November 8th, 2010
11:26 AM ET

Islam Channel breaks British broadcast rules, regulator says

Editor's Note: From CNN's Richard Allen Greene

Britain's Islam Channel broke broadcasting regulations by condoning marital rape, encouraging violence against women, and promoting an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas line, the country's broadcast regulator Ofcom ruled Monday.

One violation came during an advice program in which a female caller asked if a woman could hit her husband back if he was beating her. The host, as part of his answer, said the most a husband could do was hit her with a stick the size of a pen "just to make her feel that you are not happy with her."

The same host said in another program that for a woman to wear perfume when praying in a mosque made her a prostitute in the eyes of the Prophet Mohammed.

Another violation took place in a discussion about an Afghan law that, critics say, allows men to rape their wives.

"To refuse relations would harm a marriage," a guest on the program said.

The Islam Channel "does not condone or encourage violence toward women under any circumstances," the broadcaster told Ofcom during the investigation.

But the author of a report into the channel said it promotes "a fringe and intolerant form of Islam."

"It is only right that the Islam Channel has been held to account," said Talal Rajab of the Quilliam Foundation. He wrote its report "Re-programming British Muslims" this year.

The channel's agenda "risks having a negative effect not only on British Muslim communities but also on relations between Muslims and non-Muslims," he said.

But, he added, "there are encouraging signs that the channel is now making efforts to improve its output and to give greater airtime to a wider range of more mainstream Muslim voices."

Ofcom asked channel representatives to meet the regulator "to explain and discuss" how it plans to comply with rules, saying broadcasters must not cause offense and must be politically impartial.

Ofcom investigated a number of programs broadcast by the London-based satellite channel in 2008 and 2009 after the examination of the station by the Quilliam Foundation, which calls itself an "anti-extremism think tank."

Ofcom found violations of the code in five programs.

The Islam Channel did not respond to a CNN request for comment.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Britain • Courts • Europe • Islam • Muslim • TV

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    That is not right to do and this TV Channel has been taken over by people with zero knowledge of true meaning of Islam or are a propaganda by extremists that Britain found her self unable to withdraw their nationality and send them out of the country,although they very well know that those she is shielding under here nationality have filled the world with terror activities and conspiracy exported by them? But it is either Britain is benefiting through them some thing or they got so powerful inside that now Britain can not drive them out...before they spoil all Muslims with will or against will.

    November 8, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  2. Iqbal khan

    A very informative book, "What Jesus Really Say" many lectures and articles download for free...

    November 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  3. leciat

    ah yes the religion of tolerance and peace once again shows the ignorant infidel the "true" face of islam. at least europe is finally waking up...wonder what it will take for america to do the same...the cold blooded murder of 3000 people doesn't seem to have done the trick

    November 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • Ed from NY

      And killing 500,000 + is not enough for you?

      November 12, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  4. TheRationale

    Yes, Islam, telling the world why ignorant, unsubstantiated dogmas that directly confront modern ethics and scientific reality are such wonderful ideas.

    November 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  5. Reality

    From Sir Salman Rushdie's book Satanic Verses- one page that captures the essence of Islam:

    Mahound = Mohammed
    Gibreel = Gabriel

    "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

    Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

    It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

    Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

    He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

    And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

    This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so
    how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

    November 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  6. RZ

    Why won't Ofcom go and investigate the British channels in all of the racist and hateful propaganda that it spreads. Bunh of phony hypocrites.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  7. Vrodel

    condoning marital ra-pe, encouraging violence against women, and promoting an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas line
    Sounds like Islam, all right.
    That "C'on" book is needing a bit of lighter fluid. No Muslims need apply for the job of book burner, nor Christians, either.
    Paper covered in the words of men who pretend to speak for a god – burning sounds useful. The winter months are cold.

    November 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.