UK TV channel's Islam history programme sparks outrage among Muslims

Historian Tom Holland

A British channel has come under fire over a programme it broadcast on the history of Islam.

The programme, 'Islam: The Untold Story', broadcast on Channel 4, triggered nearly 550 complaints to both the television regulator Ofcom and the channel's presenter Tom Holland.

According to the Daily Mail, Holland has been accused of distorting the history of Islam by claiming the Koran makes little or no reference to the religious city of Mecca.

He has also been subjected to a number of abusive tweets, which include physical threats.

One Twitter user accused him of trying to destroy Islamic history, while another tweet called him a 'fool' for suggesting Islam is a 'made-up religion'.

The Islamic Education and Research Academy has published a long paper denouncing the programme, but historians have rallied to Holland's defence, the report said.

Dan Snow, who has presented history shows for the BBC with his father Peter, described the programme as 'a triumph', tweeting: "Dear angry, mad people – it is conceivable that you know more than the world's leading scholars, but very unlikely".

According to the report, the Academy claims the programme's assertion that there are no historical records detailing the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad is flawed.

"Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to rich Islamic historical tradition," the Academy said.

Ofcom, which has received 150 complaints about the programme's alleged bias, inaccuracy and offence caused to Muslims, is considering an investigation into the show, the report said.

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