BBC appoints Muslim to top religious post, Mail and Torygraph not happy

Aaqil AhmedThe BBC yesterday appointed a Muslim as its head of religious programming in a radical departure from broadcasting tradition. The post – considered one of the most influential religious roles in the country – has gone to Aaqil Ahmed, who has been working as an executive at Channel 4.

The appointment will cause dismay among the Christian churches. It comes at a time of deepening worries among Christian leaders that their faith is being sidelined and downgraded by authorities. Last year the BBC gave the job of producing its most popular and longrunning religious programme, Songs of Praise, to a Sikh, Tommy Nagra.

Mr Ahmed is a trustee of the Runnymede Trust, a body that has championed the ideology of multiculturalism. He has also taken part in campaigns for a greater Muslim presence in the media. In the past the post of head of religion at the BBC has been considered a job for a senior and respected cleric or lay churchgoer.

Daily Mail, 12 May 2009

Tabloid Watch has an analysis of the comments on the Mail‘s website.

See also the Telegraph which takes a similar line: “Leading church figures suspect that the BBC is giving preferential treatment to minority faiths, with a Muslim now in charge of its programming on television and a Sikh producing Songs of Praise, its flagship Christian show…. Channel 4 was accused of being biased towards Islam and failing to show enough respect to Christianity under Mr Ahmed, who was head of religious broadcasting.”

For an alternative view see Asians in Media and Sunny Hundal at Comment is Free.

Update:  See “BBC slammed over Muslim ‘gimmick’” in the Newsletter. Oh, and we mustn’t forget the BNP, who greet the news with the predictable headline “The Islamification of Britain continues: BBC appoints Muslim as head of religious programming“. According to the fascists:

“The British National Party is the only political party to voice its objection to this bloodless genocide and ethnic cleansing of the British people in their own country. A vote for the BNP on June 4th will send a clear message to the ruling elite that the British people do not want to subjected to foreign rule and Islamified.”

And over at Jihad Watch, the appointment is denounced as “a typical dhimmi move”.