“The television program left some wondering how the Pakistani preacher, who claims that Jews control the world through a secret conspiracy involving financial institutions, made it on to Canada’s government-regulated airwaves.” Uh huh.
“VisionTV defends airing ‘jihad’ lecture,” by Stewart Bell in the National Post (thanks to all who sent this in):
TORONTO “¢ VisionTV says it will monitor one of its shows more closely after it broadcast a lecture by an Islamic preacher who said scripture requires Muslims to either fight jihad or finance it.
The multi-faith channel, available in 7.8 million Canadian homes, said it took the precaution following a complaint about last Saturday’s broadcast of a lecture by the Pakistani fundamentalist.
In the hour-long talk, Israr Ahmad said, “Jihad in the way of Allah, for the cause of Allah, can be pursued either with your financial resources or your bodily strength when you go to fight the enemy in the battlefield.
“So jihad, the highest form, is fighting in the cause of Allah.”
Mr. Ahmad runs a seminary and bookstore in Lahore, Pakistan, and his writings foresee the “global domination of Islam,” compare Jews to “parasites,” describe the Holocaust as “divine punishment” and predict the “total extermination” of Jews.
His followers in Canada include terror suspect Qayyum Abdul Jamal, who was arrested last summer for his alleged role in a plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto.
According to Mr. Jamal’s wife, Mr. Ahmad was her husband’s teacher and mentor.
The television program left some wondering how the Pakistani preacher, who claims that Jews control the world through a secret conspiracy involving financial institutions, made it on to Canada’s government-regulated airwaves.
“Israr Ahmad is widely known for his hateful words and vilification of Jews,” said Canadian Jewish Congress spokesman Bernie Farber. “We are deeply concerned that Vision would give this individual the imprimatur of Vision’s credibility. It was a mistake in judgment and ought to concern all of us.”
VisionTV’s code of ethics forbids the broadcast of programs that glorify or incite violence or “have the effect of provoking or abetting domestic or international religious or political conflicts.”
The broadcaster acknowledged that the show, Dil Dil Pakistan, had talked about jihad and fighting but said it did not contravene the station’s policies against incitement because the comments were made in a historical context. But it said the show would be monitored more closely.
“We have essentially a system of flagging shows when complaints are made, where we’ll watch subsequent episodes even more carefully than we otherwise do, and take extra care and caution. So that’s certainly the case here,” said Mark Prasuhn, VisionTV’s chief operating officer and vice-president of programming.
Toronto resident Mindy Alter, however, said the message came through loud and clear when she tuned in to the show, which aired from 3 to 4 p.m. on July 14.
“The part about the jihad, he said very specifically that it is incumbent upon Muslims to wage jihad against their enemies until Islam rules supreme over the world,” Mrs. Alter said.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think that belonged over the airwaves of Canadian TV…. You can put that in whatever context you like. To me that’s preaching jihad.”
Responded Mr. Prasuhn: “Definitely, the viewer is correct. [Mr. Ahmad] does make the point about, you either contribute financially or through your body, and he uses the word fight. But none of this, as far as I could see, is in any way correlated or referenced to the present day. It is strictly a historical context and reading of the Koran by a Koranic scholar.”
Mr. Ahmad is not just a religious scholar. He heads a self-described “revolutionary” organization called Tanzeem-e Islami, which wants to turn Pakistan into a fundamentalist Islamic state.
In his book Lessons From History, he writes that the revival of Islam will begin in Pakistan, because it is the only country that “has the potential for standing up against the nefarious designs of the global power-brokers and to resist the rising tides of the Jewish/Zionist hegemony.”
Islam will come to rule in four stages, he claims: the Ultimate World War in the Middle East, the appearance of the anti-Christ, the extermination of the Jews and the “domination of Islam, over the entire globe.”
Canadian Muslim Congress founder Tarek Fatah said Mr. Ahmad “is allied to the ultra-conservative Islamists of Pakistan. His weekly TV rants are targeted primarily at fellow Muslims, urging them to segregate themselves from non-Muslims. He is also a promoter of the doctrine of jihad, as in armed warfare against non-Muslims.”
Mr. Prasuhn said the show was screened before it was aired and that no problems were identified. He said he watched the show again after receiving a complaint on Monday and did not see a problem….