BBC accused of favouring Muslims at the expense of Hindus, Sikhs

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Lahore, Sep 9 : Sikh and Hindu leaders in Britain have complained that a disproportionate number of BBC programmes have been made about Islam, at the expense of programmes on their own faiths.

An analysis of programmes from the BBC's Religion and Ethics department claims that since 2001, the BBC has made 41 programmes on Islam, five on Hinduism and one on Sikhism, a report in the Telegraph said.

The Network of Sikh Organisations media-monitoring group, which obtained the numbers, said Sikhs were shocked by the perceived bias.

"We are licence fee payers and we want to know why this has happened. The bias towards Islam at the expense of Hindus and particularly Sikhs is overwhelming and appears to be a part of BBC policy," said Ashish Joshi, chairman of the organization.

Indarjit Singh, editor of the Sikh Messenger, said Sikhs felt "brushed aside".

A spokesman for the BBC said the broadcaster was committed to representing all of Britain's faiths and rejected any claim of bias.

"In the autumn we will be covering Diwali from a Sikh perspective and we have a major new series for BBC Two in early 2009, including features on Hinduism and Sikhism," the Daily Times reported.

ANI

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