Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bomb plots

It seems terror scripts are all the rage. The regular portrayal of Muslims in the UK as suicide bombers or terrorists is not sensible given the rampant islamaphobia that the media have already whipped up. If you want to typecast a community, this is a good way to go about it. The BBC have chickened out at the last minute and are substituting the Muslim bombing plot in Casualty with an animal rights bombing plot. Way to go, Auntie Beeb. Why not pick on refugees, gypsies and the homeless too? No doubt, soon they will have an episode featuring a disabled elderly woman bombing a New Labour party conference.

Channel 4 meanwhile, are sticking to their guns. The observer claims the C4 drama will:
"..portray an increasingly radicalised female Muslim from Bradford who, after travelling to a militant training camp in Pakistan, becomes a suicide bomber and causes carnage in Canary Wharf. Another character from the same background joins MI5 because he wants to protect Britain."

Fantastic! Yet another opportunity to bash Pakistan whilst whipping up the fear of young muslim women who choose to wear a Niqab.

I would have added a sub-plot where the character who joins MI5 is betrayed by them and shipped off to a CIA torture facility, before transfer to Guantanamo Bay, but perhaps that would add an unnecessary element of realism.

'What drives young Muslims to make choices like this? It confronts the issues facing them at the moment, but not in a stereotypical way.'

You can picture it can't you? Sitting at the breakfast table munching on cornflakes, young British Muslims wondering...Should I go shopping for a new pair of shoes or put on a suicide belt and blow up Canary Wharf? Very realistic and not stereotypical at all. Channel 4 is quoted as saying:

'It's a very sensitive and multi-faceted view of what it's like to be Muslim in modern Britain. It is not sensationalist.'

I don't think it is sensationalist at all to portray a million people in the UK, as potential killers lurking in our midst. But I suppose it is unfashionable to talk about the army in that way, rather than some brown people. Perhaps it could be 'sensitive and multi-faceted' if they had an alternative plot where bombs and explosions didn't feature, but then the controversy element would be missing and the ratings would suffer.


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