Children’s show Fireman Sam has been caught up in an Islamophobia row after an episode appeared to show a character treading on a page of the Koran.
In a scene where the floor of a fire station is covered in papers, a fireman seemingly tramples on them before they fly up into the air. The words on the page in question are difficult to make out but according to Miqdaad Versi, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslin Council of Britain, it contains verses 13 to 26 of chapter 67 of the Koran – dealing with issues including the punishments handed out to non-believers under Islam.
Versi said in a Twitter post, “Have no idea what went through the producers’ minds when they thought this was a good idea.”
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) July 26, 2016
The programme first aired on 8th October 2014 but the issue was only recently spotted by viewers.
The show’s producer HIT Entertainment apologised and is cancelling its contract with the Chinese animation studio that created the scenes.
HIT, which also owns brands such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder, said in a statement: “It has been brought to our attention that in an episode of Fireman Sam an image of the Koran is briefly depicted. The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error.
“We are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again.”
The episode was last broadcast by Channel 5 on Milkshake, its children’s breakfast show, on 28th June but was available to watch online at any time on the My 5 video on demand service. It has now been removed.