|The BBC has abandoned plans to screen a fictional terrorist attack by Muslim suicide bombers in the primetime drama Casualty after internal clashes over whether the highly sensitive subject matter would cause offence.|
BBC drama executives were keen to push the storyline and may even have started filming, a source close to the production told The Observer. But they were overruled by the corporation's editorial guidelines department, which ordered that the episode be changed so that the Muslim characters were replaced by animal rights extremists.
The producers' frustration at BBC policy is likely to be intensified by revelations that Channel 4 is to risk controversy by broadcasting a two-part thriller, written and directed by the Bafta-winning Peter Kosminsky, which depicts a suicide bombing by a young female Muslim causing devastation in London's Canary Wharf.
A source close to next month's new series of Casualty, the long-running BBC1 hospital drama, said that it was to start with a two-part special in which a young Muslim runs into a bus station and blows himself up. Another Muslim is wearing a suicide vest but fails to detonate it; instead he is injured and the vest has to be carefully removed.
The source said that senior figures in the drama department supported the idea but were blocked by editorial guideline staff, who oversee the corporation's editorial and ethical standards. The drama staff were overruled because of concerns that the story would perpetuate stereotypes of young Muslims in Britain.
Channel 4 who likes controversy seems to be moving right along with its own bomber storyline.
|In contrast to the BBC's stance, Channel 4 is preparing a publicity offensive around Britz which, like its controversial The Government Inspector about the death of Dr David Kelly, is written and directed by Kosminsky and produced by the independent company Mentorn.|
So far Channel 4 has only released a brief synopsis on the internet: 'A gritty and unflinching contemporary thriller about two young British Muslims, a brother and a sister, forced to confront who they are, as a hunt rages to uncover an active terrorist cell in mainland Britain.'
But The Observer has learnt that the four-hour drama will portray an increasingly radicalised female Muslim from Bradford who, after travelling to a militant training camp in Pakistan, becomes a suicide bomber and causes carnage in Canary Wharf. Another character from the same background joins MI5 because he wants to protect Britain.
A member of the cast said: 'It's a suicide bombing: the character goes right into the heart of Canary Wharf, then blows herself up. This will be a very controversial piece but it's strong enough to watch and come to a human conclusion. Reading the script, the events didn't shock me as much as the arguments, which are very close to the bone.
'What drives young Muslims to make choices like this? It confronts the issues facing them at the moment, but not in a stereotypical way.'
This is going to end up being the West's fault she became a bomber isn't it?