No, Muslim leaders don’t want to ban Peppa Pig

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SHAFAQNA – Reports that Australian imams are pushing for religious alternatives to Peppa Pig, the insanely popular children’s cartoon, have been flatly dismissed as “misleading” by the people involved

Peppa Pig started trending on Twitter this morning after news media reported that a group of imams considered it a corrupting a influence for Muslim children.

According to these reports, the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) encouraged parents to raise funds for Barakah Hills, a “halal cartoon series” set in a predominantly Muslim town and produced by One4Kids, which makes children’s shows with Islamic themes.

IMAGE: ONE4KIDS

“As we know Muslims are averaging much higher birthrates, plus increased amount of time children are watching various videos on devices, computers, and television,” the fundraising page reads.

The head of the council, Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, posted a video on YouTube urging people to support the One4Kids a “trusted alternative” to current cartoons on TV:

“These days, in this modern age, our children have been embedded and very well occupied watching different cartoons on TV and it’s our responsibility not to stop them from watching but give them another alternative,” he said.

He made no mention of Peppa Pig in the video.

However, headlines all over the world focused on the “Muslim alternative to Peppa Pig” aspect:

BBC:

The Australian:

News.com.au:

The Daily Mail:

Which naturally caused a huge backlash on Twitter, with prominent figures from the right and the alt-right expressing their indignation at the alleged ban:

Following the online furore, Alsuleiman released a statement on Facebook saying that he as shocked to learn from media sources today that he had called the British cartoon Peppa Pig a corrupting influence:

“Today is the first time I came to know of the program,” said the Sheikh.

“This ridiculous media frenzy about the Peppa Pig cartoon is based firstly on a misleading headline and secondly on an insatiable appetite by some media outlets to misrepresent and embellish the reality for sensationalist propaganda purposes. It seems that the silly season is in full force,” he said.

Referring to The Australian headline “Peppa Pig a corrupting influence for Muslim children, say leaders,” he commented:

“The headline incorrectly implies that Sheikh Alsuleiman made the disparaging remarks about the cartoon. In fact, the body of the news report correctly quotes him endorsing the concept of producing religious alternatives while stating clearly that children should not be stopped from watching different cartoons.”

As noted by Buzzfeed, the whole Peppa Pig link may come from a Facebook post shared last month on the page of Zaky & Friends, another cartoon series from One4Kids.

Subhi Alshaik, a director and producer with One4Kids, also quoted in The Australian, reacted to the media frenzy around Peppa Pig saying the article “does not reflect the interview” he did with the journalist at all.

 

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