Veiled threats end C4 Christmas message
According to the report, ‘she had been pressurised by senior members of the community who felt it was not her place to talk about Islam. It has also been said that she had received threatening letters from non-Muslims accusing her of trying to upstage the Queen’.
The second reason is a little puzzling, given that the very raison d’être of this slot is to upstage Her Majesty, and letters of complaint about Quentin Crisp and Sharon Osborne in previous years were quite ineffectual. The first reason, however, is more than a little revealing about the nature of Islam – it is simply not a woman’s place to talk about its beliefs or practices, and pressure has been applied by 'senior Muslims’ to force her withdrawal. One wonders who these people are and what they threatened.
But Cranmer is baffled by this announcement, and can’t help thinking it is all a further publicity stunt to boost viewing figures. Given that no face would be visible, and no-one would see lips move, anyone could front this programme while any woman read the message. In fact, C4 could even have asked Cranmer to deliver this message, his vast beard concealed beneath a niqab, and kept all of this embarrassing coverage out of the media altogether…