Notice of Licence Revocation
Iman Media UK Limited
Iman FM is a community radio station broadcasting to the Muslim community in Sheffield and the surrounding areas. The licence for this service is held by Iman Media UK Limited.
This revocation concerns the broadcast of a number of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki throughout the holy month of Ramadan. In breach decisions published on 5 July 2017 and 27 July 20174, Ofcom found that the broadcast of the lectures breached a
number of rules including Rule 3.1 of the Code:
Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.
Ofcom considered the breaches of Rule 3.1 to be extremely serious. Ofcom wrote in the Complaints Bulletin:
In Ofcom's view the cumulative effect was to condone, promote and encourage violent behaviour towards non-Muslim people. Further, the lectures appeared to link violent acts of the past with actions that might potentially be taken today.
Ofcom took the view that the content therefore amounted to a call to action which was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder.
It is also our view the material amounted to hate speech, as it was both abusive and derogatory towards non-Muslim people, and in particular, Jewish people. In our view, this content had clear potential to be highly offensive
Under section 111B of the Broadcasting Act 1990, in certain circumstances Ofcom may suspend a licence if the licence holder has broadcast material likely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime or lead to disorder. After considering the
Licensee’s representations, Ofcom may then revoke the licence if it is satisfied it is necessary in the public interest to do so.
Ofcom served a suspension notice on the Licensee on 4 July 2017.
In Ofcom’s view the contraventions of the Code and the Licensee’s compliance failures were so extremely serious, and the Licensee’s conduct was so extremely reckless, that we had no confidence that the Licensee would be capable of complying with
its licence conditions or that similar breaches would be prevented in the future. On this basis, in Ofcom’s view it was necessary in the public interest to revoke the licence and proportionate to decide that these breaches and failures justified
Ofcom also considered that the Licensee’s failures rendered it unfit to hold a broadcast licence.