BBC investigation exposes sectarian content in UK Urdu language newspapers

The new editor of a weekly Urdu-language newspaper has committed to higher editorial standards after BBC Radio 4 revealed his paper published content which could stoke racial tension.

Nawaijang ran adverts urging the boycott of a fruit company with shareholders from the Ahmadi community (an Islamic sect which was founded in India).

However after editor Ijaz Afzal was appointed two weeks ago, the paper dropped the ad (before the Radio 4 investigation was broadcast).

Afzal said to Press Gazette: “Everyone has a right what to say what they want. But on the other hand if something is wrong and will hurt someone mentally, then we won’t publish it.”

Radio 4 found that content edited in Pakistan is often re-published in Britain without consideration given as to whether it breaches UK ethical and legal guidelines.

Afzal said: “When I took over I read every article, to see if I could find something wrong.

“Now, I’ll also have a deputy editor to help me do the editing.”

The File on Four investigation also found that the Islamabad-based Daily Ausaf newspaper circulated inappropriate material in Britain describing Ahmadis as “cursed”.

Islamabad-based editor, Muhammad Hanif, told Radio 4: “To refer to them as cursed is very common in our society and therefore it shouldn’t be take as seriously as it may sound.”

Ahmadis are Muslims who believe that founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, a 19th century Indian, was the Messiah.

They are considered heretics by some Muslims for not believing Muhammad was the final prophet, and face segregation and persecution.

Daily Ausaf was also accused of promoting Jihad and terrorist groups, describing Osama Bin Laden as a “humble servant of the creator.”

The picture above shows an advert encouraging a boycott of Ahmadi businesses which appeared in Nawaijang.

Comments

1 thought on “BBC investigation exposes sectarian content in UK Urdu language newspapers”

  1. With so many journalists losing their jobs and so many regionals and locals closing it’s absolutely staggering that the NPA is continuing to waste millions of pounds fighting this ridiculous campaign.

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