Axe falls on charity which gave millions to TV channel that called Jews ‘cursed’ and ‘a cancer’

Peace TV, which has has repeatedly been condemned by Ofcom for broadcasting hate speech, is to be immediately dissolved on the orders of the Charity Commission


A charity that poured almost all its multi-million-pound income into a television station spewing out antisemitic content and support for terrorism is to be immediately dissolved on the orders of the Charity Commission.

Peace TV has repeatedly been condemned by Ofcom for broadcasting hate speech and encouraging “violence and dangerous or seriously anti-social behaviour”, in a series of ten separate rulings which were issued between 2009 and 2019.

In one 2016 ruling, Ofcom said that in Peace TV broadcasts “the terms used to describe Jewish people such as ‘like a cancer’, ‘evil genius’, ‘their poison’, ‘cursed people’, ‘cursed race’ were particularly strong and inflammatory”.

Based in Dubai, the group of channels broadcasts programmes in languages including Arabic, Urdu, Albanian, Chinese and English.

Following a two-year investigation, the Commission announced last week that Zakir Naik, the boss of both the channels and also the charity, Islamic Research Foundation International, and his fellow trustees were “responsible for repeated incidents of misconduct and/or mismanagement,” and “fundamental failures in governance” including severe “conflicts of interest”.

The Commission’s investigation report says that between 2015 and 2020, the charity gave £3.6 million to the station, amounting to 96 per cent of its income.
Naik is prohibited from holding office in any charity in future.

He was banned from entering Britain by the then-Home Secretary Theresa May in 2010 because of his extreme views, which included a statement that “all Muslims should be terrorists”.

He refused to describe the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a terrorist, on the grounds he “had not researched” him.

Naik appealed against Mrs May’s decision in a High Court judicial review, claiming his right to freedom of speech was being trampled on, but lost.

However, he continued to broadcast from the UAE and to use his UK-based charity to provide funding for Peace TV.

Many of the vicious antisemitic sermons by Urdu hate preacher Israr Ahmed which were finally removed from YouTube last month after being exposed by the JC were first shown on Peace TV.

In them, the preacher likened Jews to pigs and blamed them for the Holocaust.

He claimed in one Peace TV broadcast that the slaughter of Jewish people was “the mark of this cursed race, that does not take advantage of the opportunity to repent, which is why they are afflicted by great calamities and the example is what happened to them at the hands of the Germans”.

Following this, it emerged that the channel was being funded by the charity.
However, both continued to operate. The charity’s published accounts stated its “principal activity” was “securing donations for the continuation of Peace TV”.

In 2016, Peace TV was banned in Bangladesh after being blamed for inspiring a terrorist siege in Dhaka in which 29 people died.

The ringleader had posted inflammatory television sermons by Naik on social media, including his incendiary comment that all Muslims should be terrorists.

Peace TV last year claimed that its channels — which are broadcast in several languages — were reaching a global audience of 200 million.

The assistant director of the Charity Commission, Tim Hopkins, said after publication of the damning report: “This charity was mismanaged by its trustees, including through their failure to manage the charity’s relationship with Peace TV following Ofcom’s findings.

“The commission’s intervention has secured its dissolution.

“As part of our intervention, we determined that Dr Naik’s conduct makes him unfit to act as a trustee or hold senior management positions in any charity in England and Wales.”
Mr Hopkins added: “Our order protects charities by prohibiting him from acting.”

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