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EastEnders to feature gay Muslim storyline but Muslim group calls for a “normal character”

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  1. Ryan Haynes - fyi radio 28 May 2009, 6:15pm

    Finally and he’s damn hot! Bring on Christian on Muslim, bring on man on man – oooo a double whammy to the religious groups…Goodluck Eastenders – I sadly think I will now have to tune in.

  2. Only cinema can give us the role models we need to see. What’s the good of viewing movies if we cannot see our lives, our needs, our desires, our inner turmoil, and our joy depicted in them?

    We owe a debt of gratitude to Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).

  3. Good on EastEnders for going this. It does help also that Syed Masood is fit ;-)

  4. Excellent news. Well done Eastenders.

    Really pleased about this.

  5. PS Why did they feel the need to consult the Muslim COuncil of Britain, extremists who represent nobody?

    Note the nasty, snide, whinging comment from another self-appointed group, the ‘Muslim Public Affairs Committee’ (so, they represent all muslims do they??) that EastEnders ‘lost an opportunity to present a NORMAL friendly Muslim character’, by showing a gay muslim. Really, stop listening to these reactionalry cranks.

  6. dani aka katie 29 May 2009, 12:06am

    well i don’t care what people say as this goes on in real life and showing it will help other people through this kind of situation, if people don’t like it then they should find out when it is screened and not watch it, i really cant wait for this to happen and its bout time they ave a gay affair back in soaps. x x

  7. They want a ‘normal’ charictor? In EastEnders? What are they, clinicly thick?

  8. THANK GOD! was hoping that might happen, both guys are bloody hot!
    Eastenders has definately got a few more hot guys in the cast list recently, all we need now is the new doctor to get in on the action and its the best story line in soap!

  9. Har Davids 29 May 2009, 7:14am

    Asghar Bokhari should think about the positive effect a Muslim who is gay and friendly might have on ‘us’. We might start thinking: “Hey, ‘they’ are not so different after all.” After all, if Muslims can be gay, they can even be non-terrorists.

  10. When will there be a lesbian storyline in our soaps??? We have Antony Cotton (Sean) in Corrie, and Christian in Eastenders. It seems to me that it’s more acceptable to have gay male characters than gay female ones. Any thoughts?

    Oh and the Muslim Council of Britain is a disgusting umbrella organisation encompassing many groups, from the moderate to the extreme. Sir (how did he ever get knighted?!) Iqbal even refuses to condemn suicide bombs in Israel. These are bombs on buses, in cafes etc which kill innocent people, not the IDF or Mossad, innocent people. He’s disgusting and so is his organisation.

  11. Geerd Wilders reckons that Islamic fundamentalism should be likened to the rise of the third Reich. Why are we pandering to a supersticious death cult? Wake up world! NOthing against muslims, only islam

  12. I don’t follow soaps, but with the rise of the local Taliban here in the real eastend, 47 homophobic attacks last year (http://tinyurl.com/ela47) anything that winds up the Mullahs is good in my book.

  13. Totally agree Lezabella, where are the dykes? If I remember correctly Binnie & Della in Stenders (back in early 90’s) didn’t even snog!!

  14. My thoughts exactly Charlene.

    If any TV programme has a ‘lesbian’ storyline, the characters are not gay anyway – they usually have the one kiss that’s it- and look very (without sounding too stereotypical) ‘straight’.

    I feel sorry for the less girly looking ‘butch’ gay girls as they’re never represented in anything.

    And yet we have (and please, boys, don’t take this the wrong way because I’m not menaing any offence!) Sean in Eastenders who is really, really camp and over the top. And then in Eastenders we have a non-camp, ‘muscle mary’, handsome, gay man called Christian.

    And yet not one lesbian…….why????

  15. My thoughts exactly Charlene.

    If any TV programme has a ‘lesbian’ storyline, the characters are not gay anyway – they usually have the one kiss that’s it- and look very (without sounding too stereotypical) ‘straight’.

    I feel sorry for the less girly looking ‘butch’ gay girls as they’re never represented in anything.

    And yet we have (and please, boys, don’t take this the wrong way because I’m not meaning any offence!) Sean in Coronation Street who is really, really camp and over the top. And then in Eastenders we have a non-camp, ‘muscle mary’, handsome, gay man called Christian.

    And yet not one lesbian…….why????

    THIS IS THE POST WITH NO TYPOS, lol

  16. Agreed; its a good thing. Only trouble with the Lesbian stories is they tend to titterlate the Str8 men’s fantasies (although I suppose they are entitled to a bit of fun, poor things!)

  17. Mihangel apYrs 29 May 2009, 10:18am

    there’s a lesbian story line in Hollyoaks (probably to balance the earlier John-Paul sagas)

  18. “Only trouble with the Lesbian stories is they tend to titterlate the Str8 men’s fantasies (although I suppose they are entitled to a bit of fun, poor things!)”

    LOL agreed.

    It’s still frustrating though and I don’t see why straight men obsess over us lesbos anyway, we’re lesbians, i.e gay so hence have no interest in them.

    You don’t see straight women acting like that with gay men. Straight men can be embarassing sometimes.

    Mihangel ap Yrs – Yes there is, with Sarah and that other chick. But that’s a young persons soap and not the staple, mainstream of Easties and Corrie.

    Ah well, moan/rant over.

  19. Ciaran McMahon 29 May 2009, 10:29am

    “”The Muslim community deserves a character that represents them to the wider public because Islamophobia is so great right now.”

    And when Asghar Bokhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee implies that a gay character is not “normal”, would you blame the level of “Islamophobia”. If you lighten up a little with the holier-than-thou preaching against everyone who doesn’t agree with muslim teachings, maybe you’ll be accepted more.

  20. But this IS a normal and friendly Muslim character!

  21. That’s exactly Ciaran’s pint, Tony

  22. (sorry point, not pint)

  23. Mihangel apYrs 29 May 2009, 11:48am

    @Lezabella
    while Hollyoaks is aimed at young people, the value in their gay story lines can be greater in that they normalise non-straight relationships and sex for young people. And de-bigotted young people is a worthwhile aim.

    I don’t follow the soaps, but ANY gay input is a good thing. And since gay men evoke the greater “yuk” response, especially from straight men who may react violently around them, then if these images are positive it gets us out there. I do however, appreciate that lesbians are largely invisible on mainstream popular television, it tends to reflect how straight society sees them (or not).

  24. Mihangel Apyrs –

    Oh, most definately it is a good thing to have any representation of us on mainstream telly. But yes I fear we lesbians are invisible.

    The ‘yuk’ response from these types of straight males is, in my view, to do with their own stupid male pride and their own view of how men should be – extremely masculine and domineering over women. Anything other than that is seen by them as a ‘cop out’ and unowrthy.

    As for gay men getting a worse reaction…? OK I can sort of see what you mean because the only negative reaction is violence/intimidation, but by no means are reactions to lesbians favourable. For us it can go two ways:

    A) “Lesbians, oooooh yeah, can we watch or join in?” – which basically means they watch 2 many pornos and don’t understand that real gay women are actually gay. That’s merely ignorance.

    OR

    B) “Lesbians? Urrrgh you f—-g dykes! Dirty bicthes come and s*ck my c*ck” – which again is sexual intimidation coupled with revulsion.

    I’ve experienced both, the second one more so than the first.

  25. Simon Murphy 29 May 2009, 12:42pm

    Obviously this story has been in development for a while. I was wondering why they had hired a non-Muslim actor to play Syed. Did they have difficulty casting a muslim actor to play a gay character I wonder? Considering how homophobic that cult is maybe that’s the reason.

    As for that tosser Asghar Bokhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. He has no right to whine about islamophobia when he is engaged in homophobia the ignorant, thick pig.

  26. Simon, I wondered about this too . . .
    “Did they have difficulty casting a muslim actor to play a gay character I wonder? Considering how homophobic that cult is maybe that’s the reason.”

    . . . especially when any religious prefix attached to an occupation these days seems to be a euphemism for “Fundamentalist”

    . . . although I would like to be wrong on this

  27. Well in the Archers they have a Gay couple who seem very accepted (although one is from N. Ireland so I guess he had as hard a time of it as a gay muslim would!)

  28. What is the big deal? We had gay couples in soaps in South Africa more than 8 years ago (kissing etc). At first it was “WHAT?”, now people follow the developments like any other relationship. For such a socially advance country like the UK I can’t help feeling confused with these “public outcries”.

    Good on you…

    Oh and another thing while I am here…being gay/straight is not ONLY about sex, it is infact a very little part of it all.I wish people will realise that…if I see a hetro couple in the high street I dont think about the sex they are having, contrary to the views of public in general on the LGBT community…

  29. Mihangel apYrs 29 May 2009, 1:56pm

    Lezabella: I wasn’t trying to diminish the homophobic abuse lesbians get, I’m sorry if it came over that way

  30. I wasn’t saying that Mihangel, sorry if mine came across like that, lol, I think we both agree anyway. Have a gay day :)

  31. Ironic that the Muslim Public Affairs Committee claims a ‘lack of understanding’!!! Word up, homophobes – Some Muslims Are Gay, Get Over It!

  32. He’s gorgeous! Well done Eastenders. You will probably get a backlash from religious fanatics and other homophobes but who cares. This is real life! I’ve a muslim friend in Malaysia and he’s married with kids. Not all muslims are brain washed.

  33. Such will be great to present a human image of Muslims…Religion is again a fly in face of common sense….that homosexuality is normal….religion reflects 2000 year old prejudice…normal at the time but since outdated….Religous communities need to wake up to reality. Who are the real Muslims? Do these fundamentalists really represent popular Muslim opinion

  34. Come on, this is a story about two normal people, of different religions. What they have in common is that they’re both gay.What would their church/mosque prefer – that they marry women and lead a double life hereafter? What about the married gay? How sad that society has led them to the state where everyone in the relationship is unfulfilled. Rather let’s have an openly gay character who meets another one and becomes a Soap role model. This will be beneficial for everyone’s understanding of gay issues irrespective of orientation or religion.

  35. Sadly that is what the Mosque would prefer…have seen Islamic websites advocate marriage for gay/lesbians…and documataries where gay Muslims eventually marry due to social pressure…A lesbian Muslim friend had to run away a few months ago

  36. Personally I think a los opportunity to show a normal gay character and relationship. Have we not moved
    Beyon conflict and pity. Why can’t we see a physical gay relationship. It is 2009 not 1989. Tv licence funding tokenism at best!

  37. Speaking as someone with a muslim boyfriend who’s still in the closet from his family, I could give them some script pointers if they wanted them!

  38. Phil – precisely. But the BBC has decided that all people brought up to be muslims shall be put in a muslim box and live according to the rules of reactionary, unelected extremists, whether they like it or not. This is patronising really.

  39. Why not really piss them off, and get him to eat pork too.

  40. Hey youse guys: ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT

    While you are here talking about soaps, Hank is harassing Will on the thread entitled:

    Gay couples ‘are better at communicating’, dated May 27.

    ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT

  41. Mihangel apYrs 30 May 2009, 9:03am

    Jean-Paul

    Will should just ignore Hank and all the other religio-loons. Engaging them merely encourages them, one can’t change their minds and it’s a waste of effort to try.

    If we just overlook them and their rantings we will at least save the aggravation. But I do understand why one is tempted…

  42. Mihangel ap Yrs – I’m coming around to your way of thinking… Hank and his ilk are basically attention seeking missiles, and having a constant war of attrition gives them a reason to hang around.
    Hank will never stop bugging us so long as someone is still prepared to argue with him. It’s simply the dialogue of the deaf with a cut and paste bible. Sure it can be amusing, but it gets tiresome after a while.

  43. Has a girlfriend, falls for a fella…. Is there a big glaring word that starts with “B” missing from the reporting of this?

  44. Before the 9.00 wathershed lol well i’m out 24 hours a day to be completly honest its not as though their ripping eachothers clothes of good 2 eastenders xxxxxxx

  45. By the way – why call on the Muslim Public Affairs Committee for an opinion in the first place? Who do they represent?

    (E.g. Does the Westboro Baptist Church reprsent all baptists?)

    They are a bunch of extremist, backward, women-hating, Islamic-supremisists. You may as well ask the opinion of the Ku Klux Klan and Osama Bin Laden. Don’t give these bigots the oxygen of publicity.

  46. Simon Murphy “was wondering why they had hired a non-Muslim actor to play Syed. Did they have difficulty casting a muslim actor to play a gay character I wonder?”

    I’m sure life would be especially hard for a gay Muslim actor, but I don’t think any of the actors playing the various Masood family characters at present are Muslim either.

    As for this Bokhari twit,does he criticise the other Masood characters for not being ‘normal’ and ‘friendly’ too?

  47. The BBC will probably back down to the Gay hating Muslims. Just wait for the death threats.

  48. Being gay IS normal

  49. christopher 1 Jun 2009, 7:36am

    I agree…East Enders should provide a story for a normal Muslim character; a normal GAY Muslim character!

  50. Oh, dear. Modern Muslims are so amesiac about all this. There is probably more gay love poetry in Arabic than in any other language,
    and a Turkish sultan once said his adoration of his boyfriend stopped short of worship only because of the existence of Allah. I suppose that’s piety!!

  51. Sorry, I meant ‘amnesiac’.

  52. they should have more homosexual characters as this will boost my research for my critical investigation -hint BBC ;)

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