Ofcom rule against pro-Hamas Islam Channel

By Robyn Rosen, November 8, 2010
Azad Ali

Azad Ali

The Islam Channel has been found in breach of the UK broadcasting code by Ofcom after it found the London-based channel to have an anti Israel, pro-Hamas bias.

The broadcasting regulator made the ruling today following a report on the channel’s output by the Quilliam Foundation, a London-based counter terrorism think tank.

Ofcom criticised the channel’s coverage of international affairs and of the Middle East conflict for breaching rules on impartiality.

Ofcom ruled the Ummah Talk programme, hosted by Azad Ali, who has previously praised the Hamas leadership, failed to present or seek to explain the views of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, an outspoken opponent of Hamas.

The Politics and Beyond programme, hosted by Muslim Brotherhood supporter Anas al-Tikriti, was also found guilty of similar breaches in relation to the Middle East conflict.

Ofcom ruled: “Just because a particular viewpoint on an issue of political or industrial controversy or matter relating to current public policy is likely to be supported by the overwhelming majority of a channel’s audience (or various international and political institutions) does not obviate the need for broadcasters to comply with section five of the code [impartiality].”

Talal Rajab, the author of the Islam Channel report, entitled Re-Programming British Muslims, said the ruling was “richly deserved”.

Ofcom also found the channel advocated marital rape, justified violence against women and described women who wore perfume as ‘prostitutes’ and has requested a meeting to discuss its compliance with the code.

Last updated: 4:27pm, November 8 2010