Monday, November 14, 2016

BBC will increase coverage of Muslim, Hindu and Sikh religious festivals after it is slammed for being 'too Christian' by a muslim

  • Head of religion and ethics found BBC's religious output disproportionate
  • Plenty of shows celebrating Christianity but too few for other faiths 
  • New Muslim, Hindu, Sikh programmes are set to be added to the list
  • Lord Hall has called on religious leaders to be part of their discussions 
Aaqil Ahmed, the broadcaster's head of religion and ethics
Aaqil Ahmed, the broadcaster's head of religion and ethics
The BBC is to increase its coverage of religions in a bid to counter claims it is biased towards Christianity.

Earlier this year, the corporation accused itself of being too Christian in its output - and that it was considering adding programmes for Muslim, Hindu and Sikh audiences.

Aaqil Ahmed, the broadcaster's head of religion and ethics, compiled a report following consultation with non-Christians who expressed their belief that the BBC is disproportionate in its religious content.

The feeling is that while there are plenty of shows that celebrate Christianity, there are too few for other faiths.

BBC director general Lord Hall was handed the dossier and is believed to be giving thorough consideration to its suggestions.

He is now inviting religious leaders to be part of discussion to make their coverage more multi-faith.

A BBC source said: 'Faith is remarkably important. The BBC can and must do more to ensure that the important role faith plays is recognised and reflected in our programing. 

'The BBC will do more to represent faiths across the broad, and has specifically rejected the notion of in any way diminishing what it does around Christianity.' 

Following the publication of the report in May, Ahmed said in a statement: 'Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths.

'Our output in this area is not static, though. It has evolved over the years and we regularly assess it.'

As it stands, religious programming across the BBC includes the likes of Songs of Praise, Sunday Morning Live and The Life of Muhammad on television. 

Moral Maze, Beyond Belief and Thought for the Day feature on radio. 

Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the news and said the BCC could show Friday prayers from a mosque.  

In the summer, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, admitted he was wary about any such changes.

He said: 'There is a real feeling by Christians of being let down by the Establishment.
'Christianity is fighting for its life in western countries.'   

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