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Muslim call to prayer on British TV for Ramadan?

Channel 4 plan, for Ramadan to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. Is this something serious or something exploitative? We really ought to consider ditching the idea of thinking of "Islamist" and "Jihadist" as being synonymous. This leaves open many questions, here are a few:
  • What exactly is the call to prayer?
  • Is there any specific reason why it is happening at the time it is happening?
  • What is Ramadan?
  • Why do women accept being treated like that?
The truth of how Channel 4 sees the British Islamic population will depend upon its support programming. It isn't enough to broadcast a Muslim call to prayer on the televisions of the British (mostly Christian) nation. What is necessary also is for Channel 4 to explain what it is doing. Not to justify their decision to broadcast it (they can broadcast whatever they like, and in the days when Chris Evans was their big star, they pretty much did). But rather to justify the Islamic angle. After the recent horrific and highly publicised slaughter, and the apparently rapid rise and fall of The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, plus all manner of small news articles involving Muslims and not exactly in a positive light; Channel 4 must surely be aware that there is a fair amount of distrust of Islam in the UK - possibly in the West in general. Is this justified, or is this Daily Mail style paranoid xenophobia dragged out to cover those things we cannot or do not want to understand? Channel 4, if it does proper support programming, might help to build some sort of connection between Muslims and non-Muslims, for it seems to me that Islam is not so much a thing you "believe" with small gestures like going to church on Sundays, but rather it is an entire way of life. I think that to be Muslim affects day to day life from morning until night, the way they act, look, think, and behave. Perhaps this is a much richer connection to their belief than is exhibited by most of the Christians I've ever met? If Channel 4 can demonstrate and explain some of this, then maybe we'll all be a little better off for a little understanding and insight into a way of life very different to our own. Or maybe Channel 4 is just exploiting a minority population because we all knew a plan like that would be an instant headline grabber.

Time will tell. I hope for the former option, to provide a counterpoint to the increasingly right wing media in the UK where pretty much anything "foreign" is inherently bad, with Islam being not only foreign but also "alien" (as in from another planet).

Do you agree with Channel 4's decision? Do you understand anything about Islam? Do you want to? Comments below, but keep it polite please - if you want to say nasty things about Islamic violence (ever read the Old Testament?) and Sharia law, head on over to The Daily Mail...

 

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