TV drama portrays Muslim being beheaded by Christian [Excerpts]
A new television drama, debuting earlier this week, is drawing complaints from viewers and critics over its portrayal of Christians as extremists who take their inspiration from the Crusades and behead a moderate Muslim in an unprovoked attack.
In the six-part series, Bonekickers, a multi-ethnic team of archaeologists "uncovers a compelling mystery from the past that tells viewers something profound and revelatory about the present," the BBC press packet promised. "Archaeology has never been so dramatic."
The first episode of the program, titled "Army of God," has the team, headquartered in Bath, UK, called in to investigate the discovery of a group of 14th century medieval soldiers whose bodies were found with a Saracen coin at a construction site in Somerset. Application of their archaeological and forensic skills lead them to identify the remains as those of the Knights Templar – and a 2,000-year-old piece of cypress wood, identified as coming from the Holy Land, as possibly part of the True Cross.
Before the team can survey the site, the property is purchased by a right-wing religious extremist who believes the UK's Christian heritage is presently under siege. He declares the property holy ground, employing several violent "crusaders' – members of the fictional "White Wings Alliance" – to help him in his quest. In one scene, one of the extremist Christians beheads a moderate Muslim man in an unprovoked attack.
While the program, viewed by 6.8 million viewers, is receiving criticism online for its storyline and its depiction of archaeologists, the beheading has drawn particular ire and has been cited as further evidence of anti-Christian bias by the BBC.