Best ratings to all Ramadan shows on TV
Look what has happened during the preaching or Ramadan-themed talk shows on televisions. We saw that Prof. Mustafa Karataş was the victim of a bad joke from a caller on Show TV. He was caught off guard, newspaper reports said.
On Star TV, Fatih Çıtlak, thankfully, had a proper answer to the silly and provocative caller questions, not to add to the blunders.
However, Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca knows how to push the ratings up. In his special iftar sermon he became angry at a caller and threatened the caller with increasing the number of tarawih prayers to 34; “So you will see,” he said.
A professor among the media imams was heard saying that, except for the compulsory traffic insurance, other types of insurance were forbidden by religion. He went on to say that insurance companies were collecting money for Israel. The insurance companies went mad.
But the cream of crop was Prof. Mustafa Aşkar’s performance on state-run TRT during the “Iftar Joy” program. He said those who do not perform the five-times-a-day prayers were animals.
The head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, Prof. Mehmet Görmez, was proven right, as a matter of fact. He met all the Ramadan television program hosts and frequent guests and asked them not to take caller questions during live broadcasts. He asked them not to confuse people’s minds with questionable hadith and anecdotes just to attract more viewers. He requested they not add superstitious aspects to scientific facts and downscale Ramadan. But only a few of them heard it; most of them continued on their path.
Are they now happy with this result? Do they think these scandals are appropriate? It is only the first week of Ramadan and incidents are increasing. Is this worth it?
Broadcasting Ramadan programs at fast-breaking and fast-starting meal times for more ratings does not work well. I don’t think they themselves want to be remembered as television preachers either. Those who have caused problems are clearly very sorry.
The host of the TRT program, Serdar Tuncer, shared his unhappiness; he said the reactions were right. He apologized for the coarse pietism. Prof. Aşkar must have been very sorry that he ever went on TV. I am sure if you asked him, he would have preferred to have never appeared on the show.
But now, the scandals have broken, things have been messed up and reputations have been dragged through the mud.
Would you insult non-praying people to explain how important praying is? Do you see how an amateur artistic attempt on the screen has turned the place upside down?
On the other hand, it is also possible to observe Ramadan with quality ratings. Without dumbing it down, one can have a classy religious talk. There is the option of never giving the opportunity for such unpleasant accidents, vulgar surprises and unheard of tactlessness to occur.
Getting carried away by the lust for talking, by having your name mentioned because of sensational words, your program will be talked about everywhere; you would even appear in magazine programs.
But dirty ratings bring regret. Those who are after more and more ratings will, at the end, erode their reputation.
Prof. Görmez had a very appropriate warning to the scholars appearing on television shows about staying away from ratings concerns.
A good scare is worth more than good advice. We still have three huge weeks of Ramadan ahead of us. It is still not too late to take the advice.