Immigration Street will show ‘thriving’ community

July 29, 2014

“Immigration Street”, a follow-up to Benefits Street, is being filmed in Southampton, despite residents campaigning against it. Channel 4 and Love Productions were criticised for showing people on benefits in a negative way in their previous programme. Mohammed Afzal Khan, secretary of nearby Abu Bakr Mosque on Argyle Road, agreed to be filmed and told BBC Asian Network: “This is a thriving community; there are Asians here and Polish. So far they have asked me questions about Islam and Muslims in general and about this mosque, which have been positive and I am pleased to be taking part.”

At the meeting Kieran Smith, creative director of Love Productions, said: “We would never come and film a series in order to cause division, or where there is harmony, cause disharmony.”

Councillor Satvir Kaur, who grew up in the area, said: “Just like me, the majority of people who live in Derby Road are not first generation immigrants. They will be second or third generation. This begs the question, at what point do me and my neighbours stop being classed or considered as immigrants and start being considered British?”

Outrage in Saudi Arabia at appearance of London female newsreader without headscarf on state television

August 5, 2014

The unprecedented appearance of a female newsreader on Saudi state television without a headscarf has caused a scandal in the deeply conservative Islamic state. The unnamed anchor, who has previously worn a hijab in clips circulated online, was reading a bulletin from London for the Al Ekhbariya channel. Strict Islamic dress codes in Saudi Arabia require women to dress “modestly” – usually with headscarves, veils and full-length abayas. While women do sometimes appear without head coverings in programmes broadcast by state-controlled channels, newsreaders are never seen without the hijab.

Saleh Al Mughailif, a spokesman for Saudi radio and television, told Al Tawasul news the correspondent was reading the news from the broadcaster’s British studio. “She was not in a studio inside Saudi Arabia and we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems,” he added.

He promised that all measures would be taken to ensure there is no repeat of the incident after many viewers expressed outrage. Al Ekhbariya, which has offices in the Middle East, Europe and America, is known for its use of female anchors after having its maiden broadcast in 2004 presented by the country’s first female news presenter.

Society has been divided over the possibility of granting women more rights as the Government’s labour ministry encourages more women to take up jobs in the private sector, against strong resistance from conservative groups. King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz has appointed 30 women to his advisory body, the Shura Council, in a landmark decision for women’s status, Gulf News reported. A billionaire Saudi prince and businessman, Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, is also rumoured to take a moderate stance in offices of his Kingdom Holding business empire by not enforcing the veil for employees.

ABC Family Drops Alice in Arabia Pilot After Complaints from Muslim Groups

March 22, 2014

 

ABC Family recently ordered a pilot of a potential new series called Alice in Arabia, about an American teenager who’s kidnapped and kept as a prisoner at a distant relative’s home in Saudi Arabia. The pilot script was written by Brooke Eikmeier, who previously worked as a cryptologic linguist in Arabic while serving in the U.S. army, but it came under intense fire from Muslim advocacy groups for concerns it would paint unfair, broad stereotypes of the Muslim faith.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations panned a leaked copy of the script, with its “familiar narrative of a beautiful girl kidnapped from the United States by sinister Arabs, held against her will in the desert, and threatened with early marriage.”

And now ABC Family has officially shelved the pilot for good. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee touted the victory against a show that “perpetuates demeaning stereotypes” about Muslim individuals, and used the opportunity to highlight other issues they believe ABC should be addressing as well.

Mediaite.com: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/abc-family-drops-alice-in-arabia-pilot-after-complaints-from-muslim-groups/

Best Buy commercial points way to greater Muslim acceptance

January 24, 2014
(RNS) Viewers watching the American Football Conference championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots earlier this month may have seen a Best Buy commercial for a Sharp 60-inch television that seemed ordinary, but in one way was extraordinary.
The ad shows a young, clean-shaven salesman named Mustafa talking about the television, advising customers and relaxing at home watching movies and football with his friends.

“I’m never going to get these guys out of here,” he jokes to his girlfriend at the end.
While the commercial never identifies Mustafa as a Muslim, many might assume that given his name, a diminutive for Muhammad. For viewers used to seeing negative images of Muslims on television, the commercial was a rare exception.

“He has all the right stuff,” said Timothy de Waal Malefyt, a longtime advertising executive who now teaches at Fordham University in New York. “He has a girlfriend. He has Anglo friends. And he’s watching ‘Despicable Me’ and football. It’s very American.”

Muslims in commercials are still rare, but that could be changing as the acceptance of Muslims accelerates across America.

The Best Buy commercial, scheduled to run through Feb. 1, sparked a flurry of Twitter chatter after it debuted.

Best Buy spokesman Jeffrey Shelman said the ad featured actual Best Buy employees, chosen based on their tech knowledge and on-camera performance. As for Mustafa, he works one day a week at Best Buy’s El Segundo, Calif., store.

RNS.com: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/01/24/best-buy-commercial-points-way-greater-muslim-acceptance/

Dutch Television Presents “Most Inspiring Mosque Competition”

March 8 2011

The Dutch broadcaster NTR is starting a competition in which reporters will visit ten Dutch mosque nominated by worshippers as the most inspiring in the country. Each will be presented by a supporter, with the intention of showing how Muslims relate to their mosques as well as “Muslim life in the Netherlands” . The show is currently accepting nominations for the mosques.

Muslim students want a space to pray

The Muslim Student Organization at the University of Bergen are asking for a space to do salat.
According to National Television the University has been positive in its response.

Ahmadiyya sect recognized by Dutch broadcasters

One of the organizations hoping to broadcast on Dutch radio and television during programming devoted to Islam recognizes the Ahmadiyya sect as a major current in Islam.

The Ahmadiyya sect, popular among many Dutch of Surinamese origin in the Netherlands, is not recognised as Islamic by the main institutions of orthodox Islam.

SMO, one of five broadcasters who applied for the Islamic airtime, expresses in an email leaked this week its willingness to share its hoped-for broadcasting licence with another company, provided that it too recognises Ahmadiyya.

Dutch Islamic broadcasters to shut down

Two Muslim broadcasting organizations will cease operation this year. The Dutch Muslim Broadcaster (NMO) and the Dutch Islamic Broadcasting (NIO) companies have not requested a renewal of their public broadcasting license for the next five-year period.

The two broadcasters decided not to renew their licenses following multiple conflicts within Islamic Broadcasting Foundation Care, the umbrella organization set up specifically to mediate between them, Abderrahman Farsi from NMO told Radio Netherlands. The broadcasters will stop operation in August 2010.

Dutch public broadcasting is organized on the principle of representation, with broadcasting associations being allotted airtime on public channels commensurate with their membership. Each broadcasting company represents a significant section of society. The Islamic broadcasters operate during a small percentage of airtime set aside for associations representing religious groups.

The Dutch media authority has received requests by five other Islamic organizations who want to take the place of NMO and NIO, including Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (Stichting Moslimomroep), Stichting Moslim Omroep Nederland, Stichting Academica Islamica/OUMA, Nederlandse Islamitische Media and Stichting Samenwerkende Islamitische Koepel.

Halal Foods Advertized on Major French Television Networks

For the first time, halal food is being advertised on France’s most-watched private television channels, attesting to the growing purchase power of Muslim shoppers in the country. “Even though people have to fast during the day, Muslims tend to eat more — and better — when they can eat during Ramadan, which is why it is traditionally a period of peak consumer activity,” said Abbas Bendali, director of Solis Conseil, an ethnic marketing consultancy in Paris.

The Panzani-owned, Lyon-based food brand Zakia Halal is running a $430,000 mass-market promotion of halal food. It features a young Muslim couple shopping at a supermarket to promote halal microwaveable meals including lasagna, ravioli, paella, beef, bourguignon and shepherd’s pie.

Bendali added that “It appears the rest of France is starting to regard things like halal food as part of the new mix.”

Tariq Ramadan to Take Position at Oxford

In the wake of his dismissal from positions at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University and with the city council, Tariq Ramadan has accepted a teaching post at Oxford. The Islamic scholar will take up the position of professor of contemporary Islam studies from September 1 2009.

Ramadan was dismissed from his position advising the city on integration due to controversy surrounding his presentation of a television programme on Iranian station Press TV. He has refused to stop work for the station and announced that he will take legal action against the city for his dismissal.

Ramadan, who has been attached to Oxford as a researcher and lecturer for the past four years, takes up a professorship funded by the Qatar foundation for education. ‘Freedom of expression is a fundamental right which will be respected,’ a spokesman for the British university told Telegraaf.