LONDON PRAYER TIME DAWN: 05:41 SUNRISE: 07:19 ZOHR:: 11:45 MAGHRIB: 16:26
Islamophobic Complains Hit British TV Adhan
Amid an incredibly positive reaction from the Muslim community, British TV Channel 4’s Ramadan season, especially the Muslim call to prayer, has received the highest number of complaints in 2013, reflecting an increasing Islamophobic atmosphere in the UK.
"The level of Islamophobia we encountered with the 4Ramadan season was unexpected, though much of it came from communities that were either very polarized or very un-diverse," Channel 4's head of factual Ralph Lee told International Business Times on Friday, May 9.
"It was balanced by an incredibly positive reaction from British Muslims, who were grateful for the acknowledgement of an important moment for them."
Last July, the British channel 4 started broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer on a daily basis during the holy month of Ramadan.
By airing the adhan, Channel 4 became the first mainstream British television channel to broadcast the call to prayer (adhan) on a daily basis.
Along with the Muslim call to prayer, the broadcaster aired episodes featuring Muslims praying at different locations and at tourist sites in London.
Another episode showed a man at prayer as two Metropolitan police officers were walking their beat.
Designed to reach out to the 2.8 Muslim community, the special coverage received the highest number of complaints directed to the chancel with the total number of 2,011.
Of these complaints, 1,658 were specifically about the Muslim call to prayer during the holy month of Ramadan.
The complaints were directed by several groups, including a group called Britain First, who described themselves as a 'patriotic political movement'.
"Get ready for a month's worth of TV programs pandering to Islam courtesy of Channel 4," the group wrote on Twitter to decry the programming.
On its Twitter account, the EDL said: "Morning Troops, looks like Channel 4 is now Islamified!" The group's leader Tommy Robinson added that the decision to broadcast the Muslim call to prayers was "wrong."
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society described the month-long season as a 'publicity-seeking stunt'.
"It seems reasonable that there should be some acknowledgment on TV of the needs of the growing Muslim population in Britain, although one can't help wondering whether this is just another of Channel 4's publicity-seeking stunts,” he was quoted by IB Times.
"Given that the BBC devotes hundreds of hours a year to Christianity, with two or three church services every day on its radio stations, and hardly any mention of minority religions, a few minutes devoted to Islam doesn't seem unreasonable.”
Channel 4 defended their month-long programming which was watched by 5.3 million viewers, while the British Muslim population comprises 2.8 million.
They claimed that as well as attracting the most complaints, the show generated the most positive comments of 2013, receiving 321 favorable remarks.
"The season's ambition to improve understanding of a minority culture was successful. Four out of five viewers surveyed told us they had learned something new,” the Channel 4 spokesperson said.
"This was Channel 4 fulfilling the spirit of its remit, providing space for an alternative view, unafraid to give a voice to the underrepresented and producing television that was both entertaining and enlightening."
The Channel 4 spokeswoman added: "We are clearly not saying that all the complaints we received were Islamophobic in nature, but simply that we were surprised by the level which were."
Hostility against British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.7 million, has been on the rise since the soldier’s killing, which Muslims condemned as running against the basic Islamic teachings.
According to Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks in Britain, 212 “anti-Muslim incidents” have been reported after the Woolwich attack.
The figure included at least 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti-Muslim sentiments.
Source: On Islam