Muslim TV station fined for allowing contributor to incite murder

Posted: Fri, 5th Jul 2013

A Muslim TV Channel which allowed its airwaves to be used by a hate preacher to incite the murder of those who "insult the Prophet Mohamed" has been fined £85,000 by the media regulator Ofcom.

The company was also fined a further £20,000 for other breaches of the broadcasting rules.

DM Digital, which is based in Manchester, broadcast a programme Mercy unto the Worlds, in October 2011, and another entitled POAF Conference, broadcast in November and December 2011.

The first programme featured a live lecture by Abdul Qadir Jilani, a so-called Islamic scholar, which included material that Ofcom considered was "likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder".

Mr Jilani, said in the offending programme: "The matter of insulting the prophet does not fall in the category of terrorism. Those who cannot kill such men have no faith. It is your duty, the duty of those who recite the holy verse, to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed. Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him. An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him."

A spokeserson for Ofcom said the regulator had decided that "this code breach was particularly serious ... and, taking account of all the circumstances, decided therefore that a financial penalty of £85,000 should be imposed on the licensee DM Digital."

The other programme featured comments by Dr Liaqat Malik, DM Digital's chief executive, which breached Ofcom's views on political statements and impartiality, leading to a £20,000 penalty.

Earlier this year Dr Malik said that he was dissatisfied with Ofcom's ruling because there were cultural differences that Ofcom does not understand. He said that the regulator's adjudicating committee should have members picked from the Muslim community.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: "Inciting murder is against the law. Why aren't the police knocking on Mr Jilani's door? Why is he not under arrest? Surely he cannot be allowed to get away with such blatant call to kill innocent people? Other people have been sent to prison for far less than this."