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p024m36s

I don’t watch much television (I prefer to read), but if I did, I understand that this month I would have been treated to the return of ‘Citizen Khan’, the BBC ‘sitcom’ which introduces (or seeks to introduce) the softer, funnier side of Muslim culture to our cynical, semi-hostile nation.

If you’re not from Britain, it’s probably best to think of this show as the British version of ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’. Though the storylines are different, the intended political function is the same in both cases: Make Muslims seem capable of humour and integration; disarm the country at large with the use of comedy.

I’ve only watched two or three episodes of Citizen Khan. That was enough to gauge the nature of the thing. It is a very amateurish production and the Islamic element is tacked on in such an arbitrary way as to seem irrelevant.

And that is obviously the point. The message intended is as follows: “Muslims are people, just like you. They argue about who left the toilet seat up, just like you. They use toothbrushes, just like you. They watch X-Factor, just like you. etc…”

This is the great liberal delusion about Islam; the idea that Britain would be the same in a prayer cap as it is in a trilby; that Islam is something private and therefore largely irrelevant to everyday life. This is the lie told by shows like Citizen Khan. Muslims might pray to a different God, but other than that, they are as English as battered fish. I simply don’t buy that, and for evidence, I call to the stand every sentient witness of the modern world.

Of course, I don’t doubt that Muslims who were born and raised here have picked up some cultural practices along the way. But, as the subjects riffed on in Citizen Khan accidentally demonstrate, these are usually the shallow and unimportant aspects of British life, many of which we could do without.

Even if Citizen Khan was funny (and it really isn’t, in any way), British Pakistani life is very difficult to make humorous after Rotherham – after the 1400. How indeed are the numberless victims of the rape-Jihad to feel when watching shows like this?

If British Muslims really wanted to use media to demonstrate their capacity to integrate, they would produce dramas criticising the demonic misbehaviours of their peers. They would own up and examine the rape culture (for once, that term is justified) in the Pakistani hamlets popping up throughout this otherwise harmonious nation.

And they would also concede that we are a long way from being able to laugh at their ways. We have been blown up by them, raped by them, threatened by them innumerable times, insulted and infiltrated in the most destructive ways imaginable. It will take more than jokes about the toilet seat to undo the harm that has been inflicted.

D, LDN.

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