Channel 4’s recent programme, ‘My Week As A Muslim’ has provoked a furious backlash from Muslims and non Muslims alike.
The documentary went to the lengths of getting a white woman to go undercover in makeup in an attempt to show the prejudice faced by Muslim women. Katie Freeman, who previously supported banning the burqa faced abuse from many non-Muslims, including drinkers in a Manchester pub, asking her whether she planned to blow them up.
But many viewers were left wondering why Channel 4 felt that the way to show this so called Islamophobia was to find a white ‘christian’ woman and put her in a hijab and ‘brownface’ make-up. Many asked pointed questions about why the documentary makers couldn’t have simply given a hidden camera to one of the hundreds of thousands of women in the UK’s 2.7 million-strong Muslim population. If UKIP had done any such thing, or if it had used phrases such as “Whiteface” or “Brownface”, no matter the intellectual justification or accuracy of such terms, there would have been hell to pay, particularly from such outlets as Channel 4 and the Independent that also covered the scandal.
UKIP’s Integration Spokesman John Bickley said: “The programme appeared desperate to prove that ‘Muslim good’, ‘white Christian person bad’. Why didn’t they, in the same programme ‘whiteface’ a female Asian Muslim and put them into a Muslim community, especially one with many males and see what happened? I would wager that given time, similar levels of abuse would have been leveled at the female ‘whiteface’ Muslim as was against the ‘brownface’ woman.
“The most telling part of the programme was when Katie Freeman discussed interfaith marriage with her Muslim lady ‘minder’. Although the Muslim lady was an extremely nice person, British born, she would not countenance the idea of any of her daughters, or for that matter community marrying a non Muslim. There in a nutshell lies the challenge ahead for our country. With the growth of the Muslim population outpacing that of the indigenous white British ‘christian’ community we are heading for parallel societies which can only fill one with deep anxiety about our country’s future social cohesion.”.