Zoo stirs up trouble as it follows Star with ‘Muslim’ spread

Emap’s lads weekly Zoo magazine will this week publish a double-page spread making fun of Muslim law following the Daily Star, which was last week forced to drop a similar idea.

Last week, action by journalists, who threatened a walk out, halted a Daily Star-planned Islamic spoof called Daily Fatwa. The Daily Star idea was overseen by new deputy editor Ben Knowles, who joined the paper from Zoo magazine, and was to have included a “Page 3 Burkha Babes Special”, a reader competition to “burn a flag, win a Corsa”, and a leader column headed “Allah is Great”, entirely blank save for a “censored” stamp. “No news, no goss, no fun” was to be the page’s strapline.

Former colleagues of Knowles liked the idea so much they have imported it to the pages of this week’s Zoo with a spoof headlined “Your all-new veil-friendly Zoo!” As well as throwing itself into the veil debate, other headlines include “Public stonings!”, “Beheadings!” and “Absolutely nobody having any fun whatsoever”. The spread also features a woman in a burqa, covered head to toe with only her eyes showing alongside the headline, “A girl! As you’ve never seen her before!”

It goes on to read: “Maybe shariah law isn’t so controversial after all. Muslims who practise it to the letter are able to divorce their wives (up to four allowed) by text message. Wives are banned from being in a car with a man who is not a blood relative. And – common sense a-go-go – women aren’t allowed to drive cars anyway!”

Brand Republic, 23 October 2006