Islam Channel to appeal Ofcom Hamas bias ruling

The Islam Channel will appeal against an Ofcom ruling that found it has an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas bias.

The broadcasting regulator made the ruling last week 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.

In a statement released today, the London-based channel said: “Given the media frenzy and sensational headlines which accompanied the launch of the Quillam Foundation Report back in March and the resultant substantial pressure imposed on Ofcom, it must have been particularly difficult for Ofcom to exercise complete objectivity in their judgment.”

It called the Quilliam Foundation a “fundamentalist organisation whose corrosive techniques of misinformation and the publication of what can best be described as junk research has rightly earned them the contempt and disregard of most liberal and reasonable minded Muslim and non-Muslim organisations and individuals.”

It quoted a 2004 study which found a “profound bias 2:1 in favour of the Israeli position within mainstream media.

The statement said: “It is in fact the position of Islam Channel that we have a journalistic obligation to work against what is clearly a crude in-balance in reporting of this conflict - not least in recognition of the 'consensus viewpoint of the majority of our viewers' and it is our every intention to appeal this ruling.”

Ofcom also found the channel advocated marital rape, justified violence against women and described women who wore perfume as ‘prostitutes’.

In 2007, the channel was fined £30,000 for using a local election candidate and mayoral candidate as presenters, breaching the broadcasting code.

The Islam Channel is now requested to attend a meeting with the regulator to explain and discuss its compliance processes further.

Last updated: 4:10pm, November 15 2010