Lately, it’s been said the programme ‘citizen khan’ aired on BBC one, is racist, bigoted & stereotypical of Pakistani people. From the columnists at Guardian to the hundreds of complaints BBC had received it was seen by enlarge within the community as racist. Going against the tide however, I thought otherwise. It was not racist or bigoted. Although I found myself hardly expressing a chuckle at the very best of its comical sketches. Without going into the almost embarrassingly poor attempts it makes at being seen as ‘funny’. Citizen khan has failed to bring forward any genuinely funny and quality sketches. Only serving to reproduce the 90’s overly used culturally orientated jokes. Which to be honest, has been milked enough times only to leave the audiences already aware or in full knowledge the outcomes of a prank or reply, before a scene is even acted out!
Unfortunately, I was proven wrong on the second episode. Citizen khan ‘did’ overstep its limit. Many would be happy to point out to me and say ‘didn’t we say so’. Which to their credit, I also now agree with. Adding to the long list of offensive remarks made by ‘citizen khan’ . The second episode only added further (and one more deeply offensive than any other) offensive discrimination to it’s ever-growing list of miserable attempts at being a ‘sitcom’. This discrimination is religious discrimination.
In episode two Mr khan, (played by Adil Ray,) the self-styled front-man for the Pakistani community, is given the responsibility of looking after his much-hated mother-in-law. It is his job to take her for shopping, after a trip to the mosque. To cut the long story short, Mr khan eventually loses his mother-in-law and then goes out in search for her. It happens that during his search, he goes in to a south Asian clothes shop. In the process of looking for her, he ends up looking underneath closed doors of changing-room cubicles, in the shop. In hope that maybe his mother-in-law is in one of them. However, as it turns out, the shop owner quietly creeps up on him when he is on the floor looking underneath the changing-room cubicles. To cover for his mistake and embarrassment, he then says ‘don’t worry i am only praying’, to the owner. Just then a person (who he assumed to have been his mother-in-law) comes out of a cubical. Having noticed that it was not his mother-in-law whom he had followed in to the shop, thinking it was. He then resumes his so called ‘prayer’. The following is a snippet of this scene:
Now this is deeply offensive, blasphemous and bigoted in very sense of it!
Not only has the person acting as Mr Khan, offended a large population of the Muslim community in Britain with this shameful sketch of prostrating in front of a woman, claiming to be ‘praying’. He has also disrespected an entire religion! – Of its religious practices/rituals and morals. As Muslims we do not prostrate in front of anything or anyone. To have someone doing this, acting to be a Muslim and from the Asian community, is rubbing-stamping the many misconceptions people have of Islam. – ‘It’s backward, silly, its rules and regulations outdated. It’s forms of worship strange and alien to civilized people’.
Every Muslim in their right mind will be offended by this. If it did not over step it’s boundaries in the first episode, then it surely has done in the second episode. I will no longer be watching such a poor production of immature acting and ridicule of Islam and its practices.
Talk about re-enforcing stereotypes. With such thoughtless actions and ‘sitcoms’, the cultural barriers are further strengthened and not broken! i can fully understand satire and jokes when it is genuine and the sketches produced does not infringe the sanctity of any religious custom. However when certain boundaries are over stepped. It is time to pull the plug on such shows and call it a day. I am no fan of doing reviews or talking of television programmes. But, if it has to be done then it leaves me with no choice but too. I don’t know of any Muslim who will not be offended by the latest subtle cynical outburst made by the BBC on Islam, done though the infamous ‘Citizen Khan’.