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EastEnders' Bobby Beale to explore Islamic faith

Digital Spy (UK) logo Digital Spy (UK) 11/07/2019 Justin Harp
a man looking at the camera: EastEnders' Bobby Beale will explore the Islamic faith in a new storyline that sees soap bosses working with the Muslim Youth Helpline. © BBC EastEnders' Bobby Beale will explore the Islamic faith in a new storyline that sees soap bosses working with the Muslim Youth Helpline.

EastEnders is beginning a new storyline that will see Bobby Beale explore the Islamic faith.

The soap has actually been setting up this new plot for the last few weeks by having Bobby (Clay Milner Russell) getting support from a new friend since returning to Walford from the youth detention center.

In Thursday's episode, viewers saw Bobby visit this friend, Imran, at the park after Kathy's (Gillian Taylforth) latest attempts to help him settle back into Walford with a home tutor went awry.

a man standing in front of a mirror: EastEnders (embargoed 20.00) Bobby Beale © BBC EastEnders (embargoed 20.00) Bobby Beale

After hearing about Bobby's recent fight, Imran encouraged him: "You've got to find another way… You've got to find some peace."

Imran encouraged Bobby to get along with his loved ones while he sorted himself out, so Bobby returned home agreeing to look over the list of tutors with Kathy.

Bobby then retreated to his room to unwrap a gift that Imran had left him with - which viewers saw was a copy of the Quran. In the weeks to come, Bobby will continue to draw strength from his newfound faith as he comes to grips with his traumatic past.

As he ventures on this spiritual journey, Bobby will have the support of many of his loved ones. EastEnders producer Jon Sen and his team are working closely with the Muslim Youth Helpline to craft an authentic story.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Muslim Youth Helpline on a storyline which serves to challenge preconceptions and prejudices about the role of faith in young peoples’ lives," the producer said today (July 11).

"Bobby Beale's story will show how a young boy uses religion to help find peace and give his life meaning, structure and purpose. We hope this storyline will demonstrate the positive impact of religion in modern society.”

a man and a woman looking at the camera: EastEnders (embargoed 20.00) Bobby Beale and Imran © BBC EastEnders (embargoed 20.00) Bobby Beale and Imran

Zohra Khaku of the Muslim Youth Helpline stressed that relevant storylines on a primetime soap offer a valuable opportunity to create a positive dialog.

"In a time where young British Muslims see their faith overwhelmingly represented in a negative way, it is heartening to see Islam portrayed as a positive influence in Bobby’s life," Khaku explained.

EastEnders continues on Friday (July 12) at 8.30pm on BBC One.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest EastEnders spoilers, as Jack risks trouble with the police and Phil gets suspicious about his missing money.

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