The set of the BBC’s flagship soap opera EastEnders is to include an Islamic mosque as part of a £15 million makeover, despite not having a church and featuring only one Muslim family in the cast.
The famous fictional Albert Square, which is in fact at Elstree Studios, has served as the EastEnders set for 30 years and is now to be demolished.
A mosque will be located just off the square and will be the set’s first religious building. There are several prominent born-again Christians in the cast, including veteran Dot Cotton, who are forced to hold Christian meetings in a community centre. Churches, off set, largely only appear in the programme for weddings and funerals.
The new set will be 20 per cent larger than the current one, The Sun reports, with BBC sources claiming it has been designed to reflect a more “authentic” version of East London.
The public service broadcaster has also discussed a radical Islam and terrorism plotline. “It’s been considered and discussed,” a source told the paper.
The new set will “be as authentic as East London today, including a mosque… [it] will better reflect the East End on screen as well as increase the potential for storylines,” the source added.
The Masoods – including dad Masood Ahmed, daughter Shabnam, and son Tamwar – are the only Muslim family currently in the show.
Did you know? It’s 33 years to the day that the first episode of #EastEnders was broadcast. Happy Birthday to us!
Take it away Ian… pic.twitter.com/I9zdEVnJoW
— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) February 19, 2018
Following the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris, left-wing apologists widely praised a “meaning of Islam” speech in the show, when Tamwar Masood argued Islam was a peaceful, non-political ideology to his non-Muslim girlfriend.
The BBC consistently champions various “progressive” causes in its dramas and fiction shows, and in 2015 they introduced a transgendered character to EastEnders, making it the first major UK soap opera to embrace transgender ideology.
A 21-year-old female-to-male transgender actor called Riley-Carter Millington played a transgendered character called Kyle in the show, introducing the phenomenon of transgenderism to a large national audience.
Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Executive Producer of EastEnders, said at the time: “It has been my intention for a long time to cast a trans actor playing a trans role – and we have been so careful to ensure that we cast the right actor for the part.”