The TV censor Ofcom has announced that it is investigating Peace TV over a programme with an islamic preacher saying that fathers should push daughter's into marriage.
During an interview on religious discussion show Marriage and Divorce, Haitham al-Haddad, a Saudi-born Islamic preacher, said fathers should push and convince their daughters to get married. He also suggested women who were unmarried in
their thirties would not receive good proposals in the amount and qualities. (Of course people have been citing the traditional adage for a long while before Peace TV turned up: And while ye may, go marry: For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry).
Haddad has previously been widely criticised for calling homosexuality an evil crime - and showing his apparent support for female genital mutilation.
Ofcom has imposed a £10,000 fine on Radio Ikhlas Limited for failing to provide adequate protection for listeners.
The service -- a community radio station which is targeted towards the Asian (primarily Pakistani) community and other smaller ethnic communities in the Normanton area of Derby -- broadcast hate speech and material containing abusive treatment of
the Ahmadiyya community
Under the Broadcasting Code, licensees must not broadcast material which contains uncontextualised hate speech and abusive treatment of groups, religions or communities.
After an investigation, Ofcom concluded that the serious nature of the breaches of the Broadcasting Code warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions. These include a financial penalty and a direction to the broadcaster to broadcast a
statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.
The fine of £10,000 will be paid by Radio Ikhlas Limited to HM Paymaster General.
The original Ofcom investigation found:
The presenter described Ahmadi people as: dangerous; liars; enemies of Islam, enemies of Pakistan, and enemies of our religion; hypocrites who frequently engage in propaganda to defame Muslims; and, people who have inflicted the greatest damage
to Islam and to the believers of Islam. The presenter referred to the founder of the Ahmadi faith as being a liar and described the religious beliefs of Ahmadi people as very dangerous beliefs and filthy beliefs which shatter the true faith and
promote untruths. He used the simile of filling a bottle of holy Zamzam water with alcohol to convey his view that the Ahmaddiyya community is a polluting influence on Islam. He also said that when the members of the community preach to others
about their beliefs they rob them of their faith 206That is what they try to do. In the context of these criticisms, the presenter said: we will have to identify them with our ranks, Protect yourself from them and asked how can we tolerate one
who uses the title Muslim, which represents Muslims?.
We considered these statements were expressions of hatred based on intolerance of the Ahmadiyya community's religious beliefs and their broadcast spread, encouraged and incited such hatred among listeners. Therefore, it is Ofcom's Decision that
this was hate speech as defined by the Code.
Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council complained about the BBC and Sky identifying the Strasbourg attacker as muslim. But in reality avoiding any mention of the affiliation would speak just as loudly of the same conclusion
Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain has complained about the Strasbourg terrorist being identified as muslim in news reports by the BBC and Sky News. These organisations had repeated the police statement about the use of the phrase
Allahu Akbar during the attack. Versi tweeted:
Disappointing to see BBC and Sky News lead with Allahu Akbar in their headline on the awful shooting in #Strasbourg vs. ITV and Al Jazeera who are being far more responsible.
This matters and it's wrong.
But surely news reports should indicate relevant affiliations of attackers when there is common, observable and possibly causal relationship underpinning the attack.
It is interesting to speculate whether there is any realistic way to hide a muslim connection to an attacker. It is clearly not PC for news organisation to mention the connection unless forced to do so. On occasions that European attacks are down
to other reasons, say the far right, then the news organisations will happily shout about the affiliation and rightfully condemn it. So when news reports are clearly avoiding mentioning an affiliation at all, then readers or viewers can readily
infer that an attacker is likely to be muslim.