Fury at a fundraiser for 'racist radio'

By Dana Gloger, June 6, 2008

A charity event in South London next month to raise money for a Polish radio station widely regarded as antisemitic has sparked anger.

Staunchly religious Radio Maryja, which describes itself as a “Catholic voice in your home”, is Poland’s most popular radio station, attracting around a million listeners daily.

It was set up in 1991 by Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, 63, a priest often accused of being antisemitic. In 2005, he urged listeners to vote for the right-wing Law and Justice party.

In 2006, the Vatican said it was uneasy after presenter Stanislaw Michalkiewicz claimed that Poland was “being outmanoeuvred by Judeans who are trying to force our government to pay extortion money disguised as compensation”.

The station, financed largely through private donations, is planning the fundraising event on July 5.

The event has provoked concern from the Community Security Trust. Its spokesman said: “We are keenly aware of Radio Maryja’s antisemitism and extremism. In recent years, CST has made a number of representations regarding Radio Maryja, including to the Polish ambassador to the UK and the Security Commissioner of the European Union. The station’s presence in the UK is obviously a matter of concern to us and we have no wish for it to be fundraising here.”

Last updated: 10:59am, June 5 2008