British Muslims are wary of interference by regulators in their Ramadan broadcasts. “UK regulator accused of interfering in Radio Ramadan broadcasts,” from the Islamic Republic News Agency, with thanks to Twostellas:
Local Ramadan radio stations begin their annual broadcasts across Britain next week amid fears of being charged with breaching a new code of standards introduced by the communications regulator, Ofcom, in July.
According to Muslim News, applicants for a record 82 Restrictive Service Licenses (RSL’s) have expressed concern about undue interference by the regulator.
“Ofcom has stated that they would like to work with radio Ramadans about the contents of the programs,” one applicant was quoted saying.
Another described the undue interference as “religious
discrimination,” saying Ofcom had “set of rules for Muslims and another for the rest.”…
Is that so? So Ofcom allows Methodists and Anglicans to preach the violent overthrow of the British government and its replacement by a draconian legal code that institutionalizes discrimination against women and nonbelievers? Somehow I have missed that little factoid.
Particular unease relates to a clause on ‘harm and offense,’ which states that programs must not include material which “condones or glamorizes violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behavior and is likely to encourage others to copy such behavior.”
In the current climate of the government’s anti-terrorism focus on so-called ‘extremism’ in the Muslim community, fears were expressed about the definition of “seriously antisocial behavior.”
But Ofcom denied that the implementation of its new code had anything with anti-terrorism measures following July’s London bombings.
“The new code is not terrorism related. The new code was actually formulated in May, a good two months before the London attacks,” a spokesman told the Muslim News.
First time RSL applicant Mohammed Anwar, who will be in charge of Nelson’s APNY Nawaz station in north-west England, said that like many others, it would also be difficult to assess the interpretation of inflammatory comments from the merely controversial views.
“We’ve briefed our staff to scan the callers in phone-ins. For example, they’ve been told to cut [off] anybody who promotes terrorism,” Anwar said.
How extreme! How intolerant! How positively nasty of the British authorities!
Ghulam Hussain, applicant for High Wycombe’s Radio Ramzan, west of London, also said that there was a “little confusion” after being sent a letter about the codes.
In a forward of the new code, Ofcom Content Board Chair, Richard Hooper, insisted that rights of free expression came with “duties and responsibilities” and said the code were in the light of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights.” But Ejaz Siddique, administrating for Radio Ramadhan Birmingham, in central England spoke of the importance of programs interpreting the Qur’an and said his station was “not going to shy away from talking about jihad.”