Monday, September 08, 2008

Channel 4, an Islamic bias?

See the link Fr Tim makes to this post.

I barely watch television but I had this email from "M" in response to a post I put up earlier:

Is this true?

The Commissioning Editor for religious broadcasting at Channel 4 is Aaquil Ahmed, a Muslim. I have long noticed that the only coverage Christianity gets on Channel 4 is in the form of programmes that seeks to undermine the authority of the Church,our traditions and our scripture. Religious programmes concerning Islam (Dispatches does not come into this category) are always propaganda for Islam.I can't access the Channel 4 webpages at the moment, but the last time I looked the pages about Christianity described Christian teachings under the heading "Belief" in the terms of "Christians believe that..." and Islamic claims came under "History" eg that the Koran was received by Mohammed through an angel. I don't know what we can do about this.


PJA said...

If true, this is absolutely scandalous! What are the media and communications departments of all the mainstream Christian denominations doing about it? Leaving it up to ordinary people in the pew (and at the altar) to complain, it would appear.

madame evangelista said...

On the channel 4 website, a description of each of the major world religions is divided into two short sections, history and belief. It looks pretty even-handed to me. So, for example, in the history section on Christianity, Jesus is said to have appointed Peter as the head of the church and that the popes were elected as his successors.

So what if the commissioning Religious editor at Channel 4 is a muslim? That doesn't automatically mean he's a raving fundametalist out to undermine everyone else's belief (forgive me if this isn't what that comment is implying: that's just what I understood from it).

My personal opinion is that Islam is even more misunderstood in the media than Catholicism. If you've noticed that media coverage of Catholicism is inaccurate, maybe that says more about media coverage in general (i.e. superficial and in search of a 'hook') and not assume a conspiracy: it's not the case that Channel 4 is inaccurate about Catholicism but correct about everything else...

Anonymous said...

Keep your hats on. All the religions listed have a 'History' section and then a brief piece on their main 'Beliefs'. Islam is treated on their website in exactly the same way as Christianity, Sikhism and all the rest.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen anything pro-Catholic on C4, a lot pro-Islamic.

Rubricarius said...

Bias in the media is as old a trait as the media

Anonymous said...

I WISH we had some decent religious programmes on TV. I know this is going to sound awfully Mary Whitehouse, but just imagine if you could look at the listings and find a documentary about the life of St Padre Pio, St Francis, or a film about St Faustina, or something! Those films do exist by the way. But no, never, even at Christmas and Easter, the channels show some heretical documentary about Our Lord, slotted to compensate for the fact they've shown The Greatest Story Ever Told.

gemoftheocean said...

If true, spread the word. Write. Call. Complain. Boycott any advertisers, and write, call, complain.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. You're stuck in a harder place if BBC4 has no advertising, because if it's non-commercial, the government grabs your tax money whether you want them to or not and isn't as accountable if the coterie of old boys and girls is in charge.

Somehow people "understand" when you can get them by the short hairs. Funny how they play attention to neanderthal Christians when they hold the purse strings.

If you follow this link they tell you how to go about complaining.

Good luck.

johnf said...

But wasn't it Channel 4 who exposed Islamic extremism in some of the leading mosques in this country last year? No bias there, I think.

And what they got for their pains was being accused of faking it all by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service who reported them to Offcom.

Eventually all this got thrown out and the CPS and boys in blue had to apologise.

Jay said...

Did you know the Telegraph had picked this up? I mean, did they call you to quote you, or are they just picking stuff from the blog?


Anonymous said...

I very much disagree with the view that Channel 4 has a so called "pro Muslim" bias. Not one of its programmes about Islam or Muslims has been particularly well received by British Muslims - due to the channel's stereotyping and poor handling of certain issues. I think what needs to be questioned more is Channel 4's approach to religion and religious traditions in general, which is quite often sensationalistic, tacky and superficial. For example, the channel's forthcoming series on religion this autumn in which they send Bob Geldof's daughter to live with a Moroccan Muslim family in order to find out "what makes the Muslim world tick"! Because we all know it's that easy...!
I think that all religions are receiving the very same treatment as Christianity: tabloid sensationalism and serious dumbing down. Maybe the point would be better heard if representatives of all religions stood together to do something about it.

Red Maria said...

I agree with madame evangelista and Lenni. I don't think Channel 4's religious output has a pro-Islamic bias, still less that this is influenced by the fact that a given producer has a Moslem name.
Lenni's right to note that Channel 4's coverage of religion is characterised by its superficiality. This is longstanding and predates the media's post 9/11 interest in things Islamic.
I remember with wry amusement a mid 90s Without Walls documentary on the Last Supper; lots of lingering camera shots of Da Vinci's masterpiece and various talking heads uttering banalities about kosher cuisine in antiquity. Inevitably transubstantiation was mentioned. "Now only the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches believe that bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ," the narrator intoned solemnly.
Pity the poor High Church Anglicans overlooked in such a cavalier fashion. Still, it was "only" the majority of Christians who believed in transubstantiation.
I haven't been able to take any of Channel 4's programmes on religion seriously ever since.
Oh look, Channel 4 is also showing a documentary about Mary Magdalene.
For centuries the Roman Catholic Church has revered her as a woman who left her sinful life behind to follow Jesus. But this groundbreaking documentary reveals exclusive, never-seen-before evidence that Mary Magdalene, far from being a loyal follower of Jesus of Nazareth was in fact the leader of faction within his ranks bent on splitting his movement, installing Judas as a rival Messiah and establishing a female only priesthood. Leading theologians will give their view on why the Roman Catholic Church suppressed the true story of Mary Magdalene for centuries and why Sister Lavinia Byrne should be the next Pope.

Anonymous said...

And what about this fact: When some so-called Christian rapes his children, kills his wife, makes robbery etc. we say "he is not real christian" but if some so-called Muslim do the same, all the media , and brain-washed" people put the etiquette "Islamist", Islamic" "Muslim".. come on sane people don't support this racism for God's love

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