Refusing the CofE Advert: A Growing Bias

To be indifferent towards the refusal of three leading cinema chains to show an advert that features the Lord’s Prayer is theologically incorrect; there mustn’t be antipathy where opposition to faith in God is so clearly exhibited. In society there is increasing hostility to the notion of faith, not only is it disparaged or denounced, but there are concerted efforts to undermine faith amongst British people. It takes various manifestations, and today we have been privy to one.

The argument is absurd. Digital Cinema Media, which handles most cinema advertising in the UK, said that it has “a policy not to run advertising connected to personal beliefs, specifically those related to politics or religion. Our members have found that showing such advertisements carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences.” But is that really the case? People will often be upset or offended by the most trivial of matters, and interestingly, when those of faith suffer offence staunch secularists are the first to decry the supposed attack on freedom of speech or portray the entire affair as creeping theocracy. The flagrant show of bias is concerning since it openly asserts that the opportunities afforded to those who believe in God will be obstructed, that the equality we as a country claim to believe in is nothing little than a spectacle.

I very much doubt that such a policy might extend to a campaign that is, for example, sexually exploitive of women. Or would DCM refuse to show such advertisements as they carry the risk of upsetting or offending religious and feminist audiences? The point is that the argument of offence is neither here nor there, and whilst it might be the case that some people remain uncomfortable of being reminded about God, the fact that the majority of Britons adhere to an Abrahamic faith means that it is highly probable that most cinema goers (or at least a significant number) have aspects of religion, however nominal, in their lives. In fact, for all the talk of secularism and the nation, much of the history of this country as well as its current workings are based around, or at least include, religious markers such as God and prayer.

Allah makes it clear that we should support our Christian colleagues in the promotion of virtue and godliness, we are told: “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” (Quran 5:2) Furthermore, God has called on us to support and help the Christians, especially where the remembrance of God itself comes under assault. He says:

And if it were not that God repels some people by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of God is much mentioned, would have been destroyed. And God is sure to aid those who aid him… (Quran 22:40)

Now I’m not suggesting that the DCM was actively endeavouring to destroy anything, yet their actions are suggestive of a larger phenomenon taking place in the public realm where the interests of some citizens are concertedly placed above others. Despite what many might say, this is clearly ideological. Whilst the DCM might not have been intending to offend the Church, rather than remain neutral (having offered earlier guarantees that the screening would go ahead) they have certainly chosen a side. As the verse intimates, we must be on the other, the side that resists attempts to sideline or demonise the mention of God.

Taken from www.nizami.co.uk

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