Rupa Huq, the Labour MP for, has suggested that the BBC is supporting a comedy programme which was Islamphobic. Referring to Citizen Khan the MP said:
“A current programme I would cite, which has been going since 2012, is Citizen Khan. If I did not know what the year was—I do not know if people know that programme. It is the everyday tale of a Birmingham family of Muslims, but they are really quite backward. Again, it relates to the point about Islamophobia made by my hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr Umunna), who is no longer in his place. There is a beardy-weirdy chap. They are not quite cutting off people’s hands, but I could imagine that being in a future episode”.
She added though that “I do not want to bash the BBC. I am a former employee of the corporation” and later “I do not want to attack the BBC, and the point has been correctly made that the examples that have been chosen are selective”.
The BBC issued a statement saying:
“The fact that Citizen Khan returns for its fifth series this year is a sign of its popularity with all audiences – indeed the show has won several awards, including Best TV character at the Asian Media Awards.
We’ve also had positive comments from members of the Muslim community for the show and for creator Adil Ray who, like the family portrayed, is a British Pakistani Muslim. As with all sitcoms the characters are comic creations and not meant to be representative of the community as a whole”.