radio 4 Today we were being broadcast to live from Egypt. The debate was around the possible persection of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organisation by the Egyptian Army.

    However the oppostion figure chose to respond to criticism of the ‘Coup’ by saying “we are all Muslims here, most of our supporters are Muslims as well”.

    Which seemed to imply the debate in Egypt is between moderate and Islamist interpretations of politics.

    But there was no mention by them or by the BBC of the 10% of Egypt’s 80 million population who are Coptic Christians. The largest Christian minority left in the middle east.

    Where do they feature in the BBC’s worldview? Where in all Jeremy Bowen’s reports from Tahrir Square did he mention the sectarian question in Egypt?



  2. Gareth

    Steve Hynd​​ This is the key quote from the commentatorbarticle it does not contain the inflame community tensions tag mentioned in the tabloids. What it does say is “That same intent to invert traditional Western values by replacing them with a grovelling exhibition of Western self-hatred” that is my beef with this C4 gimmick. When will they commission a documentary ridiculing Islam when British TV regularly broadcasts around Easter programmes that question the divinity of Jesus?

    Do these Britiah liberal TV exec believe in Allah and Mohamed his prophet?

    Don’t be daft.

    It’s just fashionable in Islington to respect Islam and make jokes about Christians.

    Remember to even build a church in eg Saudi Arabia is illegal, to even be a Christian in eg Turkey is considered a bit strange to convert to Christianity from Islam in eg Egypt is often a sentence of death, and those are supposedly “pro-western” Islamic countries….so what give with the liberal British elites love affair with Islam?


    • @Gareth – a few points: 1) Questioning the divinity of Jesus is not in the same boat as ‘Ridiculing Islam’. Both Islam and Christianity should be open to scrutiny and TV is one way of doing that. Equally, TV is a means by which exploring others faiths can be done (think of the endless number of ‘history of the bible’ documentaries there have been not to mention, songs of praise etc etc). 2) There is massive logic jump – from showing something (in this case the call to prayer) which is a recent addition to ‘western culture’ and an ‘exhibition of western self-hatred’. I would be fascinated to know how the two are connected. 3) I think you are right about it currently being fashionable to be seen to be ‘understanding to Islam’ but there is a very good reason for that. Simply, the levels of hatred, ‘suspicion and mistrust Muslims are subjected to in the UK means that the liberals do of course want to provide a counter balance. In contrast Christianity has a couple of thousands of years of institutionalizing to protect it. I suspect the western liberal elites love affair with Islam is comparable to their love affair with LGBT rights (or human rights in general) or anti-racism – it is a reaction to an injustice. This isn’t to justify any special treatment of Islam, more to offer an explanation.


      • Gareth

        @Gareth – a few points: 1) I agree that each should be scrutinised, historically Christianity was not very good at this! Jesus didn’t shy away from ridicule. My question would be when will Islam embrace ridicule? 2) The self loathing of the Western Liberal elite is widely debated. There is plenty of handwringing post-imperiel post-religious guilt in the UK. Compare that to the positively evangelical zeal of other cultures and causes. From Islamic radicals in Arabia to China as a superpower, others now “preach” and “evangelise” to the UK, while the UK’s response is to broadcast everyone else opinion not have a world view of its own? 3) I deplore any attack on a Mosque anywhere, especially in the UK, let alone conflating skin colour with religion. However Muslim’s in the UK are able to appear on the media to back up a liberal press narrative that they are the wounded party. I have evidence that even in the UK converts to Christianity from Islam are disowned by their families and discriminated against. Let alone what happens in the name of Islam in other nations.


  3. Ramadanadingdong has been used many times before, both on stage and in headlines. It is disrespectful and playing to an audience. Thank you for highlighting the questions that were not asked, although I fear that the Sun’s audience may well absorb this weak journalism as gospel.


  4. Aside from the questions you have highlighted, I want to meet the guy who writes headlines for The Sun. Absolute genius.


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