What sort of person would three minutes of Muslim prayer at 3am ‘provoke’?

There's Songs of Praise for the Christians every Sunday. There are special messages from the head Rabbi for Passover and Yom Kippur.

There’s Songs of Praise for the Christians every Sunday. There are special messages from the chief Rabbi for Passover and Yom Kippur.

So why not have prayers for Ramadan?

Channel 4 will screen a three minute chant by Hassen Rasool, a prayer call leader, from the start of Ramadan next Tuesday. Thereafter it will mark the first prayer of each day at 3am before resuming it’s regular schedule.

It will, however, interrupt this schedule for 20 seconds at four other prayer times during the day for the 30 days of Ramadan.

In other words, if you’re watching Channel 4 at 3am your programming will be interrupted for three minutes. Later in the day, you will also lose just over a minute of television.

I can see how that could be quite upsetting.

Some perspective is needed, though.

According to the front page of today’s Sun, the actions of Channel 4 in choosing to broadcast Ramadan could “inflame tension”.

In other words, there are people who are so angry they are going to lose around four minutes of television a day that the peace may be compromised.

And as if the Sun actually wanted to inflame community tensions, the paper follows this by quoting an obnoxious Islamist by the name of Abu Zakariyya – of the Islamic Emergency Defence Group – who wants to see Sharia Law in Britain.

You’d think the Sun was implying that all Muslims who will take part in Ramadan prayers want Sharia Law or something.

In the end Channel 4’s decision is down to a mixture of two things.

Firstly, like the Sun it actually wants to “provoke” the wrong sorts of people for the purposes of publicity, much like when it made the atrocious decision to broadcast an ‘alternative message by the Holocaust-denying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – although in the case of the latter it would have been wrong not to be provoked.

There’s also a detectable strain of Islamophilia amongst some half-baked progressives, which Channel 4 seems to epitomise. In polite company Christianity can be cursed to the skies, yet criticism of Islam comes with a risk attached – you may be branded Islamophobic; the implication being that you suffer in some way from colour prejudice.

As George Orwell put it in Notes on Nationalism:

“Almost any English intellectual would be scandalised by the claim that the white races are superior to the coloured, whereas the opposite claim would seem to him unexceptionable even if he disagreed with it.”

Personally I would like to see a lot less religion on television. But that doesn’t mean I’m the sort of person who is going to be “provoked” by four minutes of Muslim prayer each day for a single week. You should probably worry about anyone who is.

29 Responses to “What sort of person would three minutes of Muslim prayer at 3am ‘provoke’?”

  1. Tommy

    Perhaps the sort of person who resents their country being colonised by an alien culture.

  2. Guest

    It might be three minutes, but why does a British TV channel need to broadcast it? Presumably Muslims have gone about Ramadan for many years without needing Channel 4 to show a prayer. What is different now? How many other non-Christian religions in this country get religious programming on mainstream television during their most important events? This country is becoming more atheist and more secular than ever before. Keep religion separate please.

    “There’s also a detectable strain of Islamophilia amongst some half-baked
    progressives, which Channel 4 seems to epitomise. In polite company
    Christianity can be cursed to the skies, yet criticism of Islam comes
    with a risk attached – you may be branded Islamophobic; the implication
    being that you suffer in some way from colour prejudice.”

    That describes the entire cohort of western right-on lefties (e.g. Owen Jones) who’ve been telling us about that misnomer known as “Islamophobia” lest we make even a reasonable criticism of that religion.

  3. Steven Dobbs

    should get rid of songs of praise and seek ways to grind religiosity out of the remaining population, whatever sort of god they imagine exists. treat it as a collective mental illness

  4. Just Leave Us Alone

    Pathological altruism in action.

    Allah save us from the do-gooders.

  5. Alex Ross

    “How many other non-Christian religions in this country get religious programming on mainstream television during their most important events?”

    Jews and Hindus? Chief Rabbi usually does a (pretty interesting) series of interviews on Rosh Hashanah on the beeb. The last Maha Kumbh Mela got very extensive coverage on C4 I remember.

    “This country is becoming more atheist and more secular than ever before. Keep religion separate please.”

    It is still very important to a lot of people….and as an atheist it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I can very easily turn off the TV and read a good book!

  6. Jacko

    Islam is not a religion. It is a repressive ideology.

  7. Ken Parker

    Islam has no place anywhere this side of the Bosporus, because it is simply incompatible with western culture. Individual Muslims might be immigrants, and some might assimilate, but Islam never assimilates. It always invades and colonises, wherever it goes. What happened to the old adage about being in Rome? Before anyone says we should be tolerant of Islam, just tell us when Islam has ever been tolerant of other religions.

  8. Graham Thompson

    So it’s back to druidism, then? Or did that come over from France?

    We had been colonised by alien cultures long before Britain, or England, had been invented.

    Why object to one middle eastern religion and not another? They all come from the same place.

  9. Cole

    Er, lots of other religions get TV and radio coverage. Personally, I think all religion is nonsense, but lots of people disagree. I can’t see the problem about having a bit of Muslim stuff along with the others.

  10. Selohesra

    A good book or The Good Book

  11. chdfhfdfdgf

    I am provoked it is ok to ban xmas decorations, councils stop the British flag flying. The Muslims takeover is starting. Channel 4 has lost the plot. This is sickening. Petition to ban sharia law in the UK, enough is enough, stop Islam. If it gets to 100,000 it goes to Parliament.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48352

    Over 14,000 signatures

  12. Tommy's friend

    I’m no christian but christianity has been gradually and constantly embedded in the fabric of this society over nearly two millenia. Islam has been foisted on an unwilling population in less than 2 decades by marxist philosophies unsanctioned by democracy.

  13. Graham Thompson

    When was the referendum on Christianity then? I assume Christianity was ‘sanctioned by democracy’?

  14. cbinTH

    His response does cut to the heart of it. “Colonised” is a bit strong, but essentially this has to be carried off tastefully by Channel 4, and introduced as a pleasing bit of colourful variety in the normal schedule, or it will come across as both weird (like interrupting programming for the Lord’s prayer 3 times a day) and as “official” – that is if done badly will come across as the incorporation of Islam into the official areas of public life.

    I mean, this is a one off, but imagine if we still hadfour/five channels, and all of them did this every Ramadan. That would be uncomfortable, wouldn’t it?

  15. Graham Thompson

    If I remember correctly, Christian countries have invaded and conquered most of the world.

    Islam is a wimp.

  16. Tommy's friend

    No it wasn’t, it was established by various means over 2000 years. Islam has not and is alien to this island.

  17. Alex Ross

    “foisted”…as in imposed???? Really??

    I live in an area of NW London with a substantial Muslim population and Islam has never been “foisted” upon me. Being an atheist is not really that much of a struggle. As for the “marxist philosophies”, are you talking about the two rather forlorn and despondent looking peddlers of the Socialist Worker than stand on Kilburn High Road on a Saturday morning? I’m pretty sure they are not really responsible for much, as much as they’d like to think they were.

  18. Alex Ross

    Just like reasoned debate is alien to your racist skull eh!

  19. Tommy's friend

    Ooh goody, insults!

    You traitorous scumbag.

  20. Bitethehand

    “In other words, if you’re watching Channel 4 at 3am your programming will be interrupted for three minutes. Later in the day, you will also lose just over a minute of television.

    I can see how that could be quite upsetting.”

    But not as upsetting as having to work with someone fasting for 16 hours a day or more.

    There’s lots of medical evidence about the damage to both the body and mind a month of fasting causes. And with the latter, not just the mind of the faster, but more significantly those who are obliged to work with and live with him or her.

    Anyone who deprives themself of food and drink for sixteen hours a day cannot perform in the same way as they would when eating and drinking normally.

    The human body has an evolutionary mechanism that tells it when to eat and drink. Ignoring the signals it provides whether by over or under eating and drinking is abuse, from which both the individual and those around them suffer.

    And when this practice is required of children, as teachers report it is, the results are quite devastating.

  21. Jacko

    In the East End, gay people can now no longer walk the streets without being told that “this is a Muslim area” and “your kind aren’t welcome here”. Don’t believe me? Google it. I know in the kind of middle-class, left-leaning tolerant world you inhabit everyone is all very reasonable and polite and live-and-let-live but the reality of Islam is that it is not a tolerant ideology. They are not prepared to tolerate you in the same way that you are them. They don’t believe in equality for women or gay people. In Saudi Arabia women are not even allowed to drive cars. Cinemas are prohibited. Valentines day is prohibited. Bikinis are prohibited. And if they were able, they would impose those same strictures here.

    Don’t believe me?
    You might be interested to learn that one of the vice chairman of Unite Against Fascism, Azad Ali, is community affairs organiser of the Islamic Forum of Europe, a group dedicated to changing “the very infrastructure of society, it’s institutions, it’s culture, it’s political order and its creed from ignorance of Islam.” Their words, not mine.

  22. SadButMadLad

    I’m against CH4 broadcasting the Muslims call to prayer as much as I am against the BBC broadcasting Songs of Praise. Both are religious programming on state channels. The state and religion should have no connection at all. Keep the religion to the appropriate channels. There are the Christian channels on Sky so should there be Muslim channels. It’s not the length of time, it’s the principle.

  23. Alex Ross

    I’m afraid your comments reveal both an ignorance of the reality of the East End and of Muslim life as it is largely **lived** in the UK. It is perfectly possible to go out to gay clubs/bars in the East End and not be harassed by hordes of angry Muslims. I don’t need google. I go there regularly. That isn’t to say that the Islamists who put those disgusting homophobic stickers up aren’t utter dickheads, just that they are no more representative of Muslims than the bizarre collection of thick football casuals and neo-Nazis that make up the EDL is representative of white people.

    I’m guessing that you don’t actually know many **actual** Muslims – hence the appeal to stereotypes and internet memes. If you did, you might have a greater understanding of the reality of communities trying to (in the main) rub along with a liberal-democratic culture whist trying to maintain some sense of their identity and all the messy conflicts and contradictions that that entails.

    And BTW I’ve no interest in what the (rather loony) UAF have to say about anything…so that is something of a non-sequitur??

  24. NT86

    Enough pandering already! Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. How about realising that these are just centuries old fairy tales that have created ignorance, hatred of others and an unwillingness to integrate into non-Muslim societies?

    Yet we’re told the fib that this is the religion of peace and tolerance. The biggest joke ever.

  25. bear on the peaks

    Mormons, Catholics andJews do not dispatch assassins to silence their critics or anyone who pokes fun at them. To even question Islam, one risks being hunted for the rest of their life by religious maniacs. There is only one religion today that systematically stifles free expression with credible threats of violence. In the west we have already lost our rights to speak freely against Islam because pc-enablers and muslim apologists brand any criticism of Islam a symptom of Islamophobia. As a gay man, I’d be tortured and murdered in many Islamic countries including Mauritania, Iran, Sudan, Saudia Arabia and Yemen. If the people who criticise Islam are racists, then I am calling the people who defend Islam homophobes for putting my life and the lifes of other gay men and women and risk. Defend England now if England means anything at all to you. I support the EDL.

  26. Danny

    Well… there was a period around the 700-1200s when Islam and the Arab world was tolerant, and other religions coexisted. It was about the time that Christianity was intolerant to other religions/forms of Christianity, burned ‘witches’ alive etc. And then as mentioned, didnt Christianity invade, conquer and colonise wherever it went? They’re all the same, just depends how they are interpreted.

    Tolerance of Islam as performed by moderates sure! Its the IslamISTS which we should not be tolerant of. Being a Muslim does not mean being an Islamist… Islamists and secularism are incompatible. Islam and secularism can be and is – see Turkey for a secular Muslim country.

  27. Dan

    Erm.. it is a Religion. Religion is based on ideology…

  28. peter

    its a lot of brain washing crap and these poor people fall for it they cant think for there selves . i think there a little bit thick for not seeing what there backward so called leaders are doing to there brain

  29. Vacant_Mountain

    By ‘various means’, face it, you mean ‘one dead druid/heretic/Jew/foreigner at a time, over several centuries’. So that’s pleasant, but building a mosque isn’t. Good to know.

Leave a Reply