A controversial Muslim leader in Australia, Sheik Shady Alsuleiman, above, is a key figure in a campaign to have more shariah-compliant TV programmes broadcast to counter ‘haram’ cartoons like Peppa Pig.
Alsuleiman, according to this report, is the President of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and is urging followers to support shows embracing and illustrating Islamic “principles, ethics and values”.
The council has thrown its support behind One4Kids, a Sydney company that produces children’s shows with Islamic themes and which is currently raising funds to finance the production of Barakah Hills, an Islamic show pitched as an “alternative” to the British cartoon Peppa Pig.
The fundraising page says:
As we know Muslims are averaging much higher birthrates, plus increased amount of time children are watching various videos on devices, computers, and television.
With your support, One4Kids hopes to complete production on this new ongoing series inshallah.
The show tells the story of the Abdullah family in the predominantly Muslim town of Barakah Hills, One4Kids says on a fundraising website.
Episodes of the proposed show would include “Daddy gives his first Khutbah (sermon)” and “Counting in Arabic”.
Children will learn everything from how to have good manners and to how to get actively involved with community projects,
Alshaik conceded that Peppa Pig was “a great show” but there were reports about its themes being “not good” for children, including:
Teaching kids to be snobs.
The director clarified that the criticism about Peppa Pig was:
Not because we hate pigs. We just don’t eat them, that’s all, like the Jews and the rest. I’ve patted pigs, I’ve watched Babe, we just don’t eat them.
Alsuleiman, who has generated controversy in the past for his homophobic views, urged parents to donate money to the production of the cartoons.
These days, in this modern age, our children have been embedded and very well-occupied watching different cartoons on TV and it’s our responsibility not to stop them from watching but give them another alternative.
In June Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, was criticised for inviting Alsuleiman to a fast-breaking Ramadan dinner.
Turnbull said afterwards he would not have invited the cleric if he had known his views. In a sermon uploaded to YouTube in 2013 the sheikh said gay people were responsible for spreading diseases and attracted “evil outcomes to our society”.
This is not the first time Peppa has been targeted by Muslims. Back in 2014, British Muslim Zayn Sheikh launched an unsuccessful campaign to get the much-loved cartoon character axed from TV after his son became a fan.
Sheikh says his son told him he didn’t want to be a doctor any more – and now wants to be a pig.
The worried dad set up a Facebook page called “Muslims against Peppa Pig” and posted a video – which had been shared more than 9,000 times – explaining why:
As Muslims it is very important that we do not eat meat of the pork. We are not allowed to touch the pork. It is completely wrong that our kids are being shown these things on TV and my youngest son wants to be a pig now. He used to want to be a doctor.
He said he wanted Peppa replaced with a “Muslim” cartoon character named Abdullah the Cat. The page says:
WE ARE PEACEFUL MUSLIM ONLY GROUP OFFENDED AT THIS BEING ON TELEVISION, THIS IS BREACH OF MUSLIM HUMAN RIGHTS, OUR MUSLIM CHILDREN SHOULD NOT SEE THIS. We also demand dog adverts banned from television advert as this animal is unclean and very offended our Islamic relgion. PLEASE JOIN FOR SUPPORTING OUR QUEST, BAN IT NOW. It is completely wrong that our childs are being shown these things on TV in UK.
His video has since disappeared, and “Muslims against Peppa Pig” has only 170 supporters, very few of them with Muslim names.
Thousands of people hit back against a ban. Aysha Razwan posted:
I’m sorry, I am Muslim and really do not see the problem with Peppa Pig at all. My children watch it and will soon grow out of it, it isn’t like there is a pig on screen saying eat me. People like you give the rest of us Muslims a bad name!!
Are you forgetting this is England and as a Muslim the TV is not something you should watch anyway?? Honestly, open your eyes.
And Allan Reid wrote:
If successful do you plan to get Percy Pig banned from Marks & Spencer?
But Alishma Khan posted:
Brothers and sisters of Islam. We must persevere together to make Abdullah the cat. The halal cat.
Hat tip PPS