Mohammed Mahee Ferdous Jalil, the controversial UK-based Bangladeshi Muslim businessman and founder of Channel S, a TV channel, has made extremely Hinduphobic and casteist comments that have outraged the Hindu community, progressive Bangladeshis and people of British Bangladeshi heritage in the UK, news portal Currentriggers.com has reported.
On May 3, 2020, Mohammed Jalil, in a program ‘COVID-19’ broadcast on his channel, remarked that Bengali Muslims who came to the UK from Bangladesh have the blood of low caste Hindus. He also implied that this was the reason Muslim shopkeepers cheat their customers. He ‘reasoned’ that if the blood is ‘good’ then it reveals itself in the way one acts. Citing the example of betel leaves, Jalil ‘reasoned’ that the ‘blood’ makes the seller cheat the customer by either by giving him three betel leaves instead of five or simply giving him the rotten ones!
A Change.org petition initiated by Pushpita Gupta has demanded that such xenophobic comments on TV programs be dealt with a zero-tolerance policy.
In response to the derogatory remarks by Mohammed Jalil, John Biggs, the Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, condemned the ‘disgraceful and derogatory statement’ against Hindus.
Biggs said, “As regards the TV station, I understand that the matter will be raised with Ofcom (Office of Communications; the UK regulatory body for communications) as it is unacceptable that a TV station allows such statements to be broadcast. As the Mayor, I stand side by side with all faith communities and such disrespect and religious prejudice has no place in our community.”
After severe condemnation, the earlier reluctant Jalil has now apologized and said he did not mean to insult Hindus at all. Despite the recant, it is important for British society to monitor and prevent Hinduphobic statements on public platforms.
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