Islam Channel breaches impartiality rules


The Islam Channel has been found in breach for broadcasting a news item without due impartiality.

Ofcom received a fairness complaint from Dr Usama Hasan regarding a news item aired on 8th June 2012, in which he was referred to as having made a complaint to the Charity Commission in relation to “potential links to a terrorist and extremist group” and the Masjid Al-Tawhid Mosque in East London.

The Islam Channel said that the news item in question was “important” because it referred to the “first investigation carried out by the Charity Commission with regards to a link with terrorism and a mosque”.

However, the broadcaster added that although “our audience would expect us to broadcast [the news item in question] we understand this should not interfere with us complying with [any] Rule [of the Code] or any other statutory regulation.”

Ofcom considered the broadcaster did not take appropriate steps to ensure the story concerning Dr Usama Hasan was presented with due impartiality. Therefore the media regukator found that, on balance, the material was in breach of Rule 5.1 of the Code.

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