The Islam Channel has hit back at a UK member of parliament who linked the channel to terror attacks in Vienna and Paris, saying her comments were “wholly unwarranted”.
The Rt. Hon. Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson whether the UK would “redouble our support for anti-extremism programmes like Prevent”, and whether the “prime minister share my concerns over UK based TV channels like Islam TV [Islam Channel]” which she said was “giving airtime to extremist preachers who justify anti-Semitism, wife beating and FGM”, in reference to female genital mutilation.
“We believe that it was wholly unwarranted for her to attempt to draw a link between Islam Channel and recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Vienna. Also, in her statement, she gave completely inaccurate information regarding a recent Ofcom fine imposed on Islam Channel,” the satellite channel said in a statement.
“This was a gross misrepresentation of the truth and had it been stated anywhere other than parliament would have been referred by us for legal action as a defamatory statement.”
Yesterday, UK media regulator Ofcom imposed a £20,000 ($26,140) fine on Islam Channel Ltd after charging it with failing to comply with broadcasting rules, claiming: “Ofcom’s Breach Decision found an episode of the programme The Rightly Guided Khalifas contained uncontextualized antisemitic hate speech which amounted to the abuse or derogatory treatment of Jewish people.”
However, after a response from the Islam Channel, Ofcom also said: “We do not consider that the evidence suggests the breaches occurred deliberately, recklessly or with the knowledge of Islam Channel’s senior management. We also note that there were some measures to identify potentially harmful material, but that these were evidently insufficient to prevent broadcast.”
In a statement, the Islam Channel said this programme was not produced in-house and was broadcast in a foreign language with subtitles. The views expressed were taken from a letter written in 1961.
“The episode had been marked as not fit for broadcast and was not broadcast as part of the initial premiere. On the date in question it was broadcast in error due to a mistake made by a junior member of staff. Islam Channel regrets that this programme was shown and twice voluntarily broadcast an apology to this effect.” it also said.