A BBC sitcom has been criticised as “Islamophobic” during a Commons debate about whether the BBC’s programmes and staff reflect UK diversity.
Labour’s Rupa Huq criticised Citizen Khan’s depiction of a “quite backward” family of Muslims.
The show was accused of stereotyping Muslims when it started in 2012 and its creator, Adil Ray, has told the Radio Times he had received death threats.
The BBC said the award-winning show had received much positive feedback.
But Ms Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, whose sister Konnie is a former Blue Peter presenter, said: “I feel as if I didn’t know what the year is … you would think it’s an everyday tale of a Birmingham family of Muslims but they’re really quite backward.
“Again, the Islamophobic point [Labour MP Chuka Umunna] made, it’s a beardy weirdy chap and they’re not quite cutting off people’s hands but I can imagine that being in a future episode.”
Citizen Khan prompted complaints when it launched in 2012 and Mr Ray has previously said he had received abuse from people who believed it was making fun of Islam or stereotyping Muslims.
But the show has won various awards at the Royal Television Society and Asian Media Awards.
A BBC spokesman said: “The fact that Citizen Khan returns for its fifth series this year is a sign of its popularity with all audiences – indeed the show has won several awards, including Best TV character at the Asian Media Awards.
“We’ve also had positive comments from members of the Muslim community for the show and for creator Adil Ray who, like the family portrayed, is a British Pakistani Muslim. As with all sitcoms the characters are comic creations and not meant to be representative of the community as a whole.”
Ms Huq made her comments during a backbench debate called by …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment