Call to prayer on Channel 4

(45 Posts)

As part of its season of programmes on Ramadan, 4Ramadan, Channel 4 will be broadcasting the call to prayer during its programming.

I think this is a great idea. I don't know as much about Islam as I'd like, and I trust Channel 4 to give a balanced account of the religious practices of a range of British Muslims. In that context, the call to prayer is equivalent to having jingle bells on channel idents or a Christmas tree in the background of chat shows etc during December.

But predictably the different newspapers are variously seeing this as deliberately provocative, the first step to a jihadist state, and so on, and the readers' comments are startlingly ignorant and bigoted.

Am I too trusting? is this deliberately provocative rather than educational? is it an integration step too far?

TheFallenNinja Thu 04-Jul-13 09:52:00

It's a bit of a non event really, Muslims observe Ramadan. Muslims watch telly, no brainer, put call to prayer on telly. Nobody will suddenly wake up less British. We'll still drink tea and moan about the weather.

I'm not Muslim so I don't watch programming around it from the same point of view that I'm not Christian so I don't watch programming around that.

It's not for me to provide commentary on other cultures or religions but only because I'm not interested. Equally, I'm not interested in eastenders or snooker, so I don't watch it or engage in discussion about it.

I'll talk your ears off about things I'm interested in however.

hackmum Thu 04-Jul-13 09:34:43

I honestly can't see why it would bother anyone, though at the same time I won't be watching it because I watch very little tv anyway. And particularly not at 3am...

It does raise interesting questions about how well television reflects religious diversity, however. How often do we have programmes targeted at Sikhs, Hindus or Jews, for example?

That's very interesting. It's also the first cogent argument against that I've heard - everything else seems to be knee-jerk and swivel-eyed.

I hope that the balance between winding up racists and notifying interested people of the 4Ramadan season more generally turns out to have worked.

Absolutely Horry, airing the call in the halfhearted manner that they have, whilst publicising it as if it is the flagship part of the series has damaged the integrity of their motivation for me.

It feels they have done just enough to be able to say they are being inclusive, without actually having made the commitment to doing so properly. It's a novelty that has no purpose aside from being controversial, whereas the actual programming could be really helpful if the people who need educating would actually watch it. Which looks unlikely now sadly, thanks to the way the whole thing has been manipulated. sad

I'm worried that some horrible fucker will carry out an attack of some sort during Ramadan now. After the events of last month around half of the Mosques in the country has suffered attacks or vandalism, Channel 4 might as well have just painted targets on the rest.

Interesting, FlankShaft. As it happens, I watch C4 sufficiently often that I've been seeing trailers for the more substantive programming, which I've series linked on Sky+. But I definitely wouldn't have known about those if I hadn't caught the trailers, whereas the "call to prayer" publicity was all over the internet and the papers yesterday.

So you think it cheapens or demeans the other programming not by airing the call, but by publicising it so tabloidly widely?

gillywillywoo Wed 03-Jul-13 10:39:30

Call to prayer sounds beautiful.
Having been on holiday in many muslim countries, I can say I truly love hearing it.

I remember being in Cairo during Ramadan and hearing the call to prayer on the PA system echo across the city and the desert... It was so breathtaking and sent shivers down my spine.

In muslim countries, the call to prayer is played on TV throughout the day on some channels... But not all channels. If you aren't interested, you turn it off or switch over.
Even if you aren't interested, it's a reminder that other people around you ARE interested and are practicing their faith and praying.

Channel 4 are showing this once a day at a time of day where most of the population will be asleep anyway.

I don't have a problem with it although it almost seems pointless because of the time of day they're doing it.

PeachActiviaMinge Wed 03-Jul-13 10:15:41

Agnes Hitler described himself as a good God fearing Christian but we still show a lot of Christian programming.

Islam is the second biggest religion in the UK people need to accept that we should cater to that. A few extremists should not be allowed to smear the name of an entire religion.

I also think the call to prayer is divisive, and potentially damaging to what otherwise could be a brilliant opportunity to see a side of Islam that reflects what it means to normal Muslims.

Channel 4 already have form for giving extremists a platform to influence how Islam is viewed by viewers, rarely is a normal moderate Muslim featured unless it is in response to some sort of extremist act/far right protest. Doing nothing to disassociate the religion from it's distorted public perception, indeed inflaming it.

The call to prayer is a tiny portion of the Ramadan programming, there are some really interesting and informative programs and documentaries during the period that haven't been publicly announced in the same way as the 3am, very discreet call to prayer. I had to search the C4 website for info on these or I would have been unaware that there was much more than the call to prayer itself. Why is this?

Surely if they wanted to genuinely engage with Muslims they would have broadcast all 5 calls to prayer? Why choose the 3am one that, in the words of my Muslim friend, "we will have to set our alarms to turn the telly on anyway!".

Why release a public statement in relation to that particular portion of the series whilst ignoring the much more interesting, primetime portions of it? It's inflammatory, they know this will whet the appetites of the right more than simply announcing a series of programs looking at everyday Muslims during Ramadan.

Nobody is talking about those programs, only the call to prayer. It's such a shame. I'm really disappointed in C4 for this. In the interests of causing a stir they have managed to overshadow a rare opportunity to help people understand what it means to be a Muslim, day to day.

Yeah, like those blasted Church Bells of a Sunday morning. A-pealing, appeasing bastards. Tchuh.

defuse Tue 02-Jul-13 21:34:59

'smacks of appeasement' - ignorant much tabitha hmm

Beechview Tue 02-Jul-13 21:01:24

Emmeline I think they're going to broadcast the morning one which also signals the start of the fast.

TabithaStephens Tue 02-Jul-13 20:49:39

I just think it smacks of appeasement.

yaimee Tue 02-Jul-13 20:49:35

agnes because nothing barbaric has ever been carried out in the name of Christianity? hmm

EmmelineGoulden Tue 02-Jul-13 20:48:11

Have I missed something? Why are people talking about "Who's going to be watching at 3 am"?

The call to prayer is five times a day isn't it? Won't they be broadcasting them all?

EmmelineGoulden Tue 02-Jul-13 20:46:16

I think it is intriguing. It will be interesting to see how it goes. I wonder how effective it will be given how little of TV is watched live nowadays (or is that just me?). Does anyone know how they're planning to do it?

I'm a little cautious about it, I think the Internet or possibly DAB are more appropriate for specific interests on the whole. I'm so sick of the BBC's Sunday programming and I really don't want to see programming narrowed on another national broadcaster as well. But as the proposal stands it doesn't seem (not that I've seen any detail) like it's going in that direction. Have to agree we sorely need an antidote to the ignorance around Muslim practice in this country and this could help.

I can see how this is Channel 4 going back to its roots - I remember when it was first launched and though some stuff was rough around the edges and there were some awful programs, it was very good at bringing programming that you wouldn't see on the BBC or ITV. Had a very different feel and pushed other broadcasters to look at the narrow way they played to audiences to some extent. Was also very youth focused, whch this move seems to be too.

But the only people who think it is controversial (ie who are angered by it rather than thinking it is pointless) are as far as I can tell ignorant racists. Comments like "omg they're taking over" and "this is supposed to be a Christian country" and so on don't impress me as cogent arguments.

Beechview Tue 02-Jul-13 20:29:29

Its causing more controversy than its worth.

Who's going to be watching at 3am? Most people will be either asleep or doing a night shift. Most Muslims won't have the tv on that time either.

Its part of Ch 4's remit to provide programmes for minority groups. I think theyre trying to do something positive but its hard to show anything positive about Islam these days as so many people are quick to take offence at anything to do with Islam.

Its a shame as most Muslims are normal people going about living normal lives.

I would say it is a good answer to the "all Muslims are terrorists" nonsense that some people seem to believe. Watching normal Muslims practising their religion normally...

Bakingnovice Tue 02-Jul-13 20:16:34

How can a programme aired at 3am when most non Muslims will be fast asleep be divisive??

I'm intrigued. I read an interview Liam neeson did last year about filming in Turkey. He said he heard the call to prayer 5 times a day and initially it drove him bad. By the end of filming he loved it and took a recording back to the US with him, and he plays it everyday.

Some of the reporting and views on MN today are despicable.

defuse Tue 02-Jul-13 20:09:01

Agnes So.....by your logic, if someone does something claiming it is in the name of islam - then that makes the entire religion bad? Racism and prejudices as 'natural reactions' are still unacceptable - no matter how you try to dress it up.

As for the muslim girls who died for education - they loved islam and they loved islam fir giving them rights that some men tried to deny them.

Why does the entire religion of islam come into question when some deranged men do something that islam is totally against?

Do you not know any muslims? Do the muslims you know commit atrocities? Or is it just media that you rely on to stay so incredibly informed about muslims.

ouryve Tue 02-Jul-13 20:01:38

I won't be watching, but I don't watch songs of praise, either. It's hard to move around the BBC without tripping over overtly Christian programming on a Sunday and, to be honest, I don't see any difference. I'm an atheist, so it's not for me, but if there is extensive Christian programming on mainstream TV, then I don't see why people of other faiths shouldn't be represented.

And, since it's on Channel 4, it's not even possible for pearl clutchers to roll their eyes and tut about license payers' money.

AgnesBligg Tue 02-Jul-13 19:55:56

Why is it that songs of praise never used to attract such strong objections but a muslim call to prayer at 3 am has got the racists and bigots going.

It may have something to do with the atrocities carried out in the name of Islam? The recent be-heading perhaps? Or the murder of a group of Muslim school girls for attempting education?

I think it's a nice idea, a bold one even? but I would understand anti-Islam sentiment as a natural reaction to these barbarous events as opposed to simple 'racism'.

defuse Tue 02-Jul-13 19:45:32

the big supermarkets are promoting ramadan offers - it is one of the most important months for muslims - most look forward to this month in anticipation - a bit like christmas. Still cant see how it is divisive.

defuse Tue 02-Jul-13 19:43:02

Why is it that songs of praise never used to attract such strong objections but a muslim call to prayer at 3 am has got the racists and bigots going.

Greythorne Tue 02-Jul-13 19:08:52

I won't watch because I have no time for any religious programming.

I have no idea how it is meant to promote inclusivity.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now