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The BBC's Content Is 'Too Christian', Broadcaster Should Televise Muslim Prayers From Mosque Instead, Claims New Report

( [email protected] ) May 16, 2016 12:52 PM EDT
An internal review prepared by the British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC) has found that the public service broadcaster's output is "too Christian," and charged that the company should produce more content about the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths to create a better balance.
Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics, has claimed the BBC's programs are too Christian. Photo Credit: AP Photo

An internal review prepared by the British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC) has found that the public service broadcaster's output is "too Christian," and charged that the company should produce more content about the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths to create a better balance.

According to The Telegraph, Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim who is head of the BBC's religion and ethics, compiled a report following consultation with non-Christians who expressed their belief that the UK media outlet is disproportionate in its religious content.

"Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths," he said. "Our output in this area is not static, though. It has evolved over the years and we regularly assess it."

He added: "We do look at the number of hours we produce, and measure that against the religious makeup of society."

Ahmed, who in the past has been accused of pro-Islam bias, said in the report that the BBC should consider adding more content about other religions, such as the airing of Islamic prayers, and also discussed these issues at a recent House of Commons committee meeting.

The report is now being considered by Lord Hall, the director general, who could make changes to make religious output less "disproportionate", according to the Sunday Times

The Daily Mail notes that currently, religious programming across the BBC covers a variety of religions and includes the likes of Songs of Praise, Sunday Morning Live and The Life of Muhammad on television.

When asked whether increasing non-Christian output would negatively affect the airing of Christian shows, a spokesperson said: "Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and the BBC is committed to delivering a range of content that both reflects, celebrates and challenges religion and ethics across BBC TV, radio and online."

"We are intending to do more programming around Christianity and more on other faiths as well, so there is absolutely no question of an "either or" on our output," the spokesperson added.

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, slammed the report and said he is wary of such changes: "'There is a real feeling by Christians of being let down by the Establishment," he told the Daily Mail. "Christianity is fighting for its life in western countries."

Others commented online, echoing the Archbishop's concern: "This is a Christian country, so obviously there should be more Christian religion aired on our national radio and TV. The last thing we need is more pandering to minorities," said one commenter.

Added another, "This MUST not and CANNOT happen. Anyone who comes to this country should abide by our country's rules.  Could you imagine us appealing to some of those foreign channels who cater for Muslims 'Could you please show songs of praise and promote our Christian beliefs' ?? It's time we stood up the Muslim propaganda and promote our own faith."