DOHA: Although a month of austerity and worship for Muslims, Ramadan is also a season of high TV viewership in the Arab world.
Arabic-language TV networks vie in this month to premier serials and soap operas — many romantic — for TRP (television rating point).
This Ramadan is no different, with many TV serials having been premiered, making people glued to their TV sets and angering clerics in Qatar, reports Al Sharq.
“There is this World Cup soccer going on and then, you have TV serials. They are keeping people busy, away from worship and prayers in the holy month,” said the daily.
This is also a month when people usually socialise with neighbours and relatives, but that’s not happening.
“Arabic channels are competing with one another to attract viewers. They have no respect for Ramadan and it’s piety,” said the daily.
They are showing serials that are against the spirit of Ramadan. Many serials being telecast are an insult to Arab families. They are distracting people from worship and prayers.
More and more people are spending time at home, glued to TV sets watching the World Cup matches or serials.
Then, there are those who go on long walk and drive at night. They sleep the whole day and get up only a little before it is time to break the fast. “So they don’t feel hungry and thirsty.” This is against the spirit of Islam.
Prominent cleric Abdullah Mohamed Al Nema told Al Sharq that he was upset with this trend. People should spend time reading the Holy Quran and praying in the holy month but they are rather busy watching TV serials, he said.
Al Nema wondered why Arabic TV networks vied with one another only during the holy month. They can do this any time of the year.
Prominent media person, Amal Abdul Malik said it was a matter of concern that many serials and programmes being aired are featuring actresses who are exposing themselves. This is shameful.
She said she found it surprising that these channels are ignoring key social issues, specifically those concerning GCC societies and needing solutions.
TV journalist, Abdullah Al Harami, echoed similar sentiment and said there are so many crucial social issues facing GCC societies that could instead be taken up by TV channels.