Phone-in programme Radio Ikhlas, 7 September 2017, 15:50
Radio Ikhlas is a community radio station serving the Asian (primarily Pakistani) community and other smaller ethnic communities in the Normanton area of Derby.
received a complaint that the above programme included statements that constituted hatred against the Ahmadiyya community. The Ahmadi movement identifies itself as a Muslim movement, which follows the teachings of the Qur'an. However, it is regarded as
heretical by orthodox Islam since they differ on the interpretation of the finality of prophethood. There are Ahmadiyya communities around the world. They face restrictions in many Muslim countries and are described in publicly available reports as one
of the persecuted communities in Pakistan. There have been reports of discrimination and threats against the community in the UK.
With a long and in-depth explanation, Ofcom took the view that the broadcast contained material which amounted to
abusive or derogatory treatment of the Ahmadiyya community and their religious beliefs. Ofcom added:
We consider these breaches are very serious and we are putting the Licensee on notice that we will consider these
breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.
Content relating to Burhan Wani Prime TV, 6 July 2017, 18:34 onwards
Prime TV is a general entertainment satellite channel aimed at the Pakistani community in the UK and Europe.
Ofcom received a complaint that, during a broadcast
of a current affairs programme, a social media campaign was repeatedly promoted to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of the Hizbul Mujahideen1 military leader Burhan Wani. The complainant expressed concern that the campaign was supporting a
terrorist leader and encouraging terrorism in Indian administered Kashmir.
Ofcom again found the broadcaster to be in breach of Ofcom rules but this wasn't considered a breach that would be taken any further. Ofcom said:
Ofcom understands that while some members of the Kashmiri community may revere Burhan Wani, and the terrorist organisation he led, this view is far from universal. Therefore, the fact that some viewers may have perceived Burhan Wani
to be a martyr or that the anniversary of his death was being promoted on various Pakistani media outlets, did not, in our view, justify Express TV broadcasting this content without challenge or other context. Similarly, the fact that this content was
not the Licensee's own production or the fact that Express TV considered there was no clarity so far on the UK Government's view on Burhan Wani did not justify the broadcast of the content in this case. Hizbul Mujahideen, the group of which Burhan Wani
was a member, has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the EU, India and the US. Therefore, we considered the Licensee could, and should, have been aware of Burhan Wani's controversial status both within Kashmir and outside. Ofcom is concerned
that Express TV broadcast content expressing such strong, unchallenged support for, and glorification of, Burhan Wani and his violent actions as leader of a group which has been designated a terrorist organisation in various countries. This support was
capable, in our view, of causing considerable offence.
Radio Dawn is a community radio station broadcasting to the Muslim community in Nottingham.
On 26 December 2016 at 16:00, the Licensee broadcast a series of three Nasheeds. Two of these Nasheeds raised no issues under the Code.
Nasheed was in Urdu and recited by a young boy. It was approximately 17 minutes in duration. It began by glorifying the victories on the battlefield of figures from Islamic history. It then went on to suggest that similar violent acts committed against
non-Muslim people would bring honour to Islam.
Further, the Nasheed included a number of pejorative references to non-Muslim people. In particular, non-Muslim people were repeatedly referred to as Kufaar (the Arabic word for disbeliever) and on
one occasion, Kaafir I Murdaar (meaning filthy disbeliever in Urdu).
In Ofcom's decision, published on 7 August 2017 in issue 334 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom's Executive found that the Nasheed constituted hate speech and
breached Rules 2.3, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Code.
Ofcom put the Licensee on notice in the Breach Decision that it considered these breaches to be serious, and that it would consider them for the imposition of a statutory sanction.
considered whether the Code breaches were serious, deliberate, repeated or reckless so as to warrant the imposition of a sanction on the Licensee in this case. It reached a decision that a sanction was merited in this case since the breach was serious
for the reasons set out in the Decision.
Ofcom's Decision is that the appropriate sanction should be a financial penalty of £2,000. Ofcom also considers that the Licensee should be directed to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings, on a date
and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.
Al Arabiya News is an Arabic language news and current affairs channel licensed by Ofcom.
Mr Husain Abdulla complained to Ofcom on behalf of Mr Hassan Mashaima about unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in
connection with the obtaining of material included in the programme and the programme as broadcast on Al Arabiya News on 27 February 2016.
The programme reported on an attempt made in February and March 2011, by a number of people
including the complainant, Mr Hassan Mashiama, to change the governing regime in Bahrain from a Kingdom to a Republic. It included an interview with Mr Mashaima, filmed while he was in prison awaiting a retrial, as he explained the circumstances which
had led to his arrest and conviction.
The interview included Mr Mashaima making confessions as to his participation in certain activities. Only approximately three months prior to the date on which Al Arabiya News said the footage
was filmed, an official Bahraini Commission of Inquiry had found that similar such confessions had been obtained from individuals, including Mr Mashaima, under torture. During Mr Mashaima's subsequent retrial and appeal, he maintained that his conviction
should be overturned, as confessions had been obtained from him under torture.
Ofcom's Decision is that the appropriate sanction should be a financial penalty of £120,000 and that the Licensee should be directed to broadcast a
statement of Ofcom's findings, on a date to be determined by Ofcom, and that it should be directed to refrain from broadcasting the material found in breach again.
Al Arabiya News Channel has surrendered with immediate effect
its license with the U.K. broadcasting censor Ofcom, which received a complaint over the channel's involvement in covering the crime of hacking Qatar News Agency (QNA), British law firm Carter-Ruck said.
QNA had hired Carter-Ruck to submit a
complaint at Ofcom against Al Arabiya and Sky News Arabia for broadcasting fabricated and false statements attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani after QNA's website was hacked on May 24, 2017, The four countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain
and Egypt used this event to justify the siege that they have been imposing on Qatar since June 5, 2017.
The surrendering of the license by Al Arabiya, a Dubai-based satellite broadcaster owned by Saudi businessmen, was to avoid an an Ofcom
QNA says Al Arabiya's decision was dictated by the inquiry but the channel says business reasons also influenced the move.