Channel 4 slammed for airing 'What Muslims Really Think'

Channel 4 slammed for airing 'What Muslims Really Think' April 23, 2016

A ‘rigorous survey of the views of British Muslims’ broadcast  by Channel 4 last Wednesday has prompted more than 200 complaints.
The hour-long programme presented by Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human rights Commission, above, sparked a row after it commissioned a poll that found, among other things, that more than half of British Muslims think that homosexuality should be illegal.
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received 89 complaints about the programme, which was watched by 1.4 million viewers.
Channel 4 said it had received around 130 complaints and another 20 messages that were “appreciative” of the programme.
The regulator said complaints included concerns about misleading information and that it risked increasing Islamophobia.
A Guardian panel of British Muslims who watched the programme last week were highly critical of the show, branding it:

Boring, inaccurate and sensationalist.

They said it “reinforced the us vs them narrative”, that the documentary’s methodology was “problematic and flawed” and that it:

Suggested you’re either a liberal Muslim or slightly extreme.

Ofcom said it would assess the complaints before deciding whether or not to launch a full investigation.
A spokeswoman for Channel 4 said:
Channel 4 stands by the integrity of the programme and the survey on which it was based.

This programme goes to the heart of Channel 4’s public service remit – to represent the views of a religious minority on a matter of critical national importance – with careful contextualisation and insight throughout.
The methodology used by ICM, has been commended by the Head of the UK Polling Council, which oversees all the UK’s pollsters and recognised by one of ICM’s main competitors as one of the best surveys of Muslim opinions for several years.
Following the heightened security measures in the aftermath of terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, politicians and Muslim leaders claim that the values of these extremists are shared by only a tiny minority in the UK.
To find out if this is the case, a survey was carried out to get a better understanding of the views of British Muslims and to try to comprehend why some young Muslims are being drawn to violence.

Phillips, who fronted another controversial Channel 4 documentary last year, “Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True”, is reported here as saying that he “got almost everything wrong” on Muslim immigration and that  followers of Islam are creating “nations within nations” in the West.
Writing in the Times on the issue, Phillips admits:

Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else … Britain desperately wants to think of its Muslims as versions of the Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, or the cheeky-chappie athlete Mo Farah. But thanks to the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet conducted, we now know that just isn’t how it is.

Phillips even acknowledged that the mass sexual grooming and rape scandals that are plaguing heavily Muslim populated towns across Britain are because of Muslim – not ‘Asian’ – men. He wrote:

The contempt for white girls among some Muslim men has been highlighted by the recent scandals in Rotherham, Oxford, Rochdale and other towns. But this merely reflects a deeply ingrained sexism that runs through Britain’s Muslim communities.

The survey showed that:
• One in five Muslims in Britain never enter a non-Muslim house
• 39 per cent of Muslims, male and female, say a woman should always obey her husband
• 31 per cent of British Muslims support the right of a man to have more than one wife
• 52 per cent of Muslims did not believe that homosexuality should be legal
• 23 per cent of Muslims support the introduction of Sharia law rather than the laws laid down by Parliament.

“What British Muslims Really Think” is available on Channel 4’s on-demand service, All4 for the next 20 days.
Hat tip: Trevor Blake

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  • Newspaniard

    B*gger! I saw the programme advertised but thought that, as it was Channel 4, it would be their usual wishy-washy whitewash saying that muslims in the UK had no relationship to the muslims of everywhere else in the world and were “nice people”. So I didn’t bother recording it. Ho Hum, back to TROP.
    200 complaints? Is that all that the representatives of “The Religion of Peace” and their loony left wing supporters could muster?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Wow – “boring” AND “sensationalist” !
    A hard trick to master…

  • CoastalMaineBird

    ” slightly extreme.”
    Can anyone explain that to me?

  • Lucy1

    @coastal Mainebird
    You are extreme, but no one can say that, since you are currently not killing people.

  • Michael Glass

    Apart from the narrow majority who believe that homosexuality should be illegal, most of the other questions received support from a minority, even though it was a substantial minority.
    It is notable that slightly less than a quarter of those surveyed wanted Sharia law rather than laws passed by Parliament. It is certainly a worry that almost 2 in five believe that a woman should always obey her husband.
    As a majority of Muslims do not subscribe to most of these views, it is important not to paint an entire community with the one brush but it is equally important to note how widespread these views are in the Muslim community.

  • barriejohn

    Michael Glass: I agree. If you substituted “God’s Law” for Sharia Law, I suspect that many “practising Christians” would have similar views. A survey was carried out for the Richard Dawkins Foundation about five years ago, but polling “Christians” is pretty well useless; it would be far more revealing to know what separate denominations think, due to wide differences in both doctrine and practice. I certainly see the danger that some of the more extreme Christians – even amongst RCs and Anglicans – may well think that at least the Muslims are “standing up for traditional moral values”.

  • Laura Roberts

    @Barriejohn: I suspect you’re right. I predict you’d get substantially different profiles in America if you polled Unitarians, Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, LDS and Baptists. Actually it could be fun, as I suspect Baptist and LDS heads might explode if they discovered how closely they approximate Muslims on nearly every category.

  • What do Muslims really think? It’s easy to learn, just do these two things. First, ignore the Quran, ignore over a thousand years of Muslim history, and ignore how Muslim nations conduct themselves today. Second, believe every word that non-Muslims say about how peaceful and oppressed Muslims are. Easy peasy.

  • Smokey

    Oh, look, they’re pissed off because their non-western viewpoints are exposed to the west. How sad. It must be that much-vaunted Islamophobia. Quick, get Prince Charles to dress like a Muslim! We must appease them!
    Now, I’m not saying that a majority supports these (not really arguably) extreme views. But how many people are in these percentages? How many Muslim people in Britain support opinions and views completely incompatible with western/european culture?
    If X percent of Muslims are violent backwards savages refusing to integrate, how many individuals does that entail? Haven’t there been enough examples of zealous religiots forcing their mindless stupidity on others?
    If Anders Behring Breivik showed us anything, it’s the danger of just one single extremist. What is the danger of hundreds, not to say thousands? I think the current data is sufficient to draw conclusions. Must I list the atrocities?
    Integrate, or GTFO. You want to live in an Islamic Sharia state? Go east, young man. Go the fuck east.
    We have fought long and hard (mostly against ourselves) to accept a bare minimum of equality and respect for “outsiders”. Have you all forgotten how it was in the not-so-distant past? Is it really that long ago that women were first allowed to vote? Do we really have to go through this stone-age shit again?
    Call me Islamophobic, I don’t give a shit. Turn off your barbaric yearning for an uncivilized past, and I’ll reconsider.

  • RussellW

    What a surprise!
    The loony left think that multiculturalism is obviously the answer, more multi-culti pixie dust is required. Then Muslims will abandon their toxic ideological baggage and become ‘moderate’, whatever that means.
    Islamophobes, who are rather sceptical, think that the most likely result will be ghettoisation on the Lebanese model. Each community will have its own laws and customs, some will remain in the 7th century and essentially give the middle finger to the Kuffars, who will also continue to pay the Dhimmi tax, aka “welfare’.

  • Peter Sykes

    Re the Loony Left, this bloke is a good read:

  • barriejohn

    RussellW: This argument has nothing to do with state benefits. That just muddies the waters.
    The NUS have elected a black Muslim woman president. “Nothing wrong with that” do I hear you say?

  • Angela_K

    A reasonable programme showing Muslims as they are is criticised for being accurate, accuracy being anathema to religious extremists.
    The NUS has long passed being fit for purpose and has been hijacked by extremists who shriek “islamophobe, racist” etc at every opportunity to stifle reasonable debate.

  • barriejohn

    Nothing changes; the (local) NUS was run by ignorant, bullying Fred Kite characters when I was a student – 50 years ago now!

  • jay

    It’s the other surveys about violence that are more troubling. Some of the stuff is not really clear from the descriptions of questions as to what the actual feeling is.
    Number of wives? That’s neither here nor there. There are liberal Westerners who actively favor polyamorous marriages. This should be no big deal as long as it’s consensual.
    Not enter a non Muslim home? Who cares? That’s their choice.
    Obey husbands? I’ve got Christian relatives who say the same thing. As long as it’s their choice to play that game (and it appears so), it’s not my business and not the government’s. (Remember that a few decades back, obedience to husband was enshrined in Western law as well. The current attitude has only evolved in the past 50 years or so)
    Of course homosexuality should not be illegal, but neither should consensual prostitution but we seem to be stuck in that Puritanical mindset even now.

  • RussellW

    “The NUS have elected a black Muslim woman president. “Nothing wrong with that” do I hear you say?”
    If you are attempting an ad hominem argument, my advice is not to, otherwise clarify your comment.
    “This argument has nothing to do with state benefits.”
    Of course it doesn’t,you missed the point. it was in regard to most Muslims’ attitudes to the Kuffars.

  • Brummie

    Well said jay!

  • barriejohn

    RussellW: I don’t see anything wrong with my statement. Some people would object to black, female, and Muslim, union officials, but not me. It’s this woman’s attitudes that are objectionable.
    And I don’t see what evidence there is that Muslims, generally, claim benefits because of their attitude towards non-Muslims.

  • Daz


    “It’s this woman’s attitudes that are objectionable.”

    Regarding that, this post appeared on the Grauniad site earlier today. I’ve not been following the accusations and counter-accusations closely enough to know if that’s a credible explanation/rebuttal from her, but it might be useful in any discussion.

  • barriejohn

    Daz: I am sure that a lot of the vitriol directed against her is due to her being female, black and, of course , Muslim, but what on earth did she mean by a “Zionist outpost”, and when she claims that the “Zionist press” are, with regard to Palestinian opposition to Israeli occupation, presenting “resistance…as an act of terrorism”, I am very uncomfortable to say the least. Is she claiming that stabbing civilians and firing rockets at settlers’ homes is justified, because it certainly seems that way, though with political speak you can never be quite sure!

  • barriejohn

    PS I should have added that she is “left wing”. Anyone with Left Wing views is obviously spawn of Satan!

  • Vanity Unfair

    Just think how shocking this would have been if Trevor Phillips had realised it while still at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

  • RussellW

    Peter Sykes,
    A very neat skewering of the loony left’s pretensions.
    How supposedly educated individuals arrive at such a repugnant ethical position is baffling. Perhaps it’s the notion of the ‘One Big Idea’ ie ‘anti-racism’ or ‘anti-colonialism’, every other issue has to be subordinate to that ideology. Whatever the motivation, they’ve assumed the attitude of Dhimmis.

  • barriejohn