Controversial programme host said it was duty for Muslims to murder anyone who insults Prophet Mohammad
A Birmingham Islamic TV channel has been fined £85,000 after a controversial presenter said it was a duty for Muslims to murder anyone who insults the Prophet Mohammad.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom said the statement aired live on Noor TV last May could have radicalised its young viewers and incited them to commit acts of violence.
Satellite channel Noor TV boasts that its multi-lingual broadcasts from a studio inVictoria Road, Aston, specifically target young British Muslims.
The station says its mission is to “present a balanced, moderate and true face of Islam to both Muslims and non-Muslim communities across the globe”.
But on its Paigham-e-Mustafa – it means Message from Mustafa – programme, presenter Allama Muhammad Farooq Nizami told its Muslim viewers that it was their duty to murder anyone who insulted Islam’s prophet Mohammed.
The shocking advice was prompted by a caller who asked in Urdu what punishment was due for anyone showing disrespect to Islam.
Sitting alone in the studio, Nizami looked straight into the camera and replied: “One has to choose one’s own method. Our way is the peaceful way but when someone crosses the limits, faith-based emotions are instigated.
“The mission of our life is to protect the sanctity of our beloved Lord.
“May Allah accept us wherever there is a need to kill a blasphemer.
“We are ready, and should be ready at all times, to kill a blasphemer.”
Several viewers immediately contacted Ofcom to complain.
In addition to imposing a fine, Ofcom said the comments were ‘likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder.’
It added it was concerned that young people watching the show could become ‘radicalised’ or take ‘violent and criminal action as a result of watching videos of Muslims with extreme views.’
The remarks were deemed to be so inflammatory that they could have inspired a repeat of the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gough, who was killed after Islamic clerics condemned his film criticising the treatment of Muslim women.
Ofcom also ordered the TV station not to repeat the segment and to broadcast a statement of its findings.
Al Ehya Digital, which owns Noor TV, fired Nizami in May this year for promoting personal political opinions and supporting a violent act.
In its statement Ofcom said Al Ehya Digital has not yet broadcast an apology or condemnation of Nizami’s remarks and appears not to have recognised the gravity of the comments made by Nizami.
Despite this, the regulator fined Al Ehya Digital only a fraction of the £250,000 it could have imposed – because it wanted to protect the station’s right to ‘freedom of expression’.
The fine comes three years after Al Ehya was fined £75,000 for appealing for viewers to donate money in return for ‘prayers or the receipt of a “special gift” of earth from the tomb of Prophet Mohammed.’
A spokesman for Al Ehya Digital was last night unavailable for comment.
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