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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
TV 'Muslim plot' sparks complaints
The BBC does not think the episode will incite hatred
A Muslim group has complained about an episode of the BBC spy drama Spooks featuring a suicide bomb school in a mosque.

Birmingham Central Mosque was defaced after the episode was first screened, with the slogan "Suicide bombers inside - kill the bombers".

But there is nothing to suggest that the incident was linked with the programme.

Muslims say the programme's plot could have incited hatred towards Islam.

The episode shows a mosque in Birmingham teaching young boys how to be suicide bombers.

The drama does not say that mosques breed terrorists
BBC spokesperson
It was first shown on digital channel BBC Three last week and was shown on BBC One on Monday night.

"We can't deny that the BBC have a right to screen a drama about this - it is topical," said Inayat Bunglawala, the Muslim Council of Britain's media secretary.

"It is the treatment of the subject that will lead to attacks," he said.

The BBC said: "We haven't received any information that this incident is in any way related to the transmission of Spooks."

It said the corporation would not drop the episode from the schedules.

"We do not believe that it incites hatred or disrespect for Muslims or Islam," a spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

"The story is about a Muslim who works to prevent such an attack from happening. The character is inspired by the true story of an Algerian agent, who greatly assisted the British Security Services undercover.

"The drama does not say that mosques breed terrorists."

The BBC said that while the storylines of the show were fictional, the programme-makers had liaised with Muslim community leaders in order to ensure balance.

Spooks, based around a trio of MI5 agents fighting terrorism in the UK, is currently in its second series.

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