Did Eastenders avoid Muslim actors for gay storyline?


by Sunny
28th May, 2009 at 6:23 pm    

Bear with me on this, however trivial it may sound. A couple of months ago the BBC announced that they were introducing a new character to Eastenders – 24 yr old Syed Mahmood, played by actor Marc Elliot.

A few people emailed me angrily asking why, given there were so few Asian actors on TV as it is, were the BBC was giving such a prominent part to a non-Asian actor. I think that’s a fair question. At the time no one at the BBC wanted to comment.

Now the BBC has told the Media Guardian that Syed Mahmood will share a gay kiss and find his “religion and sexual feelings in conflict”. It got me thinking – perhaps they avoided hiring someone Muslim for that part precisely because they were worried the actor may not be willing to act out a gay kiss. I’ve seen non-Muslim Asian actors do gay scenes on television / film (Jimi Mistry, famously) but not anyone Muslim.

So is religious baggage is holding back Muslim actors? I bet to a certain extent casting directors avoid Muslim actors for that reason.


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Filed in: British Identity,Media,Sex equality






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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Did Eastenders avoid Muslim actors for gay storyline? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4674


  2. Actors

    Pickled Politics » Did Eastenders avoid Muslim actors for gay …: Comrades. Andy Worthington · Angela Saini · A.. http://bit.ly/ATJ1z


  3. Naadir Jeewa

    Awww loook at the poooor incoherent racists in the comments: http://is.gd/Is2b




  1. marvin — on 28th May, 2009 at 6:30 pm  

    I guess they wanted to cover a tasty controversialist plot line without all the full fat death threats.

  2. marvin — on 28th May, 2009 at 6:43 pm  

    I must have missed the specifics on the early post about the average Muslim thinking like a ‘Daily Mail’ reader.

    The Guardian article on this ends with

    “A Gallup survey earlier this month found that British Muslims hold more conservative opinions towards homosexuality than European counterparts, with none of the 500 people questioned believing that homosexual acts were morally acceptable.”

    Out of 500, 0.00% thought homosexual acts were morally acceptable!!! Hahaha. Hahaha. Hahhaha. (Imagine if this was a survey of white Christians. The uproar in the Indie and the Grauniad!!! Sorry.)

    Jeez. I’d guess around 50-65% of Daily Mail readers would say homosexual acts to be morally acceptable! Would be interesting to get some figures.

  3. London Muslim — on 28th May, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

    I’ve also written about the storyline.

  4. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 6:48 pm  

    Let’s face it, we have to tread on eggshells with Muslims. One false move and all hell breaks loose. Easier to just not include them in anything, they can’t moan then.

  5. London Muslim — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

    excluding us wont stop us from moaning. We’ll then start legitimately raising our marginalistion. After all, having no Muslims in EastEnders is a bit like having no BME actors in Notting Hill.

  6. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:20 pm  

    Nothing will stop the Muslims from moaning. Slightly misleading calling it “Eastenders” now as there are no real eastenders in London any longer. (I should know, I am one).

    Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t do your own soap!

  7. Golam Murtaza — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:21 pm  

    Yeah, James, loads of treading on eggshells with Muslims. You never see or hear a negative word about us anywhere. Ever.

  8. Adnan — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

    I guess if the Muslim actor is liberal enough to do a sex scene then a gay kiss wouldn’t be such a big deal so I don’t think that death threats would really be an issue. Didn’t you mention that you personally knew the main Asian actors from Brits ? Maybe you could get an opinion there.

    The gallup poll referred to raised another interesting issue, namely that Muslims from the UK are more conservative than French or German Muslims (some kind of South Asian as opposed to North African / Turkish thing).

    It would be interesting to see the Daily Mail figures especially on the Peter Hitchen’s wing. Also, I suspect a lot of right wing folks are not as liberal towards homosexuality as they claim – it’s just used as another stick to beat Muslims with.

  9. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

    I’m not saying you are all whingers. But the last time Eastenders did something controversial, the BBC had complaints which it had to take seriously.

    After all, you don’t know whether one of the people that rang in would be planting a bomb in the car park.

    Everyone has to be careful or there’s always one that causes trouble. If I complain about something, I get ignored, but then again, I don’t belong to a group of foreigners that is likely to blow them up!

    Whether you like it or not, Muslims have to be treated differently to everyone else or there’s all sorts of trouble!

  10. Naadir Jeewa — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:41 pm  

    If someone did ring in to complain to the BBC whilst planting a bomb in the car park, I would at least admire their ability to multitask.

  11. blah — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:43 pm  

    “So is religious baggage is holding back Muslim actors? I bet to a certain extent casting directors avoid Muslim actors for that reason”

    People who go into the acting profession , including Muslims, are very rarely remotely religious.

    and ignore marvin the Muslim hating troll

    James Dobbs
    “Nothing will stop the Muslims from moaning”

    Er which Muslims are moaning ?. Perhaps you should have written “nothing will stop thickheaded Muslim haters like me posting anti-Muslim diatribes”. I imagine you foam at the mouth when the word Muslim is mentioned eager to reveal to the world the true nature of this evil race

    “Everyone has to be careful or there’s always one that causes trouble. If I complain about something, I get ignored, but then again, I don’t belong to a group of foreigners that is likely to blow them up!

    Whether you like it or not, Muslims have to be treated differently to everyone else or there’s all sorts of trouble!”

    You mean like considering Muslims “foreigners”?

    Fvck off you BNP turd

  12. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:44 pm  

    At least you could then be assured that no other TV Station would attempt to include Muslims in their programming after that.

    That way, there’s no danger of offending anyone.

  13. blah — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:45 pm  

    I think James Dobbs is under the impression Sunny is a Muslim. “Well there all darkies aint they?”.

    And who can forget Mad Marvin’s hilarious comment that their are many wealthy Muslims because “look at the number of rich Patels”

  14. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:47 pm  

    Unfortunately, because there are so many nutters in the Muslim community, it means the rest of you have to suffer.

    Shame, we could all have lived together in harmony but there’s always one person that has to spoil the party!

  15. blah — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:53 pm  

    James Dobbs
    “Unfortunately, because there are so many nutters in the Muslim community, it means the rest of you have to suffer.”

    Really? How are you going to make the rest of us “suffer” ? Sounds like your making threats Jimmy boy. Tut Tut.

  16. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:54 pm  

    It won’t be me that makes anyone suffer, but you will find Muslims excluded because of the controversy they cause.

    I don’t particularly give a crap what religion Sunny is. The subject matter was hiring a Muslim actor for a gay scene and I told you my thoughts on it!

    Clearly, the same goes for comments on this site, treading on eggshells!

    I’ll leave you to your own little world, you’re obviously not interested in a different viewpoint.

  17. Adnan — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:54 pm  

    Marvin probably won’t watch as it’ll take him over his monthly brown face on TV quota :D

  18. Adnan — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

    “If I complain about something, I get ignored” – didn’t complain about Ross and Brand then ?

  19. marvin — on 28th May, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

    Hahahahaha very good adnan you cheeky lil bugger!

  20. eastendpride — on 28th May, 2009 at 8:11 pm  

    interesting despite the high presence of Muslims in the formerly cockney enclave that was the East End

  21. Naadir Jeewa — on 28th May, 2009 at 9:32 pm  

    “cockney enclave”

    Cockney is an ethnicity? The ONS should be told.

  22. douglas clark — on 28th May, 2009 at 9:54 pm  

    james dobbs,

    Are you just here to stir up trouble? It was not that long ago that a white actor playing a homosexual role was demonised. And yet rose above this sort of shit to become a Hollywood banker.

    Daniel Day-Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985): A gay Pakistani in Thatcherite London begins a love affair with the extremist punk played by Day-Lewis. Those actors who fear playing homosexuals because of the perceived impact on their careers need only look at the mischievous scene where Day-Lewis is embraced by his boyfriend, in full view of the people on the street, and he licks his lover’s neck in return. An Oscar-encrusted career followed.

  23. James Dobbs — on 28th May, 2009 at 10:22 pm  

    What a touchy lot you are! Must be socialist, righteous labour supporters, I should have known.

    I have nothing against anybody. I was speaking the truth about things, but then the truth always hurts the most.

    Eastender’s is a lot crap anyway!

  24. Ravi Naik — on 28th May, 2009 at 10:23 pm  

    Here is what Asghar Bokhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee had to say:

    “The Muslim community deserves a character that represents them to the wider public because Islamophobia is so great right now. There’s a lack of understanding of Muslims already and I think EastEnders really lost an opportunity to present a normal friendly Muslim character to the British public.”

    What an idiot.

  25. douglas clark — on 28th May, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

    It seems to me that some folk assume too much. This, for instance:

    I’ll leave you to your own little world, you’re obviously not interested in a different viewpoint.

    Well, we were interested in another viewpoint, we just didn’t find yours very credible.

    My own little world includes the likes of Sunny, Sonia, Jai and almost too many other people to mention. I consider them and a lot of other people that comment here regularily to be worth listening to – in fact they have changed my mind on many things – because they have a history of engaging me in debate.

    Arguing with me when it was merited, and being gracious about it.

    Even you Faisal!

    According to Leon this site gets big hits.

    Perhaps folk should be aware that their views are being exposed to a huge audience? Perhaps they should not assume that they have quite the immunity from criticism that they think they do?

  26. Refresh — on 28th May, 2009 at 10:59 pm  

    ‘Eastender’s is a lot crap anyway!’

    Now you are asking for trouble.

    Apart from the unecessarily ris

  27. Refresh — on 28th May, 2009 at 11:14 pm  

    que storylines, what is wrong with it?

    I could understand it if your taste is for the glossy, highly sexualised world of Hollyoaks.

    Eastenders does a good job of tackling tough issues. I mean Phil Mitchell is doing an excellent job as an alcoholic. Billy needs to grab life by the throat. Bradley needs to find a soulmate. Dot Cotton is suffering from elder-abuse. Stacey is bipolar. Its real stuff.

    As for Christian, he’s always the bridesmaid never the bride; it would be a shame to see him turn into a lonely and sad Quentin Crisp character. It doesn’t need to be risque though.

  28. Sunny — on 28th May, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

    Clearly, the same goes for comments on this site, treading on eggshells!

    Nah, we reserve our abuse for BNP types.

  29. fug — on 29th May, 2009 at 12:17 am  

    eastenders is utter crap and bilge, unworthy of the public’s devotion. It’s the worst people behaving in the worst ways with eachother, perpetually. I wish it would end. The day i learn how to live from eastenders is the day i stop listening to the world and living.

    Islamic ethics protect Muslim actors from harm in the acting field. Talented folks I know usually have a go and pushed their boats out, only to realise that its going to be hard not to sell out their deen in such a field. There are some really funny cute stories to tell about it.

    Its a hard path to negotiate and im sure some do it well.

  30. Refresh — on 29th May, 2009 at 12:28 am  

    fug, come on. All life is there.

  31. Refresh — on 29th May, 2009 at 12:58 am  

    Marvin, you’re still due an oil change. Don’t forget to book yourself in.

  32. jennie — on 29th May, 2009 at 1:10 am  

    read adia roses alternate ending of the whole Danielle/Ronnie storyline!

    http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1324234/Adia_Rose

  33. douglas clark — on 29th May, 2009 at 6:48 am  

    fug @ 29,

    Then don’t watch it. I certainly don’t.

    My grandmother had a chum that wondered whether Coronation Street was ‘true’ or not. Like a documentary. I suppose from an actors point of view she was their greatest fan, someone who was duped into thinking that acting is any sort of reflection of reality.

    Ho, hum.

    You could almost make a soap opera out of the commenters here!

    Now, that would be fun :-)

    Stern imran khan, strides the stage with a sneer at folk that don’t agree with him. Now that would be a believable character.

    bananabrain would be a closet scientist, attempting to reconcile his religion to the reality around him.

    Sonia would be a sort of Dot Martin (note to eds – is this right?) character trying to get us all to just lurve one another.

    Sid would be the brainiac, sitting in a pub somewhere, agreeing with his best mate Kenan Malik that the country is going to the dogs. (More than a little flavour of two pints of lager and a packet of crisps perhaps?)

    Chairwoman would be a sort of Dallas figurette. A beautiful, but somehow tragic, Southern belle. Perhaps her out of Gone with the Wind, wassername? Yeah, Scarlett O’Hara.

    There are enough characters around here to make a far better soap opera than East Enders.

    And, before you reply, I love you all! Air kisses to the lot of you…

  34. Boyo — on 29th May, 2009 at 8:18 am  

    yeah, the burning issue. Meanwhile 20,000 Tamil civilians are massacred in SL and on Wednesday the UNHRC passed by a 29-12 vote a Sri Lankan-authored resolution that congratulated the government in Colombo for its efforts to address the needs of civilians displaced by the fighting. The measure also acknowledged the government’s commitment to provide access to international humanitarian agencies – “as may be appropriate.”

    The resolution condemned that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for attacks on civilians and for “its practice of using civilians as human shields,” but made no reference to allegations of abuses against civilians on the government side. Up to 300,000 ethnic Tamils are being detained in camps set up by the government to house those who fled the warzone.

    The contrast to numerous previous Human Rights Council resolutions condemning Israel was striking.

    Before this week, five of the 10 special sessions held by the council since it began operating three years ago focused on Israel. The most recent, last January, strongly condemned the Israeli government in the aftermath of its offensive against Hamas terrorists in Gaza (see end of story below for comparison between Gaza and Sri Lankan resolutions.)

    Where, I wonder, does PP stand on this? Where is the opprobrium? The shrill outrage? What, I wonder, is the missing ingredient?

  35. Golam Murtaza — on 29th May, 2009 at 8:35 am  

    I see a major thread derailment imminent. Slam on the brakes!

  36. douglas clark — on 29th May, 2009 at 8:56 am  

    Boyo,

    Well, you could get a part too.

    It isn’t always the case that every thread has to be diverted to more serious topics now, is it? But there is always someone in the room that can cause gloom and despondency just by opening their mouths. I think actors play that role quite often….

    Which is not to say that your point isn’t valid. It is to say that it isn’t appropriate. I’m sure there will be a thread along soon enough for that sort of comment.

    Though, I have to admit, as a bit of an expert on thread derailment, I salute you!

  37. platinum786 — on 29th May, 2009 at 9:01 am  

    Someone teach Boyo to use the search function. We have topics on Tamils.

    Firstly, thou shall not diss eastenders, 11th commandement.

    Regarding the gay character. Would a Muslim actor do it? Depends on the individual. Would Russell Crowe kiss a man? I think it depends on the person. As far as religion is concerned, it’s not like Muslim actors all refrain from sex scenes etc is it. Religion clearly prohibits you, whether you choose to overlook that or not, is up to you.

    Also to think we’d sit there complaining about a gay character is hilarious. We’re not all Ahmedinijad.

  38. chairwoman — on 29th May, 2009 at 9:38 am  

    Well, lawks a’mussy Mr. Clark, Aah do declare, you sure can turn a ladies haid!

  39. fugstar — on 29th May, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    i certainly dont watch it yet am exasperated at how many are enslaved by it. This infantalising soap hegemony is more troubling than big brother itself.

  40. Naadir Jeewa — on 29th May, 2009 at 5:40 pm  

    I’ve never watched it, though I was tempted when I saw this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u53lwCKapWY

  41. Irfan Ahmed — on 29th May, 2009 at 9:10 pm  

    The problem is that Muslim actors who are not gay do not want to do the scene because teachings of Islam and morals get in the way. That’s what I think is the real issue.

    The character is best played by someone who doesn’t feel under pressure kissing another male.

    The problem is that Eastenders are not showing what sociaty is actually like with this kissing business as most Muslim men are not gay and those that are, are afraid to make it public as it is seen as being morally wrong.

    Why didn’t the BBC to a scene in which their is trouble in a Muslim young mans mind about becoming extrme or something along those lines?

  42. Amrit — on 29th May, 2009 at 9:20 pm  

    there are no real eastenders in London any longer. (I should know, I am one)

    Oxymoron? Or just moronic?

  43. Refresh — on 29th May, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

    I don’t believe I am the only one who watches it!

  44. Clairwil — on 29th May, 2009 at 10:05 pm  

    Ah so that’s the explanation. I’d been wondering why no one in the family seemed to have noticed their son was white. I just assumed they were building up to an implausible switched baby story line or something.

  45. Sunny — on 29th May, 2009 at 10:33 pm  

    Man, we’re too cool to watch Eastenders Refresh. We just cuss it from the sidelines. I refuse to watch any soap on television.

  46. The Common Humanist — on 30th May, 2009 at 1:21 am  

    “”The problem is that Eastenders are not showing what sociaty is actually like with this kissing business as most Muslim men are not gay and those that are, are afraid to make it public as it is seen as being morally wrong.”"

    Dammit, you have rumbled another cunning ZionoBBCITVCNNDoubleCustardPlot to make youse all look intolerant or something……..

    Being gay is about as ‘morally wrong’ or controversial as using a pedestrian crossing on a red man these days. The sooner that all sky deity cultists realise this the sooner they can grow up and get on with the rest of their lives……

  47. halima — on 30th May, 2009 at 2:53 am  

    Denzil Washington used to have a clause in his contract to say he will not do onscreen kisses with white actresses. I don’t know if this is still the case. I always thought the white actresses found this disappointing!

    i think there are many actors ( whatever background) who won’t do same-sex sex kisses. And indeed when some do – it’s still the exception in mainstream straight movies .. what’s that teen movie with the actress from Buffie where she kisses Salma Blair – and this scene turns into 10 sexiest scene for men coz it’s lesbian action or something. Just making the point that it’s still a novelty everywhere – and religious groups are likely to be more conservative than most.

  48. chairwoman — on 30th May, 2009 at 6:36 am  

    “Denzil Washington used to have a clause in his contract to say he will not do onscreen kisses with white actresses.”

    What? Are you kidding Halima? Can you imagine the well-deserved outcry if a white actor had a contractual clause saying that he would not have onscreen kisses with black/Asian/Jewish etc women?

    I have heard of actors who refuse to kiss women on screen as they don’t want their children to see daddy kissing someone who isn’t mummy, but that’s a completely different kettle of fish.

  49. Don — on 30th May, 2009 at 8:07 am  

    I refuse to watch any soap since they cancelled the one true soap, the ubersoap.

    Bring back Prisoner Cell Block H.

  50. blah — on 30th May, 2009 at 10:04 am  

    Irfan Ahmed
    “The problem is that Muslim actors who are not gay do not want to do the scene because teachings of Islam and morals get in the way. That’s what I think is the real issue.”

    Oh dear. Since when are actors of any religious background religious? If they were going to follow the teachings of Islam that much they would probably eschew acting all together but essentially it is lying (by pretending to be someone you are not)

  51. blah — on 30th May, 2009 at 10:10 am  

    chairwoman
    “What? Are you kidding Halima? Can you imagine the well-deserved outcry if a white actor had a contractual clause saying that he would not have onscreen kisses with black/Asian/Jewish etc women?”

    So whats your opinion of the Jewish comedian Jackie Mason who stopped Ray Hanania opening for him because Ray is an Arab/Palestinian?

  52. chairwoman — on 30th May, 2009 at 11:58 am  

    Disgusting and not funny!

  53. halima — on 30th May, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    Chairwoman

    I am not sure where Denzil Washington now stands but certainly if you see his movies you will see that he doesn’t do kissing with white women. It it’s a not a clause , it’s a preference. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

    Though come to think of it – very few white actors kiss black actresses – until Halle Berry came along perhaps. It’s actually quite the exception if you look around – i know it’s hard to believe but i think Hollywood is more segregated than we like to believe it.

    Whether it’s a clause or not – white actors won’t be tested as much because there are so few opportunities for the kissing scenes to occur between people of different racial backgrounds on tv.

    I think also many actors and actresses have clauses in contracts on whether they do nudity or not. sexuality is an interesting beast – and i don’t think we can make the same assumptions onto it as we can on other areas of culture/ethnicity.

  54. chairwoman — on 30th May, 2009 at 1:30 pm  

    Halima

    I am going to retract my criticism of the divine Denzel as Katy has told me that the reason he doesn’t kiss white women on camera, is because he doesn’t think white audiences are ready to see a white woman being kissed by a black man, no matter how rich, famous and handsome.

    As you can imagine, I am far more disgusted by that kind of attitude.

    It’s not Hollywood that prejudiced it’s the American ‘silent majority’. We tend to forget that NYC, LA, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta are hardly representative of the United States. Real America is in Point Place, Wisconsin; De Smet, South Dakota; and Muskogee, Oklahoma.

  55. halima — on 30th May, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

    Chairwoman

    Yes, I think I agree with you that the divine Denzil’s politics are usually quite sound.. though i didn’t know the precise reason for his abstention so glad someone clarified it for me!

    It is sad actually – and i think there’s a huge audience out there that doesn’t like seeing black and white actors /actresses kissing – as they don’t like same sex kissing and romance either . And hollywood plays to the logic of the market and the audience so will sway.

    I don’t think it’s just in America, i think it’s pretty much everywhere. For a long time Denzil Washington wasn’t signed up to action movies because international markets were not ready for non-white action heroes that were not home-grown so ‘whether audience in Japan is ready or not’ will figure in the minds of producers. We’ve come a long way in the last 5 years I think .

    Muskogee? New word for me!

  56. Sofi — on 30th May, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    I think i may (re)start watching Chavenders if/when they get a hijabi muslim character doing the same. Now wouldnt that up the controversy?

  57. chairwoman — on 30th May, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

    Halima

    When I was very young, a horribly long time ago, I went on a date with an equally young black boy (or coloured as was polite back then:)), he was my friend’s brother, and my parents knew their parents, and both sets of parents advised us against it as they were worried that he would be physically attacked, and I at least verbally.

    Well, we didn’t repeat the experiment. I suppose we weren’t that keen, but we were certainly stared at, sneered at, and one charmer expectorated!

    I am appalled that in the 21st century it is still considered unadvisable.

    Muskogee? New word for me!

    Town somewhere in Oklahoma (Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain etc) :)

  58. Shatterface — on 30th May, 2009 at 2:25 pm  

    Gordon Warnecke, who played the object of Daniel Day-Lewis’s passion in My Beautiful Laundrette, was from a South American family.

    The only other thing I remember him in was a Colon Baker Doctor Who so not much Oscar success for him.

  59. Shatterface — on 30th May, 2009 at 2:28 pm  

    Sorry, meant Colin Baker.

  60. Shatterface — on 30th May, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

    Eric la Salle quit ER because he was partnered with a white woman and then with another of mixed race.

    Star Trek had the first inter-racial screen kiss – but then Kirk was possessed at the time.

    I don’t buy this ‘white audiences aren’t ready for it’ stuff though: google ‘inter-racial’ and you’ll get a billion hits.

  61. damon — on 30th May, 2009 at 3:13 pm  

    Chairwoman said @ 54
    ”It’s not Hollywood that prejudiced it’s the American ’silent majority’. We tend to forget that NYC, LA, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta are hardly representative of the United States. Real America is in Point Place, Wisconsin; De Smet, South Dakota; and Muskogee, Oklahoma.”
    Is that a sweeping statement?
    Well it is … but is it justified?

    I’m not knocking what you said too much Chairwoman, but my ”sock it to the hicks” antenna were roused by what you said there.

    Maybe I shouldn’t read online magazines like this one (who hate that kind of sentiment):
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5301/

  62. chairwoman — on 30th May, 2009 at 3:50 pm  

    Damon – There’s no doubt about it, things are acceptable in big cities that aren’t in small ones. It’s not about ‘the hicks’, it’s about small communities where everybody knows everybody else, and everybody has an opinion about everybody else’s business.

    Pretty much like Eastenders, if I remember correctly (I’ve not seen it for over 10 years). Although set in London, it’s still basically a village community. But in big cities, the ‘village communities’ are far more diverse and varied, and that’s what leads to speedier acceptance of new peoples, trends, ideas, etc.

    There was certainly no anti-rural prejudice intended.

  63. Don — on 30th May, 2009 at 4:06 pm  
  64. halima — on 31st May, 2009 at 2:26 am  

    Oh, shame i can’t access youtube…

  65. douglas clark — on 31st May, 2009 at 8:03 am  

    Chairwoman @ 62,

    I don’t doubt that a North London businesswoman such as your good self (that was a joke ;-) ) would assume that you have a right to speak for the country at large. For, what are we, the folk that don’t live in the Great Wen? Nothing but prejudiced hicks.

    I think, correct me if I am wrong, that Mancunians and Glaswegians have a far better attitude towards immigrants than Londoners? In the sense of being welcoming…

    I think it was Claiwil that put up an article about common purpose between immigrants and ordinary people in this diverse world of ours? The point being that it doesn’t matter where you are, or where you come from, there is at least a modicum of humanity floating around.

    I can’t trace down the original article but this might give you a flavour of the diversity of opinion that walks across our land:

    http://www.southmanchesterreporter.co.uk/news/s/1111494_tony_thanks_pals_after_deportation_battle_win

  66. douglas clark — on 31st May, 2009 at 8:19 am  

    Chairwoman,

    This is probably more germane:

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/display.var.2504926.0.scotswoman_champion_jeans_new_challenge.php

    Bloody hell!

    A happy story.

  67. chairwoman — on 31st May, 2009 at 11:54 am  

    Douglas

    Actually the drift of my comment was ‘Big cities generally more accepting than villages’. I wasn’t putting London forward as some kind of Nirvana, just speaking from my own experience, and with that in mind, may I put Liverpool forward as a city where the population are Scousers first, and anything else second.

    Good for them.

  68. lucy — on 31st May, 2009 at 6:47 pm  

    do people know marc elliot is not white?

    I would have guessed he’s mixed race.

  69. lucy — on 31st May, 2009 at 6:48 pm  

    meant ‘do people know he’s white’, sorry.

  70. Imran Ahmad — on 31st May, 2009 at 8:22 pm  

    It’s true — our Muslim culture holds us back.

    I auditioned for James Bond, but I got thrown out because I wouldn’t drink the vodka martinis, and I wouldn’t kiss the women unless my parents arranged my marriage to them first.

    http://www.unimagined.org

    http://www.unimagined.co.uk

  71. Shatterface — on 31st May, 2009 at 9:47 pm  

    Patrick McGoohan turned Bond down because of the sex and violence so it’s not just Muslims who would find the role problematic.

  72. Adnan — on 1st June, 2009 at 9:52 pm  

    Marc Elliot looks like a convincing enough Asian to me, albeit he’s fair-skinned compared to his on-screen family. But then again, I was convinced that James Caan from Dragon’s Den just had a tan from spending lots of time on his yacht in Monaco.

  73. Noorie — on 11th June, 2009 at 8:28 pm  

    Lol,Read most of these comments was very amusing, buh i do hope most people remember EastEnders is jus a soap and it is fiction. So people shuld jus chill and take it easy..
    Ciao
    xXxXx

  74. Noorie — on 11th June, 2009 at 8:28 pm  

    x

  75. chloe — on 16th June, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

    i agree with noorie and james in a way people shouldent take this so seriously its not real its a soap. people should get over it

  76. lee — on 22nd August, 2009 at 9:48 am  

    its predictable that muslims will be in the media spotlight after 9-11 etc..

    why wernt muslim in the media before?

    do you feel multicultrual?

    having 1 muslim family on eastenders is hardly multicultural. It is also funny that bengaldeshi- (people from the country of bangladesh) own all the so called indian resturants in the uk. yes, they are infact not serving indian cusine but bengladeshi food.

    indians in the uk seem to live in leciester, and west london and wolverhampton.

    well what about the hindus? sikhs? bhuddists? jains? pasri?

    yes the above are all religions with unique cultures.

    will they only be realised after a terrorist attack?

    lets keep in mind pakistan is a new country- only 62 years old- before that it was india, so most pakistanis follow indian and punjabi culture-

    homosexuality in is very prelavent in western islamic communities.

    i know many muslim cross dressers, muslim men can be seen at wayout club in london, and on the fetish scene as well as people of other minority religions.

    i am just waiting for a corrupt muslim cleric, to brain wash the youth in turning them against the bbc.
    it is allways the imams that are responsible for turning young muslims against the west, or labeling them as kaffir- sub human

  77. Meow — on 4th May, 2010 at 2:53 pm  

    urgh its often not just the imams, some of them are alright – having been here for a good 30 years or so. lately its more the young boys, the ones who wander around “converting” other young muslims or intimidating them into misplaced religiosity – scum that wander around the east london streets like animals, spitting at girls for not wearing hijab if they look remotely asian, while perving on them at the same time. don’t understand why they cant all just get jobs and stop being disgusting and misreading their religion….

    sorry – end rant. east london nowadays is just such bollocks sometimes to live in as a non-muslim british asian female.

    lmao though, some of these comments are absolutely hilarious. enjoyed reading :-)

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