Major Broadcaster Decides It's 'Too Christian,' Plans to Give More Airtime to Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs

The BBC is 'too Christian' in its religious output, and should give more airtime to other faiths, the Corporation's Head of Religion and Ethics has said.
The BBC is 'too Christian' in its religious output, and should give more airtime to other faiths, the Corporation's Head of Religion and Ethics has said. (Stuart Pinfold/Flickr/Creative Commons)

The BBC is 'too Christian' in its religious output, and should give more airtime to other faiths, the Corporation's Head of Religion and Ethics has said.

Aaqil Ahmed, who is a practicing Muslim, has compiled a report suggesting that Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths should receive more programming airtime.

The report is currently being considered by the BBC's Director-General, Lord Hall, who could make changes to religious output. 

'Cornerstone'

In a statement to the Times, Mr. Ahmed asserted Christianity would remain the 'cornerstone' of the BBC's output and "there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths", but he added, "Our output in this area is not static though.

"It has evolved over the years and we regularly assess it. We do look at the number of hours we produce, and measure that against the religious make-up of society." 

'Guarded welcome'

The number of Muslims in Britain has doubled in a decade to three million, while Muslim children now account for 1 in 6 of those attending school.

Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, welcomed the proposals saying the BBC could televise Friday prayers from a mosque, cover Eid and show children attending madrasahs after school for Qur'anic instruction.

Controversial

Mr. Ahmed's appointment in 2009 was met with controversy because his previous work at Channel 4 had revealed a noticeable bias towards Islam and multiculturalism.

Prior to this, Sikh Tommy Nagra had been appointed as the new producer of Songs of Praise, and a member of the British Humanist Association to the BBC's new religion board.

Cultural liberal bias

The BBC's anti-Christian bias has been highlighted in recent years, by the Corporation's own staff.

In 2006, Andrew Marr, the BBC's former political editor, said: "The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly-funded, urban organization with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.

"It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias."

In 2011 a former BBC news anchor, Peter Sissons, said "left-wing bias is at the core of the BBC, in its very DNA".

He went on to say: "[At the BBC] Islam must not be offended at any price, although Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended."

In 2013, former presenter Roger Bolton said the BBC thinks Christians who disagree with gay marriage are "throwbacks who are damaging the church".

He went on to add if the BBC interviews a Christian who objects to abortion on religious grounds, "they are treated as though they are just a bit barmy".

This article originally appeared on Christian Concern. 


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