Channel 4 cancels screening of Islam film over security fears

Islam: The Untold Story sparks 1,200 complaints and threats to presenter and historian Tom Holland

LAST UPDATED AT 10:05 ON Wed 12 Sep 2012

CITING security fears, Channel 4 has cancelled a special screening of the documentary, Islam: The Untold Story, which questioned the origins of Islam.

The film, which claims there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed, sparked around 1,200 complaints when it was broadcast two weeks ago. Ofcom received 150 complaints alleging inaccuracy, bias and offence to Muslims and said it was considering launching an investigation.
 
Channel 4 had planned to screen the film again at its headquarters on Thursday before an audience of historians and "opinion formers".
 
But the channel released a statement yesterday saying: "Having taken security advice we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme, Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film, which is still available to view on 4oD."

The decision was taken before the storming by Muslims of US diplomatic buildings in Cairo and Benghazi yesterday in protest at the appearance on YouTube of an amateurish US-made video which depicted Mohammed as a buffoon and a womaniser.
 
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) has accused the presenter of Islam: The Untold Story, historian Tom Holland, of making "baseless assumptions" and engaging in "selective scholarship". Iranian state media suggested the broadcast was an "insult" to Islam, reports The Daily Telegraph.
 
Holland has suffered substantial criticism and threats on Twitter, such as: "You might be a target in the streets. You may recruit some bodyguards, for your own safety."
 
But Holland, who also wrote best-sellers Rubicon and Persian Fire, insists that Islam is "a legitimate subject of historical inquiry".
 
He has received support from Dr Jenny Taylor, a writer and academic who had been invited to attend Thursday’s screening. Dr Taylor told The Guardian it was "appalling" that the event was being cancelled.
 
Taylor said media coverage was a factor in whipping up "a false storm of protest" over the programme, which she described as "a good bit of history by one of the most eminent historians in the country.”
 
She added: "We have got to be able to discuss history. That is the western way. That is what we do here. Every other civilisation that Tim has written about has come in for the same treatment. Why should Islam be left out?" · 

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As a muslim, i encourage every one to find out about Islam as much as possible. I saw this programme when it first aired and was disappointed by the level of inaccuracies and bias against Islam. Islam itself encourages people to seek out knowledge and i would urge people not to be brainwashed by false depictions in the media but to pick up a copy of the Quran and make up their own minds.

Yes, Mr Rashid, we would like to make up our own minds, not be forced at gunpoint to accept the minds of others. There are many things about Islam that are completely unacceptable to free minds. Perhaps if you read the Gospel of Jesus Christ you might discover something that would be of eternal benefit to you.

As I missed the last broadcast I was looking forward to viewing the next one, but thanks to the likes of yourself I will now be unable to do so. May I remind you that Britain is still a democratic nation and freedom of speech is fundamental to that. If you disagree with someone, then too bad! Personally I feel that Christianity is far preferable to Islam although I myself am not of a religious persuasion, having a morality that is derived from dealing with people who experience misfortune such as autism or brain injury.

As the article points out, you can still watch the programme on 4oD. Please try and understand what you read.

Have you asked any British converts to islam (or whichever country you happen to live in) if they converted because they had a gun pointed at their heads? I think you'll find that is not the case.

Interesting! Yet another reason for muslims to be offended. 'tip toe'

He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.... i Try reading the "literature" produced by the World Association of Muslim Youth about Christianity.
Story as depicted in programme does contradict general historic teachings but again that history seems to be written in water. In the 1990s Martin Ling's book was promoted by a London Mosque but when discussing content as a history, I was told that it was either wrong or that I had misunderstood it.
Why are these people so frightened of research into the early years of their religion? After all, historical research has shown evidence of the gospels existing circa 66AD (Dead Sea Scrolls).
Surely, programmes like this are there to foster understanding but threats only reinforce the view that fear is at the centre of the faith and should only be held in the hands of these self proclaimed "defenders of the faith". Christianity saw the turmoil of faith defenders in the 16th and 17th centuries where successive monarchs were either protestant or catholic.

All religion is evil! Terrorism,wars.Just because some bloke years ago wrote a book!. The world would be a much better place without it!

These broadcasters are cowards - no backbone - spineless. If anyone threatens the presenters or the broadcasters they should be traced and severely dealt with - without exception.

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