The broadcaster will provide extensive coverage of the Muslim period of prayer to challenge those who associate the religion with terrorism
Ralph Lee, head of factual programming, said that Channel 4 would become the first mainstream British television channel to broadcast the call to prayer (adhan) on a daily basis.
Writing in the Radio Times, Lee claimed: “Observing the adhan on Channel 4 will act as a nationwide tannoy system, a deliberate ‘provocation’ to all our viewers in the very real sense of the word.”
Lee said that the “vast majority of people in Britain” would not be aware of the “mass act of personal sacrifice and worship” about to commence.
“Not surprising when you consider its (Ramadan) near invisibility on mainstream TV. Contrast this with the way most Muslims are represented on television – nearly always appearing in contexts related to extremism or terrorism,” he wrote.
“Even when moderate Muslims do appear, it’s often only to provide a counterpoint to these issues. Following the horrific events in Woolwich and subsequent reprisals against British Muslims, there has surely never been a more pressing need to give a voice to the moderate mainstream majority.”
The Channel 4 News weather forecast will feature the sunrise and sunset times, to guide those fasting between those hours, and each of the daily adhans will be broadcast live on the Channel 4 website.
Video diaries of British Muslims
Lee believes the Ramadan season, which includes video diaries of British Muslims going about their lives during the 30-day period, will be a hit with younger viewers.
“The percentage of Muslims in the UK is very small so few people will be interested in it. It may be a novelty and Channel 4 is good at causing a sensation. We don’t want to see any broadcaster becoming a platform for religious proselytising.”
Channel 4’s commitment was welcomed by the Muslim Council of Britain.