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Sunday, 10 February 2013

How the BBC Does a Muslim Family: EastEnders

A typical Muslim family: a geeky comedian, a dominatrix wife, a wimpish husband and a gay son.

The BBC's take on the average Muslim family in the UK.  

Even if the BBC has never claimed – or denied – that the family is an “average Muslim family”; I would say that it’s hardly an un-average Muslim family either.

The BBC’s portrayal is the most extreme example of the Leftist ideological notion of “lying for Justice” you can have. It is pure, unadulterated agitprop (i.e., “agitation”, “propaganda”). (There have been other Muslim families and individuals on EastEnders over the years and what is said can equally be said of them too.)
This particular Muslim family has been home of open gays, drinkers, hipsters, comedians. It's a Muslim family which lives bang in the middle of a non-Muslim Cockney community. I’m now waiting for a Muslimah Lesbian Collective to be set up on Albert Square and for Dot Cotton to marry an Abu Qatada lookalike. Hell, then we can have a local harem (or brothel) for when representatives (through the MCB) of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood visit, and which they can visit after a few pints at the Queen Vic.

In actual fact, so far we’ve had gay Muslims, illicit relationships, Muslims in pubs, Muslims in Churches (during weddings/funerals), Muslims fraternising almost exclusively with the kuffar, a Muslim wedding procession (with music, etc.) parading through the streets of an otherwise almost-exclusively-white Cockney neighbourhood and God knows what else.

All this has zero truth. How do I know? Because I have lived in Bradford, Keighley, Birmingham, Huddersfield, etc. And many people I know have lived in Muslim areas and known many Muslims. The writers of EastEnders? I can only (partly) guess. They will be mainly - or exclusively - white. They will be middle class. They will be leftists, liberals or left-liberals. They will be the graduates of left-liberal universities. (They may have lived in - or near - Muslim ghettos as students as part of the Middle-Class Left-Liberal Rite of Passage that is Undergraduate University Life.) 

The writers of EastEnders will see soap drama as entertainment: entertainment necessarily mixed with numerous social and political messages. Their purpose is to both entertain and to educate. 

Of course EastEnders is sometimes entertaining! How could your political and social messages get through to lots of people if those messages weren’t tarted up with some good-old-fashioned soap entertainment? Hell, even Leftists and Left-Liberals don’t want to preach to an empty audience – they leave that to groups like the SWP/UAF/Counterfire. These writers have an audience of millions – every day! What Trotskyist academic and activists would do for such an audience! Fuck that. What the Conservative and Labour Parties would do for such an audience. (It’s just a shame, for them, that these ‘straight’ political parties don’t send their candidates to the relevant universities to study literature or “writing-skills”.)

So the silly fictions about Muslims and Muslim families, amidst an almost-exclusively white Cockney area, don’t matter much. The lies don’t matter. The surreal and absurd situations don’t matter if they get various and many social or political points across.

The family's gay son getting married to a kuffar.
None of that matters.  The Leftist/liberal writers of EastEnders are indulging in good old-fashioned agitprop. The agitprop isn’t as bad as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, of course. Hell, sometimes EastEnders is dramatic and entertaining. In fact, sometimes, rarely, it is both dramatic/entertaining and it has a social/political message.

The writers believe that by suggesting to its UK viewers that Islam is just like any other religion, and that Muslims are just like the members of a BBC dinner party, or even the average Cockney family, then we evil, white and bigoted Oppressors won't do evil and racist things to Muslims. This is all, of course, utterly regardless of the numerous evil things Muslims do to non-Muslims both in the UK and in the world every single day. But that’s not a fit subject matter for EastEnders – it would only Dis-Embrace Diversity and facture Community Cohesion.

As I said, everyone I have ever spoken to finds the EastEnders Muslim family both unreal and absurd. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that these fictions (or lies) help bring about Justice and help fight racism.

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