Channel 4 Documentary: “My Week As A Muslim”


Channel 4 Documentary: “My Week As A Muslim”

Channel 4 prompts anger and mockery after ‘blacking up’ white woman to show Islamophobia

Channel 4 is facing mockery after airing a documentary which went to the lengths of getting a white woman to go undercover in ‘brownface’ make-up to show the Islamophobia faced by Muslim women. My Week As A Muslim showed Katie Freeman, who previously supported banning the burqa, facing abuse that included drinkers in a Manchester pub asking her whether she planned to blow them up.

But many viewers were left wondering why Channel 4 felt that the way to show this Islamophobia was to find a white woman and put her in ‘brownface’ make-up. Many asked pointed questions about why the documentary makers couldn’t have simply given a hidden camera to one of the hundreds of thousands of women in the UK’s 2.7 million-strong Muslim population. “Millions of Muslims in the UK experience racism,” wrote one viewer.  “Channel 4 didn’t ask them but thought better to brownface a white woman.”

Khuram Ahmed, a Muslim lawyer based in Manchester, where the documentary was filmed, wrote: “Because our oppression does not exist until a white person experiences it and legitimizes it.” Another viewer complained: “I want to see a program following a Muslim woman. Not a white woman made up as a Muslim woman. This is insulting.” …

After watching the program, many viewers expressed similar views, reacting with varying degrees of anger and mockery to the brownface make-up and the use of prosthetics to change the shape of Ms Freeman’s nose. There was also criticism of the views expressed by Ms Freeman, 42, before she went undercover as a Muslim.

The documentary showed her saying: “Banning the headdresses and burkas, I think it would make a lot of people feel a lot happier, a lot safer. I wouldn’t want to sit next to them because I’d automatically assume they’re going to blow something up.” But she condemned such Islamophobia after dressing as a Muslim during filming that coincided with the Manchester Arena terror attack.

By the end of the documentary, she had concluded: “You can’t blame the whole of the Muslims for one person’s mindless act of terror can you? Just because they choose to live their life differently to me doesn’t mean they’re any less welcome to be here.

Source: The Independent

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