I think the BBC are doing some sterling work with this story line. From what I hear they are working closely with Imaan the gay Muslim group.
Mainstream Muslim organisations may not like the fact that a Muslim character can be represented as homophobic but it is a sad truth that religions are a major trigger of homophobia. As for having positive Muslim charaters in the show I think most of them are, starting with Syed (though the fact that he is gay may be a problem for some… oh wait!)
Considering how poisonously and viciously homophobic the muslim religion is (not a single mainstream muslim organisation in the UK condemns homophobia for example) I fail to see how they can complain that a muslim character hates gay people.
Look at this hatefully stupid reaction :
“The Muslim Public Affairs Committee … criticised the gay storyline and said last year that the BBC had missed the chance to present a “normal friendly Muslim character” to the British public.”
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee and the Muslim Council of Britain are disgusting bigots. Their criticisms should be ignored until they address the homophobia of their own organisations
It still cracks me up that they expect Eastenders to present ‘normal’ charicters.
“EastEnders is famous for its gritty and realistic storylines”
What is realistic about Eastenders?
How many people can die in the same street every year?
And muslims were expecting Syed to be normal and have a normal family? In Eastenders?
NB BBC Our lives are NOT just “gay storylines” to be disposed of when the “gay storyline” comes to an end.
You plan to dump the gay character at the end of this “gay storyline” Is that all he was there for? Don`t ANY gays ever live ordinary lives in soaps? Its pathetic!
I suppose it is too much to ask that EastEnders reflect the lives of the majority of us who do not look like muscle mary’s parading around in vests in the middle of winter, lusting after straight/confused blokes, sleeping with married men and then getting the living daylights bashed out of us as a hate crime? If I was a teenager grappling with my sexual identity or coming out and my reference point was Eastenders I’d be feeling really good about myself (sarcasm)!
Guess we can always switch over to Channel 4 and watch Alan Carr to make us all feel good about ourselves (more sarcasm)….time to go back to radio me thinks.
Jay it always amazes me that people who look to defend the positions of gays against religion deploy the same generalisations, stereotypes, bigotry and false assumptions that are used against us in the first place. Muslims are not the enemy here – Christians, atheists and the entire spectrum of human existence are all capable of homophobia. It is bigotry, prejudice and fear that we need to tackle. I’m sure many Muslims (including gay ones) will react with horror at their portrayal by Eastenders and to Stewart and John’s point it is the continued trading in stereotypes by the BBC that is the real issue here….
Dave….tell that to the gay men and women in iraq, saudi arabia, iran, albania, and every other islamic country where they are murdered, arrested, repressed – well you wont be able to tell some of them – they are dead. You’re one of the people who needs to wake up – islam and the monothesitic belief system is the main cause of the bigotry and prejudice that we suffer from. I make no judgement of stereotypes, I present the facts – islamic text is homophobic and incites hatred and murder of gay people – FACT. that same islamic text is used in all islamic states to kill us – FACT. You may not like those facts, they may be hard for you in your fluffy world to accept, but that is the way it is. You need to get out of your deluded fantasy bubble that islam is okay.
Well said jay. Idiots like DaveP can live in their PC world if they want – the rest of us will say that if (a big if) there are all these so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims around how come they do nothing (nor even SAY anything) against their ‘extremists’. The answer, of course, is that the ‘extremists’ are the majority.
Carry on reading your Guardian DaveP but don’t pretend you don’t know the truth.
Jay the Bible calls for the execution of gay men – FACT. The most homophobic country in the world, Jamaica, is Protestant. To suggest that Islam is the “main cause of the bigotry and prejudice that we suffer from” when they form only 3% of the population in the UK is totally absurd. Again you are presenting hysterical falsehoods to perpetuate your own prejudice and bigotry. Homophobia is not owned by Islam it is everywhere.
The real topic here is the BBC stereotyping – note that the character of Christian will have been gay bashed twice within the space of one year. No other character has been beaten for being who they are which sends out a negative message to our gay youth as per some of the comments above.
Joe if the majority of Muslims are extremist then present us with the facts to support that. In the meantime you might want to check in with Al Bab, a British based support group run by Muslims for the GLBT community or the Al-Fatiha Foundation dedicated to support for gays by Mulims, or Huriyah an online magazine by Muslims for the GLBT community or Imaan a social support group for Muslims (getting the point yet?). The moderates and fair minded far outway extremists and value the British traditions of fairness and non-judgmental attitudes – qualities you might see fit to adopt yourself.
DaveP: Number 8: you say:
“Jay it always amazes me that people who look to defend the positions of gays against religion deploy the same generalisations, stereotypes, bigotry and false assumptions that are used against us in the first place. Muslims are not the enemy here”
Please explain why not a single mainstream muslim organisation in Britain opposes homophobia?
Individual muslim people who have rejected the murderous homophobia and sexism of their religion are not the problem. I agree with you there.
The hateful bigots of so-called ‘moderate islam’ – The Muslim Public Affairs Committee and the Muslim Council of Britain – are the problem.
What are these so-called ‘moderates’ doing to tackle the murderous homophobia of the cult?
The correct answer is ‘They Are Doing NOTHING’ to address the vicious homophobia of the cult.
“The most homophobic country in the world, Jamaica…” – yeah, right mate. That’s the most homophobic country in the world, so much so all us gayers flee it for the safety of Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Well SimonM hate to disappoint you but as late as 2003, Muhammad Yusuf, the chairman of the Council of University Imams, co-signed a letter together with other religious groups calling for all religions to unite in opposition to homophobia. A number of writers here act like division, paranoia and distrust amongst communities will further our cause. You’re just spouting the bigotry and made up “facts” to support your own prejudices…pathetic.
Muslim attitudes towards homosexuality are certainly a problem, but why single out Islam in that respect? If we’re going to go down that road, shouldn’t SimonM, Joe and Jay also be calling for the pope’s resignation and refusing to engage with “extremist” Catholics and evangelicals? Guys it looks like what it smells like – bigotry…
i frequently call for the popes resignation, and for christianity to be shown to be hateful – but this isn’t about christianity – it is about an islamic character in eastenders you stupid muppet.
…..and as for the liebral extremist dave. if you love islam so much, you should go and live in an islamic country, like saudi arabia, iran, iraq, egypt. When you see how they treat gay men, you wouldn’t be so tollerant of islam then, i can assure you. dave, you are blinded from the reality you live in because of a PATHETIC desire to be ‘nice’, because you have been hacked, fooled by muslims who pretend to be kind. have you ever read the koran or hadith. probably not and i wouldn’t advise you to read those satanic verses. Your desire to protect an ideology that wishes to see you dead is PATHETIC, like a jew protecting nazis, or black people protecting the klu klux klan. its just weird and reveals how stupid you are. i do not for one second defend christianity, why would i defend an idea that wishes to destroy me. Maybe you should ask yourslef the same question dave – why are you protecting a belief system that wants to see you dead?
If you want your say, the BBC are conducting a consultation on its portrayal of LGBT people in its programmes, the closing date is 2nd April so not long – visit the web site perception.com/bbclgbportrayal
All organised religion is bad, lets not get bogged down with name calling. I really don’t think Islam is more homophobic then Christianity, but I would hazard a guess that Muslims tend to be more literalist then Christians in this country.
Also it would be nice if the Muslim Public Affairs Committee realised that it’s “normal” for some children to turn out gay, including Muslim ones. I don’t know if this character is friendly or not though.
Jay, I don’t think there’s any need for you to offend people the way you’re doing with Dave (you’ve called him stupid, pathetic and an idiot). We can have a conversation without insulting each other.
I think Dave has raised a valid point: that Islam is not the only homophobic religion and Christians are not much better. Although religion and culture tend to merge, you can’t only compare European Christian countries with Middle-Eastern Muslim countries to prove that Islam is more homophobic. Why don’t you look at the many Christian developing countries around? What about Africa? Are the Christians there gay-friendly? We hear a lot about Uganda these days. Christian churches there are instrumental in spreading homophobia.
Sorry, I made a point there about culture and religion but didn’t complete it, I think.
I meant to say that although religion is certainly a cultural dimension, you can’t simply ascribe a homophobic attitude to religion. If you are comparing Middle-Eastern Muslim countries with European Christian countries, you’ll find differences there, but maybe they are more to do with local customs than religion.
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee said that the BBC had missed the chance to present a “normal friendly Muslim character” to the British public.
Seems to me he is a normal friendly Muslim character. He just happens to be gay. There must be thousands of gay Asian men trapped in sham marriages, claiming to be “bisexual” that are glued to this show, or else are terrified that someone might suspect them of the same thing.
DaveP you liar, Jamaica isn’t half as bad as Iraq for gay people
In Jamaica you get a riot, in Iraq you get the vans in the night to take you to be exocuted
It’s not comparable
DaveP: “You’re just spouting the bigotry and made up “facts” to support your own prejudices…pathetic. ”
It is NOT a made up fact that the Muslim Council of Britain is a wildly homophobic group.
It is NOT a made up fact that the Muslim Public Affairs Committee is a wildly homophobic group./
It is NOT a made up fact that (Turkey excepted) homosexuality is punished by death or imprisonment in ALL muslim countries.
I regularly criticise christianity.
Luckily christianity is almost dead in Britain so the homophobic evil of that cult is less dangerous.
The vile homophobia of the islamic cult needs to be monitored.
By the way – I am an islamophobe.
I believe that people should be protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, age, sexual orientation etc etc.
No-one needs to be protected from discrimination on the grounds of their freely chosen beliefs.
Islam (like christianity) is a series of fictitious, badly written fairytales. It (or christianity) has no place in a modern democracy, UNLESS they accept that their beliefs are not special and no worthier of protection than any other.
If it makes me an islamophobe to regard religious believers as brainwashed, morons with a tendency towards violence then I am proud to be one.
Yeah christians arnt exactly fans of the gays but the difference between them and muslims is that christians dont go around calling for us all to be executed (and in countrys where its legal) actually do! It amazes me how brainwashed pc some gays are in this country that they actually sit and defend such a backward and sinister religion that islam is! one day you will wake up and see what they really think of our kind!
greg/jay – odd that you both practice the same grammatical errors. Could it be you are one and the same? Always a bit sad when folk use several handles to make their views seem more popular.
and btw roger dodger dave. i am not greg. you muppet. i have no need to blog as two people. i can speak for myself.