Sunday 20 February 2022

Listen With MAMA

Radio 4's Sunday had a very odd feature this morning. It concerned a perennial Sunday topic: 'Islamophobia'.

The section began with Emily Buchanan saying:
An organisation which monitors anti-Muslim hatred says it's seeing more cases where Muslim children and their teachers are being prevented from praying on school premises.
That organisation is Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks). It says that half a dozen incidents have been reported to them in the last 6 months.

Emily then interviewed Mohammed from London, whose story has appeared in the papers. 

[Muslim boy ‘ordered to stop praying and told “this is not a religious school” ran Metro's headline.] 

Mohammed claims his 11-year-old son was physically stopped from playing in the playground by a teacher. 

Today's interview revealed the fact that the offending teacher is also Muslim. 

Obvious thoughts for any listener: So a Muslim teacher tells a Muslim pupil to stop praying in the school playground because that Muslim teacher says it's not a religious school, how does that make it an example of anti-Muslim hatred? And what, therefore, was the point of this interview?

Then the programme interviewed someone from Tell MAMA, who - like the programme itself - carried on regardless. 

She kept saying that though schools aren't mandated to have prayer spaces it's 'best practice' for all schools to have them. She repeated that at least three times. She clearly wanted prayer spaces in all schools.

I'm not sure this redounded greatly to Tell MAMA's credit.

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