Ofcom rejects Hizb ut-Tahrir’s complaint against Panorama

Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, has rejected a complaint of unfairness made by the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain against the BBC.

Hizb ut-Tahrir lodged a protest against a Panorama programme in October last year presented by a former member, Shiraz Maher.

One of its complaints concerned a claim that Omar Sharif, the would-be British suicide bomber who was involved in a fatal attack on a Tel Aviv bar, had been influenced by the group.

Sharif's fellow Briton, Asif Hanif, killed three people with a suicidal attack on Mike's Place in 2003, but his own device failed to go off and his body was found on a beach a few days later.

Ofcom said that it "concluded that the claim that Mr Sharif was influenced by Hizb ut-Tahrir ideology was based on the testimony of credible witnesses (one of whom was a former senior member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and another who had first-hand knowledge of Mr Sharif) and it was made clear that he was also subject to influences other than Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain".

The programme had made it clear that Sharif's violent actions were influenced by "another social group".
Ofcom also found in favour of the BBC in other aspects of the complaint brought by Hizb ut-Tahrir.

    Last updated: 11:30am, September 4 2008