Ramadan, the month long period where followers of Islam fast during daylight hours, begins today. In case you were unaware of the fact those good people at Channel 4, in the interests of religious plurality, are going to broadcast the first call to prayer at 3 o’clock in the morning throughout Ramadan. On the first day of of the fast they will interrupt their usual broadcasts to announce the regular times of prayer. The weather reports on C4 will also include the times of sunrise and sunset.
Whilst it is only the morning call to prayer which will be broadcast on television all the daily prayers will be played on the channel’s website accompanied by a video showing the person leading the prayers outside various London landmarks, including strangely enough that well known centre of Islamic worship St Paul’s Cathedral.
This call to prayer is not merely the Muslim equivalent of the church bell being rung in an English village on a Sunday morning. The call to prayer is an in-your-face proclamation of Islamic supremacy. It consists mainly of the repetition of sentences announcing: Allah is the Greatest – I bear witness that there is no god except Allah – I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah -Hasten to the prayer – Hasten to success – Allah is greatest – There is none worthy of worship except Allah.
Ralph Lee, head of factual programming for C4, proudly announced that C4 would act as a ‘nationwide tannoy system’ for the Muslims of the UK. He also added that Ramadan was of more interest to viewers than “blanket coverage” of Royal events.
C4 have dressed this up as an attempt to cater for the needs of the nearly 3 million Muslims living in Britain today. Ralph Lee claims that this is intended to change the perceptions of those who automatically associate Islam with terrorism and demonstrate that most Muslims are moderates. To be fair C4 does need to do something to make up for giving a platform to the extremist Anjem Choudary, former head of the now banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, who refused to denounce the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.
C4, however, don’t give a fig for any religion and are merely taking Muslims for a ride in their attempts to cock a snook at the rest of us and gain publicity. C4 courts controversy like a child pestering an adult for sweets. This is merely one more case of the progressive establishment sticking two fingers up to Christianity in the hope that the right on trendies will approve, as they will.
If you were to suggest that during Lent it would be a good idea for C4 to broadcast choral evensong from various Anglican parishes throughout the country do you imagine they would consider it for a moment?
By broadcasting the call to prayer C4 are not making Muslims more acceptable to mainstream British opinion, most mainstream British opinion has no problem with Muslims. What they are doing in their incessant search for notoriety is opening up Muslims to vilification by the thuggish element of British life represented by such as the EDL and the BNP. In doing this C4, far from being inclusive, are being socially divisive.
Thankfully there are some Muslims who are appalled at an organisation like C4 which broadcasts some of the worst programming on terrestrial television hijacking what is for them a holy time as a gimmick in order to appear cool and edgy. If C4 are truly respectful of Islamic feeling why not refuse to carry advertising for alcohol during Ramadan? That would genuinely please Muslims by showing respect for their beliefs and practices. But perhaps C4 have other priorities than showing respect for a religion.