According to one Labour Member of Parliament (MP), the popular BBC sitcom, ‘Citizen Khan’, is Islamophobic and will probably feature hands being cut off in future episodes.
London Labour MP Rupa Huq used the opportunity of a House of Commons debate on BBC diversity to claim that one of the BBC’s most consistently popular sitcoms — ‘Citizen Khan’ — is in fact an Islamophobic throwback to the 1970s.
According to its website, the sitcom, set in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, follows “the trials and tribulations of larger-than-life self-appointed Muslim community leader Mr Khan and his long suffering family.”
Although created by one of Ms. Huq’s fellow British Muslims — award-winning writer, actor, and radio and television presenter Adil Ray — she believes the portrayal of the family around which the comedy revolves is “quite backward”.
According to her, the programme is evidence that some television produced in the UK has not yet progressed from the sitcoms of the 1970s. Citing the portrayal of ethnic minority characters in historic sitcoms such as ‘Mixed Blessings’, ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ and ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, Ms. Huq said:
“All of these things are now excused. It is like Jimmy Savile’s crimes. These things were acceptable in the ’70s, which was a pre-politically correct time.
Neglecting to name whoever it was she believes has excused Jimmy Savile’s predatory sex crimes, she continued:
“A current programme I would cite, which has been going since 2012, is ‘Citizen Khan‘. If I did not know what the year was… I do not know if people know that programme. It is the everyday tale of a Birmingham family of Muslims, but they are really quite backward.
“Again, it relates to the point about Islamophobia made by my hon. Friend the Member for Streatham [Chuka Umunna], who is no longer in his place. There is a beardy-weirdy chap. They are not quite cutting off people’s hands, but I could imagine that being in a future episode.”
Despite winning the Asian Media Award for Best TV Character in 2013, Ms. Huq’s criticism is not the first hurled at Mr. Ray from his own faith community.
As Breitbart London previously reported, the programme was nominated in the TV category for the 2016 ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ awards, run by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, for continuing to be a “patronising version of how middle-class white folk would like British Muslims to be”.
Mr. Ray has also spoken of death threats and torrents of abuse he receives from people who think his comedy makes fun of Islam and stereotypes Asians.
Despite the criticism, the last laugh goes to ‘Citizen Khan‘. Earlier this year a fifth series was confirmed for broadcast in the autumn, the character is shortly headlining his own arena tour, and there are even discussions about a feature-length film version.