Britain’s Islamic channels are propagating a regressive narrative filled with inequality, intolerance and bigotry
This article has been published by Anila Athar in The Nation (Pakistan)
An English colleague at work asked me one morning what I thought about pigs. I was a bit surprised as it wasn’t one of the usual questions we generally ask each other in the office. Hmm, err… It’s an animal like other animals…Why? I asked her. Her response had us both in stitches. Thank goodness we both have a sense of humour. However, after we had a good laugh, we both spent a few minutes having a serious discussion on the importance of rationality and critical thinking and mourning the lack thereof.
It so happened, she was flicking through the TV channels when she came across Peace TV and lo behold Dr Zakir Naik was having a go at poor pigs. According to him pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. According to Dr Naik, in America most people consume pork hence wife swapping is very common in that country. “If you eat pigs you behave like pigs.”RIP logic!
There is a proliferation of faith channels on the satellite television in the UK and almost all have their own Zakir Naiks. The narrative emanating from these channels is regressive, diametrically opposed to modern humanist values that the British society holds dear. There is a constant barrage of messages promoting segregation, gender inequality, and hatred/intolerance of other faiths as well as blatantly stigmatising music and dance.
For a multi-faith, multicultural society like Britain such regressive narrative is extremely counterproductive as it hampers community cohesion and prevents integration. It encourages superstition and discourages people to think outside the box. Furthermore, it promotes hatred of other faiths, discrimination and oppression of women and reinforces moral superiority over other faiths.