Ofcom has today imposed a £20,000 financial penalty on Islam Channel Ltd for serious breaches of its broadcasting rules.
Islam Channel is an English-language satellite TV station airing religious instruction programmes, current affairs, documentaries and entertainment programmes from an Islamic perspective.
Ofcom’s investigation found an episode of ‘The Rightly Guided Khalifas’, a religious education series on the history of the Qur’an, contained antisemitic hate speech and highly offensive content. The show was aired in November 2018.
Referring to the specific content broadcast, when asked why the Licensee’s initial response had been that the content was not hate speech, the Licensee said that it was not correct to broadcast it, and there was no intention on the channel’s behalf of broadcasting antisemitic content, as it views itself as a “platform for… mutual understanding”.
Islam Channel added that it understood attitudes have changed in the past few years and “what was accepted or tolerated five years ago, it’s not tolerated anymore”. Islam Channel further stated that there would be “no ambiguity now whatsoever that portraying a group of people regardless of who they are, Jews or otherwise…in a stereotypical blanket fashion in any negative way is racist fundamentally and is hateful, and is something that we would never want our name associated with”.