Ok, so I was expecting to be riled up by the “Make Bradford British” programme. I had seen many criticisms of the programme tonight on social networks, stating that it was racist propaganda etc. so it’s safe to say I had preconceptions. But after viewing part one I must admit it is one of the most insightful programmes I have seen in a very long time. Not only that, this programme is exactly what the public need to open their eyes.
Force 8 people who would deny each other of their British identity to live together one house. They each have drastically different values and lifestyles from the food they eat to the clothes they wear. So what happens?
Firstly conflict, a clear lack of understanding and bewilderment of these unfamiliar people. People become defensive, cling to their own values and use them as strength. But they use that strength to attack one another. Then, they realise they cannot live in this way. It is simply not possible. So a compromise is made. In this case, Rashid agrees to pray on a trip with his new housemates rather than the Mosque.
I did feel bad for Rashid. Perhaps this would cause more controversy, perhaps he would be resentful. Did his new housemates expect him to be like them? No, no, no. They showed him gratitude. Not only that, they learnt of what his prayers meant to him by seeing him pray. One lady who previously referred to Rashid as a “dickhead” was even brought to tears.
“Give me your hand Rashid, Thank you for coming, because you’ve helped me to an understanding.”
And as for Rashid, was he a sell out? No way near. He showed incredible strength. He realised that his heart was dedicated to God wherever he prayed and in that devotion, his compromise brought unity to this community. It was nothing less than beautiful.
Another guy, Damon. I admit, he’s the kind of guy I’d look at and call a racist. Don’t get me wrong, his views were racist and slightly ignorant but after a few days living in the house and integrating with people that him and his friends would call “p*kis” you begin to see him change his perception. We mustn’t write off those in society who have harmful views for they may not understand why what they do is wrong. This programme gives them the opportunity to learn.
I’ve seen a fair share of agenda driven documentaries in my time. But I genuinely think this documentary shows a balanced and truthful perception of communities. The show received a lot of criticism, I think people can’t take that it was a bit explicit at times. But that’s reality. It is hard truth, from each side of this conflict. We’ve got to face it, realise it doesn’t work. Realise we integrate with one another to create unity.
We have the potential to learn so much from one another. We must find common ground, let that common ground be that we are all British, regardless of what anyone says.
I might change my mind on this programme after seeing part two.
But till then,
Peace and Love.