British Muslim TV head arrested for 'terrorism'

January 28, 2010

The head of Britain’s main Muslim television channel, Mohamed Ali Harrath, who is wanted by Interpol for alleged terrorism offences, was arrested by South African police this week.

Harrath, 46, faced deportation to Tunisia, which has an extradition treaty with Pretoria, but was released after two days because of doubts about the validity of the arrest warrant.

Well-known in Britain because of his TV station the Islam Channel, Harrath has reportedly advised Scotland Yard on Islamic extremism. After being released, he told the South Africa Press Association: “There’s just a feeling that injustice has been done.

"This was an issue from 20 years ago, a political matter that happened back in Tunisia. I was fighting for justice and I am proud of what I did.”

Harrath’s supporters attributed his arrest to a security clampdown in the run-up to the World Cup.

Harrath has made controversial statements about Jews. For example, on IslamOnline he wrote: “I blame Zionists to be [sic] the enemies of Islam and Muslims because they always opt for supporting wars.”

Last updated: 4:40pm, January 28 2010