London, May 12 (ANI): A controversial Muslim programme-maker has been appointed as the BBC's new head of religious broadcasting.
According to the BBC, Aaqil Ahmed will move to the corporation from Channel Four. His appointment is likely to raise fears at the top levels of the Church of England, which has expressed its concerns over the BBC's treatment of religion and warned that it must not ignore its Christian audience.Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has met with Mark Thompson, the BBC's director-general in March to challenge him over the corporation's religious broadcasting.
Senior bishops have also written to Thompson to question its commitment to Britain's Christian audience.
Leading church figures suspect that the BBC is giving preferential treatment to minority faiths, with a Muslim now in charge of its programming on television and a Sikh producing Songs of Praise, its flagship Christian show.
Christina Rees, a member of the Archbishops' Council, has warned: " The vast majority of the population identifies itself as Christian and as the established Church in England we would be negligent not to take an active concern in the changes happening with the BBC's religion and ethics department."
The Right Reverend Nigel Mcculloch, Bishop of Manchester, said yesterday that Ahmed's appointment came "at a time when the BBC's coverage of religion has caused some disquiet".
Ahmed is understood to have impressed BBC executives by commissioning a series on Christianity that featured high-profile names, including Cherie Blair and Michael Portillo.
However, the series, Christianity, A History, was criticised by Church figures for trivialising the religion. (ANI)