Ofcom fines Islamic channel for broadcast of 'acceptable to murder' comments

Ofcom has fined an Islamic TV channel £85,000 after it broadcast statements saying it was acceptable to murder anyone who disrespects the Prophet Mohammed.

The media watchdog imposed the fine on Al Ehya Television Limited in respect of its Noor TV service.

It found that a broadcast in May 2012 featured presenter Allama Muhammad Farooq Nizami making statements that it was acceptable, or even the duty of a Muslim, to murder any person thought to have shown disrespect to the Prophet Mohammed where the relevant government had not taken action.

Ofcom found that the broadcast of Nizami’s statements, made in a question and answer session on Islamic teachings, “was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime”.

It further found that the broadcaster “did not exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content” of the programme.

Ofcom initially found the channel to have breached its broadcasting code in December 2012. It decided to impose a fine “due to the very serious nature of these breaches”.

The regulator has asked the channel to broadcast a statement of its findings, adding it was “concerned about the very weak compliance record of the licensee and expects the licensee to take immediate and effective steps now to redress this position”.

It will follow up the imposition of the fine with a periodic review of the channel’s compliance arrangements.

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