Sunday, February 10, 2013

British imams preach hate on TV

Imagine if any other group got together, started a TV channel and then used it to call for the death of those not of their ilk.

From The Telegraph Feb 9 by David Barrett and Ben Leach

Preachers of hate who spread their violent word on British TV channels

The communications watchdog, Ofcom, has made a series of rulings against channels which allowed “inflammatory” material to be broadcast in breach of rules which forbid extreme opinions gaining a platform on British television.
The cases, disclosed today, include examples of an imam telling viewers that those who disrespect the prophet Mohammed should be killed, and another broadcaster saying homosexuals should be beaten and tortured.
The stations were found to have committed serious breaches of the broadcasting code by allowing the extreme opinions to be aired unchallenged.
Last night experts warned that the extent and seriousness of the broadcasting breaches raises questions over whether extreme Muslim speakers who were previously confined to small audiences in mosques are able to reach thousands more people by broadcasting intolerant teachings on television.
Although the channels have tiny audiences compared to the mainstream, they are targeted at Muslim communities, including people of Pakistani background, with some of the content being broadcast in Urdu and other languages.
The cases identified by Ofcom include:

* An Islamic scholar who told viewers: “It is your duty ... to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed.”

* A preacher banned from coming to Britain who used the channel - which he co-owns - to say anyone who left Islam should be put to death.

* A phone-in presenter who advocated “eliminating” anyone who disrespected Mohammed.

In some cases the channels had also breached a rule which states that they must keep recordings of all their output, raising the possibility that other inflammatory material has been broadcast but cannot be traced.

With the exception of one radio broadcaster, the channels ruled against by Ofcom are broadcast on the satellite provider Sky. It has no legal responsibility for what is broadcast on the channels it carries. It is up to the stations themselves to make sure they meet Ofcom’s standards and they can be fined or taken off the air if they do not.

The disclosure of the rulings by the broadcasting regulator comes despite a report in 2010 which warned that extremist material was being broadcast.

Tala Rajab, the researcher who wrote the report for Quilliam, the anti-extremist think-tank, said the fresh findings by Ofcom raised serious questions over the regulation of broadcast material.

“Some of these recent incidents have been quite shocking,” he said.

“If this had happened in a mosque the police would be right in pursuing a criminal investigation. But because they are being broadcast on television channels for some reason there seems to be little appetite for looking into these extreme messages.

“If these kind of comments were made against black people, for example, you can imagine a channel being shut down overnight, particularly if they had incited violence against a minority.”

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