Britz: another exposition

Having watched the second episode of Britz, sister Safiya posted a second article outlining its inconsistencies. She concludes that the programme is “prejudiced garbage” and that the Muslims involved in it should be ashamed. I agree. She points out a few issues I’d not noticed, such as the fact that the “covenant” the bomber took made no mention of Allah and the fact that all the Muslim characters were either nominal Muslims or extremists, with nothing in between.

I have a couple other qualms regarding the “realism” of this programme:

  • The issue of a woman being subject to a control order because a bulk quantity of curry powder was found in her family’s house seems like an attempt to emotionally manipulate us. While it is true that people were convicted of IRA terrorist activity in the 1970s on the basis of explosive being found on their fingers, which was actually derived from common household cleaning products, no such event as shown in Britz has happened as yet and, surely, the fact that curry powder is widely used in Asian cooking would surely occur to the authorities when issuing a control order.

  • I also find Sabia’s suicide unlikely given that the length of time she had spent under the control order was not that long and that it wasn’t stringently enforced; she was able to go to college and Nasima, who she was banned from meeting, nevertheless managed to sneak in at night.

  • Then there is the issue of how the “Nasima lookalike” ended up dead, and not only dead but “interfered with”. This is not at all explained, but I find it difficult to believe that even Muslims who would kill for political reasons would simply kidnap an innocent woman, sexually assault her and then murder her, for no other reason than to make it look like one of their bombers was dead, if that is what we are expected to believe. I have never heard of it happening or (unlike terrorism itself) anyone trying to justify it.

Parts of Britz could have rung true if it had been presented at some time in the near future as some sort of cautionary tale about where the Blair control order laws could lead, but it was not; it was set now, and the terrorist plots arose directly out of the July 2005 bombings. As it was, it gave a distorted picture of what Muslims are like while apparently trying to manipulate us with exaggerated details about control orders. Whatever the political standpoint of its authors, this drama was not very good.

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