Childrens’ Show ‘Fireman Sam’ Removed Over ‘Qur’an’ Depiction
There’s one particular flavour of monotheism that makes the ‘free press’ and media broadcasters considerably more nervous than others. I’ve already reported on the baffling BBC editorial guidelines on showing (or not) depictions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Not to mention the panic that filled a Sky News studio when Caroline Fourest attempted to do just that.
In further conformation to the will of theocrats, Channel 5 in the UK was forced to apologise and withdraw an episode of popular animated children’s TV show Fireman Sam today after it was discovered to feature a page of the Qur’an. Not only did the page of the Muslim holy book appear on screen, it was also potentially stood on by one of the show’s characters.
You can see the offending clip below:
The production company have denied this was intentional and have issued the following statement:
A Mattel spokeswoman told the BBC: “It’s just an unfortunate incident where someone from the production company thought they were just putting in random text.
“We have no reason to believe it was done maliciously.”
In a statement, Mattel said: “The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error.
“We sincerely apologise for any distress or offence it may have caused.”
It said it would “no longer be working with the animation studio responsible”, and would take “immediate action to remove this episode from circulation”.
“We are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again,” it added.
It’s worth noting that no actual holy books are being desecrated here. This is a piece of animation, likely conjured on someone’s Apple Mac. The fact that archaic concepts such as blasphemy are now being applied to pixels goes some way to demonstrating the absurdity of the situation. This is the kind of nonsense you can expect when you indulge the demands of those who consider certain words to be ‘sacred’.
As an aside, I’ve often wondered just how printing companies dispose of the Qur’ans that don’t quite meet the standards of quality control. Very quietly I suppose.
You can be absolutely certain that as a result of this non-story, Channel 5 HQ have been compelled to review and bolster their security.
The sad reality of course is that media outlets are absolutely right to fear the consequences of ‘blaspheming’ in the direction of one religion in particular. Simply being perceived to be blaspheming in its direction can often be enough. Just ask Charlie Hebdo, Salman Rushdie, the Innocence of Muslims creators, the teacher with the Teddy Bear, Theo Van Gogh and the soldiers reported to have disposed of a number of Qur’ans to name but a few.
But we should at least stop pretending we are concerned with causing ‘offence’ and ‘distress’. We’re actually concerned that we will be murdered. And for good reason too.
If any offence or insult against this popular faith receives sufficient media attention, the consequences can be catastrophic. Embassies will burn, offices will be firebombed and people will die. This is now guaranteed across the world.
Indignation and cries of ‘Islamophobia’ have circulated amongst Muslims and non-Muslims online in reaction to this Fireman Sam incident of course. It is my desperate hope that this doesn’t blow over into the kind of violence we are used to seeing, but the possibility remains unfortunately.
I can imagine a number of media types aren’t sleeping quite so comfortably as they were before this issue made the headlines. Let’s hope sense prevails and this quietly goes away.
I did have one bright idea however. Maybe we should start a rumour that ISIS has been drawing some disrespectful cartoons. It seems to engage parts of the Muslim community like nothing else.