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Ofcom fines Noor TV £75,000

UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom has fined Mohiuddin Digital Television £75,000 (€88,500) for “for failing to provide adequate protection for viewers” after it aired potentially offensive and harmful content on its Noor TV channel.

In a 15-page report on Urdu-language Noor TV’s breach, Ofcom said that on November 17th 2015, the Licensee broadcast the second instalment of a series of four programmes which had been recorded at the Urs Nehrian festival in Pakistan that had taken place in June 2015. The programme consisted of 15 religious scholars and preachers addressing an assembled congregation with short sermons, homilies and poetic verses.

Ofcom noted that one of the religious scholars recounted a parable in which he stated that the Prophet Muhammed had commanded his followers that “whoever amongst you comes across a Jew, they should slay him immediately”. The speaker then recounted how one individual immediately killed a Jewish trader with whom he had long standing business relations. The speaker held this out as the “highest form of religious obedience”.

Ofcom added that it considered that [the religious scholar] Allama Sialvi’s speech, particularly due to his standing and authority within the Muslim community, involved clear potential to cause significant offence as it held up in unequivocal terms the killing of a Jewish person as an example of devotion and obedience within the context of the Islamic faith. “We also considered that the content had the potential to cause harm by portraying the murder of Jewish people in highly positive terms and promoting a highly negative anti-Semitic attitude towards Jewish people,” said Ofcom.

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