Islamic religious channel, Takbeer TV has had a severe telling-off by Ofcom for “inciting violence” in one of its shows against another Muslim group.
Ofcom received complaints from the Ahmadiyya religious community. This is a comparatively small Islamic movement founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani that grew out of mainstream Islam in the nineteenth century, whose followers believe themselves to be true Muslims. Followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are known as Ahmadis or Qadianis or Ahmadiyya. Complainants considered that the programmes variously: consisted of abusive content about Ahmadis and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; or incited hatred and violence towards the Ahmadiyya community.
Ofcom was sufficiently concerned about this content to ask the Licensee to attend a meeting in April 2011 to explain its compliance arrangements. At this meeting Takbeer TV apologised for any offence that had been caused by the above programmes. The broadcaster also outlined the various improvements it had put in place in relation to its compliance processes.
Ofcom also has a duty to set such standards for the content of programmes as appear to it best calculated to secure the standards objectives, including that: “material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder is not included in television or radio services�; ���broadcasters exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes”; and “religious programmes do not involve any abusive treatment of the religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination”.
Takbeer TV has been put on notice however that any further breaches of the Code in this area will lead to Ofcom considering a statutory sanction.