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Fireman Sam and the Koran - A Misstep That May Not Have Happened

Updated on August 12, 2016
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Everyone Is Tense, and Rightfully So

With the recent upheaval in the world today, news that a character in 'Fireman Sam' may have stepped on the holy book of the Koran has created a great deal of tension, and that comes as no real surprise. According to New York Daily News, a character tripped on some paper, sending it flying into the air, and what happened afterwards has left social media and other people who have followed 'Fireman Sam' ablaze with a mix of indignation and fury.

"Is Fireman Sam a Muslim or Muslim hater?" asked Twitter user Sajid Varda.

The show, for the uninitiated, features an English firefighter by the name of Sam who works in a small community. Of course, Fireman Sam has a series of misadventures in every 15 minute show, but no one could have predicted the fallout from this episode.

The Fireman Sam episode, which appears to show pages from the Koran, was pulled from the streaming site for HIT Entertainment after it was believed that the documents that a character tripped over were actually pages from the Koran. New York Daily News reports that the pages were actually meant to seem like illegible writing, but some have believed that the page actually shows a page from the Koran.

Miqdaad Versi tweeted his belief that the apparently illegible page was actually from Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26, which according to quran.com says:

"And conceal your speech or publicize it; indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.

Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted?

It is He who made the earth tame for you - so walk among its slopes and eat of His provision - and to Him is the resurrection.

Do you feel secure that He who [holds authority] in the heaven would not cause the earth to swallow you and suddenly it would sway?

Or do you feel secure that He who [holds authority] in the heaven would not send against you a storm of stones? Then you would know how [severe] was My warning.

And already had those before them denied, and how [terrible] was My reproach.

Do they not see the birds above them with wings outspread and [sometimes] folded in? None holds them [aloft] except the Most Merciful. Indeed He is, of all things, Seeing.

Or who is it that could be an army for you to aid you other than the Most Merciful? The disbelievers are not but in delusion.

Or who is it that could provide for you if He withheld His provision? But they have persisted in insolence and aversion.

Then is one who walks fallen on his face better guided or one who walks erect on a straight path?

Say, "It is He who has produced you and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful."

Say, "It is He who has multiplied you throughout the earth, and to Him you will be gathered."

And they say, "When is this promise, if you should be truthful?"

Say, "The knowledge is only with Allah , and I am only a clear warner."

But...

Metro.co.uk reports that it's actually not until later on in the show that it seems as though the Koran was actually the document that was stepped on by none other than Fireman Sam's hapless colleague Fireman Elvis. When the frame of Elvis stepping on paper is shown, he is actually stepping on a blank document.

However, let's keep in mind that any potential religious affront is one that can be deeply felt, depending on who feels it. It is not up to any one individual to determine whether or not someone is offended; it is up to the individual consuming the material, and that's probably the bigger issue. HIT Entertainment can't afford, particularly with a big show like 'Fireman Sam,' to alienate viewers, as has likely already happened as a result of this apparent misstep.

HIT Entertainment has very wisely apologized for the possibility that the "illegible" page is indeed a copied page of the Koran. It's a significant passage, if it is indeed the one that appears on the 'Fireman Sam;' according to Sunnah is Life, reading the passage "protects a Muslim from the trials of the grave."

It's a good show...

Source

A face you can trust to do the right thing?

Source

So what do we do?

The thing is, 'Fireman Sam' is a good show for kids. If it was, indeed, the Koran shown in that particular episode, HIT Entertainment has done what it can to mitigate the damage, and has dismissed the animation studio it worked with on that particular episode.

If it was also a page from the Koran, it is important to understand the meaning behind the passage, if that was what was intended. It would take some time to determine, no doubt, who may have been responsible for the error, but to vilify 'Fireman Sam' as a whole is unhealthy, so parents are going to have to find the balance between wondering if this was truly a mistake that was easily mistaken for a passage from a Muslim holy text or if this was truly something that was meant as a message for others. We might not know.

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