Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UK: BBC gets grief for showing Muslim snacking during Ramadan

Allah Snackbar

BBC inundated with complaints after EastEnders shows Muslim snacking during Ramadan

The BBC has received more than 100 complaints after EastEnders showed a Muslim breaking their Ramadan fast by eating a snack on the soap opera. It is believed that a large number of Muslims were angered by the recent storyline involving character Masood Ahmed claiming it insulted their religion.

The married Asian postman, played by Nitin Ganatra, was spotted by wheel-chair bound character Ian Beale having a bite to eat during the holy month. During Ramadan, which ended earlier this week, Muslims are not meant to eat or drink between the hours of dawn and sunset.

The plot was meant to show the character's 'fallibility' according to bosses, but it seems to have backfired with a number of the soap's loyal viewers.

As a result of the short scene, aired earlier this month, the corporation received about 110 complaints amid claims it had been wrong and offensive. Some complained that it had trivialised a very serious religious experience while others are understood to have said it was not realistic.

Now the BBC has been forced to issue a statement saying it did not mean to cause any offence by the storyline.

A BBC spokesman said: 'Although Masood is a practising Muslim he is not intended to be representative of the British Muslim experience. 'He's a fictional character with flaws who realises he has let himself down in a moment of weakness.' The soap showed the character being repentant for what he had done.

The row comes as the soap is facing controversy over another of its current storylines. The BBC has received more than 200 complaints about the plot in which a paedophile grooms a 15-year-old girl.

Funny, these same Muslims don't seem to be complaining about the pedophile...coincidence? I think not.