Hey Soap opera fans – good news!
“EastEnders is to tackle one of the last taboos left in soap, with a storyline featuring a Muslim character embarking on a gay love affair. MediaGuardian.co.uk can reveal that the plot, which will hit screens in mid-June, will see Syed Masood, a Muslim property developer with a girlfriend who arrived in Albert Square six weeks ago, fall for openly gay Christian Clarke. The pair will share an on-screen kiss.
The BBC has billed the storyline as a “traditional love affair, albeit with a modern multicultural twist”. The BBC1 soap’s production team researched the plot, which is bound to prove controversial with some viewers, contacting academics, gay Muslim support groups and members of the Muslim Council of Great Britain.
So, in BBC world, gay love affairs are “traditional” – and any effort to give the multiculti Muslim twist has been handled sensitively as the dialogue with the MCB indicates. I am sure Britain’s Muslims will take the gay Islam kiss in the spirit the BBC intends, or at least I hope so.