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Wed 29 Aug 2012 11:35 AM

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UK TV comedy accused of insulting Muslims

Citizen Khan "takes the mickey out of Islam" among complaints aimed at BBC programme

UK TV comedy accused of insulting Muslims
(Image for illustrative purposes)

A UK television comedy about a Muslim community leader has attracted around 200
complaints following the broadcast of its first episode, it was reported.

to UK-based newspaper The Daily Mail, viewers claimed that BBC1 sitcom Citizen
Khan, which depicts a British Pakistani family, “takes the mickey out of Islam”, includes “stereotypes about Asians” and
is “disrespectful to the Qur'an”.

One particular
scene, in which the show’s lead character's heavily made-up daughter rushed to put on her
Islamic headscarf and pretended to read the Qur'an as her father entered, angered some

the comments on the BBC’s message board after the broadcast included: “This is
terrible stereotyping, ignorant and just dreadful.”

defended the sitcom: “People are reading too much into Citizen Khan,
especially the hijab thing, it happens!”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Citizen Khan has made a very
positive start, launching successfully with 3.6m viewers and a 21.5
percent share in a late night slot."

"New comedy always provokes differing reactions from
the audience. The characters are comic creations and not meant to be
representative of the community as a whole," the spokesperson added.

The six-part series, which aired for the first time on
BBC1 on Monday, was created by British Muslim Adil Ray, who also plays the
lead role.

The comedy mocks Khan’s self-importance, his
delusional view of his position in the community and the business world,
reported the Daily Mail.

BritPak 7 years ago

Muslims still havent learnt.... dont complain... instead, make fun of the things the west find sacred.

'Put the show on the other foot' as the english say.

Johnny6Pac 7 years ago

No BritPak, if we did an Eye for an Eye, the whole world would be blind.

We muslims are better than this and much more mature to settle for these petty stereotypes. I don't blame BBC, since they found muslims to be push-overs and know how to push boundaries without facing consequences.

If all muslims agreed not to pay their TV licence because of this and show a sign of unity, you will see how the BBC will be falling over ensuring to never insult muslims again.

Andy 7 years ago

What ever happened to humor and comedy? I find nothing wrong with that TV program. Everyone should have a sense of humor and enjoy a little comedy once in a while. One can not please everyone at all times as there will always be a few unhappy people around.

what do you know 7 years ago

indeed a storm in a tea cup.

As it says:
"The six-part series, which aired for the first time on BBC1 on Monday, was created by British Muslim Adil Ray, who also plays the lead role."


SAM 7 years ago

I suggest to anyone who felt insulted by this show to watch any of the dozens of TV Evalgelist shows in the US, then they will not feel that bad. On the other hand, there are dozens of TV shows and movies in the western world that mock all religions; many viewers complain about that and there is nothing wrong with doing that. Life of Brian and Curb Your Enthusiasm come to mind. It is called freedom of speech and freedom of expression. The moral of the story is that it is OK to complain and it is OK to satire as long as the law permits it. If you are offended then do not watch it. Simple.

leo50 7 years ago

why would Muslims not pay their tv licences because of this? I would guess the vast majority of Muslims would not take offence to this, except those completely dedicated to political correctness. Probably much the same numbers as those Christians who vote to ban Christmas decorations in fear of hurting the feelings of Muslims who don't care one way or another.

britpak 7 years ago

I use to believe what you stated below, but I'm no longer do.

I'm not advocating 'blinding' everbody, just those who attack us...
I dont agree with not paying the licence fee, first of all, people have tried it before and it has not worked, second - Muslims should follow the law of the land they reside in (it is because of this that I advocate using the law to offend the 'sacred cows' of the west') instead of breaking them.

Use the law to your advantage, there is nothing in British law that stops Muslims attacking the 'sacred cows' of that country (I'm not not talking about attacking Christianity or a religion as this is forbidden in Islam and also lets face it most people in Britain dont care for Christianity).

Doug 7 years ago

I suppose in a similar way, Fawlty Towers was outrageously insulting to hotel owners, Friends was disrespectful to everyone in New York, the Big Bang Theory is disrespectful to everyone with an education and Blackadder was disrespectful to the entire history of Great Britain.

Oh, wait, no-one got annoyed or upset. They recognised all of those things as works of fiction designed just to create a simple laugh. As for making fun of things the West find sacred, go for it! Much Western comedy is based around making fun of 'sacred' things of our own, we'd be delighted to get someone else's take on our institutions and traditions. Have you never heard of Brass Eye, or Spitting Image, or Have I Got News for You?

It's also hardly as if the BBC has found Muslims to be pushovers. I suppose you didn't hear about the broadcast of Jerry Springer: The Opera, which features Jesus in a nappy. That also got complaints too from militant Christians.

If you don't like it, you don't have to watch.

Ali 7 years ago

Once again, Muslims (and I am one) prove to be the worst enemy of themselves. The fact that they have to react in such a way whenever anyone criticises or depicts Islamic communities in a way they dislike will mean that more shows will aim to do this sort of programme. Especially since many of the stereotypes depicted in these shows are unfortunately true. In the West, Muslims need to learn to live with free speech and with seeing stuff that they don't like written about them, and stop reacting to it in the way they do making the situation a lot worse. For those who don't like watching the show, don't! And if you dislike the freedoms offered in these countries, leave! Just spare the rest of the Muslims who live here happily from your stupidity.

keenobzerver 7 years ago

I have watched this show online, and understand why some people find it offensive. People who say if u dont like it then dont watch it are missing the point, its like saying if you dont want to watch the US military or church pastor burn the Koran then dont watch.Muslims take their religion very seriously.
The Adil Ray (a muslim) co-wrote the show with two british indians, and has been heavily criticised in his community. If they ridiculed and stereoptyped the pakistanis, indians, arabs, irish, it would probably be OK, but the issue here is islam. The producers couldnt find any muslim women to accept the roles so they were played by non mulsim(indian actors).
To those that say "all religions" are regularly mocked in British comedy, please remind me of a show that has mocked the Jewish religion.?