Sunday, 13 July 2014

Challenging the BBC on negative portrayal of Muslims in Spooks (2004)

Challenged the BBC in this, rather angry, email over an episode called "Outsiders" (Series 3 Episode 7, 22nd Nov 2004). BFTF has no record of any response from the BBC. This was back in 2004. So far as BFTF can tell, nothing at all has changed in the intervening 10 years. BFF wonders why he is paying a licence fee to get demonised in BBC dramatic output.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: 24 November 2004 00:44
To: info@bbc.co.uk
Subject: Spooks - Nov 22nd

Does the BBC and KUDOS productions have the demonisation of the Muslim community as some kind of mission statement?

I have just had to endure a whole week of trailers that appeared to show messages from an "Islamic" Terrorist group.

They must have been Muslims mustn't they? The messages were in Arabic after all. But just in case there was any doubt, part of the message was helpfully translated to mean "Jihad". There you go, told you it was Muslims.

And the programme itself continued in the same vein, with the Spooks team raiding a "Cultural Centre" in the UK (would that be the same one that had child suicide bombers in the last series, perhaps?).

But it turns out that it's okay, because this time the Muslims didn't do it.

Let me just get this straight. Are you saying that it is now acceptable to use the asssumed guilt of Muslims as a plot line ??!!

Are you saying that it is okay to, once again, portray Muslims as terrorists so long as, after half an hour of leading the audience on, you then say, "Only kidding, look, it wasn't the Muslims after all"?

I would point out, again, that the ONLY time the BBC portrays Muslims in its dramatic output is when they are either terrorists or asylum seekers

Frankly, I am starting to wonder why I am paying a license fee to an organisation that seems hell bent on portraying me (and my family) as a fifth columnist threat to society.

And if this is the BBC's idea of a contribution to Islamic Awareness week, then I think the Muslims in the UK are better off without it.

In summary, my questions are :

i) Why did the BBC show repeated trailers that associated Islam with terrorism?

ii) Why are Muslims only portrayed in negative terms in the dramatic output of the BBC?

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