In Other News…

In which The Author offers an alternative perspective

It’s been a sadly educational experience to learn people’s reactions to a news item today. Channel 4 are set to broadcast the adhan every day throughout the month of Ramadan. For the right-wing papers (i.e. most of them), and an encouragingly small number of blocked former Facebook friends, this decision marks the end of the world as we know it.
They conveniently choose to ignore the fact that the BBC has broadcast a ‘Daily Service’ on Radio 4 Long Wave for as long as I’ve been listening – always from a Christian church. The weekly God slot ‘Songs of Praise’ has yet to be transmitted from a synagogue, mosque, gurdwara or temple. Lent and Advent are always punctuated with readings and sermons, in the assumption that everyone in the UK practices the Christian faith. The BBC even features a ‘weekly peal’ of church bells. This Christian hegemony isn’t the most extreme case I’ve encountered. When Sam and I were on holiday in Ireland in 1996, RTE came to a standstill at least twice a day while everyone (Roman Catholic or not) listened to the Angelus.
At long last, one national broadcaster has had the moral courage to mark a major non-Christian religious occasion in a tasteful manner. Channel 4 has made a brave decision to reflect the changing demographic profile of the United Kingdom in the Twenty-first Century. It’s just a shame that a sizeable minority of the British population aren’t able to move with the times.
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