Tuesday, July 02, 2013

UK's Channel 4 To Air Muslim Call To Prayer During Ramadan

UK's Channel 4 has decided to broadcast the three minute Muslim call to prayer (Azan or Adhan) at around 3 a.m. every morning during the entire month of Ramadan.  They chose to do that as a deliberate act of provocation for those who link Islam with extremism. Ramadan begins on July 9th, this year.

Ralph Lee, Channel 4's head of factual programming, said: "The calls to prayer prompt Muslims to carry out quiet moments of worship, but hopefully they'll also make other viewers sit up and notice that this event is taking place.

"Observing the adhan on Channel 4 will act as a nationwide tannoy system, a deliberate 'provocation' to all our viewers in the very real sense of the word."

Lee added in an article in the Radio Times: "No doubt Channel 4 will be criticised for focusing attention on a 'minority' religion but that's what we're here to do – provide space for the alternative and a voice to the under-represented.

"Following the horrific events in Woolwich and subsequent reprisals against British Muslims, there has surely never been a more pressing need to give a voice to the moderate mainstream majority. And let's not forget that Islam is one of the few religions that's flourishing, actually increasing in the UK. Like Channel 4's target audience, its followers are young. It's recently been reported that half of British Muslims are under 25."

The Muslim Council of Britain supported Channel 4's move.

"This is a very special month for Muslims and its recognition on a mainstream channel is not only symbolic for belonging and solidarity but will hopefully help to portray a more realistic account of Islam and Muslims," said a spokesman.

In addition to the call to prayer they have other things planned, including short films- Ramadan Reflections-  which will air prior to the Azan.

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