London, Aug.20 (ANI): The BBC’s Asian Network is at the center of a race row after Sikhs accused the digital radio station of being insensitive towards their religion.
The BBC were forced to remove a show from their website after Adil Ray, a popular Muslim presenter, received threats from Sikh listeners who accused him of denigrating one of their religious symbols, The Telegraph reports.
The row centres around a show broadcast earlier this month in which Ray discussed a Punjabi music concert in Canada where police had banned a number of Sikhs who refused to remove their “kirpan” dagger. number of listeners believed that Ray had been disparaging about whether Sikhs really needed to carry their kirpan – a ceremonial symbol that baptised Sikhs are expected to wear at all times – and began making complaints and threats against him.
The Birmingham-based network has strongly denied the accusations or any suggestion that Ray meant to mock Sikhism.
The row has nonetheless raised fresh questions over whether the digital network, which was set up eight years ago after the BBC’s then director general Greg Dyke described the corporation as “hideously white”, is serving its Asian listeners.
Last year, Labour peer Lord Ahmed accused the network of being biased against Muslims in favour of Sikhs and Hindus, although an internal investigation by the BBC later exonerated it.
The Sikh Media Monitoring Group has written to the BBC asking for a full transcript of Adil Ray’s show and accused the station of being insensitive towards Sikh listeners. (ANI)