BBC sitcom on Muslim family sparks complaints
From online dispatches
BBC photoA new comedy series on Britain's BBC1 channel has drawn the ire of the country's Muslim community on grounds that the show made fun of Islam.
The first episode of the new sitcom "Citizen Khan," which revolves around the life of a Muslim community leader, was aired on Aug. 27 and immediately resulted in at least 200 complaints, Daily Mail reported.
It was claimed the show teased Islam, was guilty of "stereotypes about Asians" and was "disrespectful to the Quran.”
One particular scene that angered certain viewers depicted a girl with heavy make-up, Mr. Khan's daughter, rushing to put on a hijab and pretend to read the Quran when her father entered the scene. One viewer wrote, "HIGHLY disappointed especially when her father walks in and she disrespectfully opens the Koran!!" on BBC's message board, while another wrote: "This is terrible stereotyping, ignorant and just dreadful."
Some people were less critical about the show, defending it. One wrote, "People are reading too much in to Citizen Khan, especially the hijab thing, it happens!"
The show was created by British Muslim Adil Ray, who also plays the lead character, "Mr. Khan." He recently told BBC Breakfast that the show allowed the Muslim community to laugh at itself, saying, "I think it is a great opportunity, with Mr. Khan as a Pakistani Muslim ... to take that kind of really rich content and laugh at ourselves and I am a firm believer in that.”
The series mocks Mr. Khan's self-importance and delusions about his position in the community and his standing in the business world.
Critics said the show repeated many stereotypes about British Muslims, with the first episode all about the troubled wedding plans of one of Mr. Khan’s daughters, Shazia.
A BBC spokesman said the show had launched successfully with "3.6 million viewers and a 21.5 percent share in the late-night slot."