Three Wise Men and a couple of burqas

Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Photo / Supplied.
Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Photo / Supplied.

The presenters of motoring show Top Gear have caused controversy after dressing in burqas while filming an episode in the Middle East.

Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond disguised themselves as women in a Christmas show filmed in Syria.

The Boxing Day episode, broadcast in Britain, featured the hosts driving across the Middle East to trace the path of the Three Wise Men.

However, Muslims in Britain said the show mocked their religion.

Islamic activist Anjem Choudary told the Daily Mail the burqa was a "symbol of our religion and people should not make jokes about it in any way".

"It would have been equally bad even if they'd not been in a country mainly populated by Muslims," he said.

Others turned to Twitter to denounce the episode.

"Why is Jeremy Clarkson wearing a burqa? The Top Gear gang deserve to get hit by an IED [improvised explosive device]," said one poster.

Another wrote: "This is probably the worst top gear special. Y ... r they wearing burqas!!?"

The outfit was designed as a joke for co-presenter James May, who ended up in hospital after falling in the Syrian desert and hitting his head on rocks.

After May's recovery, Clarkson and Hammond greeted him at the hospital dressed in burqas, which they said was also a useful disguise on the road.

It is the second religious furore involving Clarkson this year.

In July he told Top Gear viewers that he had seen a Muslim woman wearing sexy lingerie beneath her gown.

- NZ Herald

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