* Because ‘unbelief is worse than slaughter’.Â
ByÂ Katie Begley/The Sun
Furious Muslims (when are they ever not ‘furious?) have issued threats against EastEnders bosses over a storyline that showed an Asian character breaking his Ramadan fast.
Postman Masood Ahmed was spotted snacking on a chapati during the holy month.
BBC chiefs said the incident was supposed to show the “fallibility” of Masood â€“ played by Nitin Ganatra, 40.
But hundreds of angry Muslims have accused the soap of mocking their religion. And some have even threatened the show’s bosses on internet sites.
BBC bombarded with complaints after EastEnders shows Muslim snacking during RamadanÂ
The BBC has received more than 100 complaints after EastEnders showed a Muslim breaking their Ramadan fast by eating a snack on the soap opera.
It is believed that a large number of Muslims were angered by the recent storyline involving character Masood Ahmed claiming it insulted their religion.
The married Asian postman, played by Nitin Ganatra, was spotted by wheel-chair bound character Ian Beale having a bite to eat during the holy month.
Controversial: Ian Beale catches Masood Ahmed, played by actor Nitin Ganatra, breaking his Ramadan fast
During Ramadan, which ended earlier this week, Muslims are not meant to eat or drink between the hours of dawn and sunset.
The plot was meant to show the character’s ‘fallibility’ according to bosses, but it seems to have backfired with a number of the soap’s loyal viewers.
As a result of the short scene, aired earlier this month, the corporation received about 110 complaints amid claims it had been wrong and offensive.
Some complained that it had trivialised a very serious religious experience while others are understood to have said it was not realistic.
Now the BBC has been forced to issue a statement saying it did not mean to cause any offence by the storyline.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘Although Masood is a practising Muslim he is not intended to be representative ofÂ the British Muslim experience.
‘He’s a fictional character with flaws who realises he has let himself down in a moment of weakness.’
The soap showed the character being repentant for what he had done.
The row comes as the soap is facing controversy over another of its current storylines.
The BBC has received more than 200 complaints about the plot in which a paedophile grooms a 15-year-old girl.
Continued from the Sun
Security has now been stepped up amid fears a militant bomb nut may target the show and its stars.
One blogger said: “This is a slur on all Muslims. Those involved should pay the ultimate sacrifice. Why should our religion be used for a cheap laugh?”
Another, called VirIslam, wrote: “This is an insult to religion and to all Muslims. Yet again Islam is being laughed at on British television. They should be made to pay for this slur.”
Another rants: “It is vile that the holy month is being used for a cheap laugh.
“TV never portrays Muslims in a good light. We are always the evil bad guys. This plot is making us a laughing stock.” ((They are evil, bad guys indeed. Their belief-system that teaches them to kill makes them very evil indeed/ed)
The episode, screened last month, showed Masood being snapped in the act by Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt, 42) Â Muslims claim the storyline is an insult to those who adhere to the strict Ramadan rules by not eating or drinking between the hours of dawn and sunset.
It sparked 110 complaints to the Beeb, which has now issued a statement insisting that it did not mean to cause offence.
It said: “Although Masood is a practising Muslim, he is a fictional character with flaws who realises he has let himself down in a moment of weakness.
“We would like to assure viewers it was not our intention to insult Muslim or Islamic values.
“We try to treat our characters as individuals with their own sets of behaviours. As in real life, they do not always strictly follow all the laws, traditions and customs of their religions.”
It is the latest in a line of EastEnders storylines that have seen complaints flood in.
More than 200 protested after seeing paedophile Tony King (Chris Coghill, 34) groom 15-year-old Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty, 16).
Fans also reacted with fury over the violent death of Jase Dyer (Stephen Lord, 36), who was held hostage and stabbed by a gang.
BBC chiefs revealed earlier this year that EastEnders was its most controversial show, attracting 5,500 complaints from viewers over the previous 12 months â€“ more than double any other
In support of his presumably unaltered Islam, Zarqawi quotes the Muslim Prophet Muhammad: “I was ordered to fight people until they bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, establish regular prayers, and pay Zakat (purifying charity). If they do, their blood and their wealth become sacred and their fate will be determined by Allah” (Sahih Bukhari,Â ).
Zarqawi adds that “there are many Ayat (verses) [of the Qur’an] and Hadith [Islamic traditions] mandating Jihad and warning Muslims of the grave consequences of stalling or abandoning Jihad or staying behind.” He quotes Qur’an 2:191: “And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for persecution is worse than slaughter…” and cites various scholars as explaining the verse to mean that “the state of Kufr [unbelief] or Shirk [idolatry] is worse than the act of killing and worse for the believer than being killed. Therefore, preserving life, or any of the other four essentials at the expense of losing the Deen [religion], is a violation of Allah’s Sharia’ah.” In other words, unbelief is worse than killing, thus Muslims should not hesitate to kill unbelieving noncombatants. He asserts that “it has become known to people of understanding that the consequence of abandoning or stalling Jihad is worse than consequence of practicing it. Practicing Jihad may lead to loss of life and wealth, such and adversity falls under the individual or specific category. However, abandoning Jihad will lead to loss of Deen and life at the level of the entire Ummah [Muslim community].” He cites several Islamic scholars to justify jihad attacks against unbelievers even when those unbelievers are using Muslims as a shield, if “there is no other way of reaching, separating, and killing the Kuffar.”