Channel 4 is to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every morning during Ramadan - a decision which the broadcaster called a "provocation" to those who only associate the religion with terror and violence.
A senior Channel 4 executive said the channel would become the first mainstream British channel to broadcast the call, known as the adhan, Delivered by leading muezzin Hassen Rasool.
Weather forecasts will feature sunrise and sunset time to help those fasting and show video diaries of young Muslims during Ramadan.
Channel 4 is to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every morning
Writing in the Radio Times, Lee said: “Observing the adhan on Channel 4 will act as a nationwide tannoy system, a deliberate ‘provocation’ to all our viewers in the very real sense of the word.”
Most viewer are not aware of the “mass act of personal sacrifice and worship” which Muslims follow, Lee said.
“Not surprising when you consider its (Ramadan) near invisibility on mainstream TV. Contrast this with the way most Muslims are represented on television – nearly always appearing in contexts related to extremism or terrorism.
“Even when moderate Muslims do appear, it’s often only to provide a counterpoint to these issues.
"Following the horrific events in Woolwich and subsequent reprisals against British Muslims, there has surely never been a more pressing need to give a voice to the moderate mainstream majority.
“No doubt Channel 4 will be criticised for focusing attention on a ‘minority’ religion but that’s what we’re here to do – provide space for the alternative and a voice to the under-represented.
“And let’s not forget that Islam is one of the few religions that’s flourishing, actually increasing in the UK. Like Channel 4’s target audience, its followers are young. It’s recently been reported that half of British Muslims are under 25."
The decision was welcomed by the Muslim Council of Britain, who said in a statement: “This is a very special month for Muslims and its recognition on a mainstream channel is not only symbolic for belonging and solidarity but will hopefully help to portray a more realistic account of Islam and Muslims.”
Lee continued: “Nearly five per cent of the country will actively engage in Ramadan this month – can we say the same of other national events that have received blanket coverage on television such as the Queen’s coronation anniversary?”
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, told the Independent: “I wouldn’t object to it as at least it gives some balance to the BBC’s emphasis on Christianity but Channel 4 has to keep it in proportion.
“The percentage of Muslims in the UK is very small so few people will be interested in it. It may be a novelty and Channel 4 is good at causing a sensation. We don’t want to see any broadcaster becoming a platform for religious proselytising.”
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