Ofcom issued a draft notice to suspend the broadcasting licence of Club TV Limited, after its channel Peace TV Urdu repeatedly rebroadcast material that we had previously found incited murder.
Ofcom has a duty to suspend a broadcast licence if we are
satisfied that the licensee has broadcast a programme likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime; that it has therefore contravened its licence conditions; and that the contravention justifies the revocation of the licence.
November 2019, having received Ofcom's draft suspension notice, Club TV surrendered its licence. Its sister company Lord Production Inc Limited, which held the licence to broadcast the English language Peace TV service, also surrendered its licence at
the same time.
The Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu services are no longer broadcasting.
Ofcom has rapped KTV, a channel broadcasting to UK Sikhs, for a show in March 2019, in which a viewer complained of material shown in the live discussion programme Panthak Masle .
Presented by Jagjit Singh Jeeta, it featured a panel of guest
contributors, five of whom were spiritual and community leaders. The topic of discussion was Harnek Singh, also referred to in the programme as Neki, a Sikh radio presenter resident in New Zealand who has been raising questions on and criticising various
aspects of the Sikh faith since 2013.
The viewer complained that the programme was likely to encourage or incite crime or violence. The complainant said that the programme tried to incite fear and terror towards Harnek Singh and included threats
of violence directed towards him.
KTV said that during the live discussion, the presenter was shocked -- and didn't expect this sort of language from such religious people. It said that the host initially did not know how to react but maintained
his professionalism and later did mention that these comments were not the views of KTV and that Ofcom would not appreciate them. KTV added that after the programme, the host was extremely upset as he felt he had been misled by the guests and was shocked
that such religious members of the community would behave in such a way.
Ofcom considered the Licensee failed to provide sufficient and effective challenge or context to the extreme views presented within this programme. For all the reasons, Ofcom
considered that the programme provided a platform for several guests to express views which amounted to indirect calls to action and were likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder. In Ofcom's view, this indicated a
fundamental lack of understanding of the Licensee's compliance obligations under the Code.
Ofcom considered the breaches in this case to be extremely serious. Ofcom has put KTV on notice that it will consider these breaches for the imposition of a
Ofcom has imposed a £25,000 fine on Greener Technology Ltd in relation to its service BEN TV for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules. It has also directed the licensee to not repeat the programme and to broadcast a summary of our findings on
On 28 January 2018, Ben TV broadcast Peter Popoff Ministries , a programme featuring footage from televangelist Peter Popoff's religious services. The programme contained frequent invitations for viewers to
order free miracle spring water and a number of testimonies from individuals who claimed, or strongly implied, using the water had cured serious illnesses, including cancer.
As set out in Ofcom's Decision published on 3 December
2018 in issue 367 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom considered that the claims made in the programme had the potential to cause harm to members of the audience who may have been led to believe that the miracle spring water alone was
sufficient to cure their health conditions and that it was unnecessary to rely on, or continue receiving, conventional medical treatment.
Ofcom concluded that Greener Technology Ltd did not take steps to provide adequate
protection for such viewers and there was a material risk that susceptible members of the audience may have been improperly exploited by the programme. Ofcom also concluded that the programme promoted a product -- the miracle spring water in breach of
the Broadcasting Code.
The Rightly Guided Khalifas Islam Channel, 11 November 2018, 23:00
Islam Channel is an Islamic-focused, English language satellite television channel broadcast in over 136 countries worldwide, including the UK. Its output
includes religious instruction programmes, current affairs, documentaries and entertainment programmes, all from an Islamic perspective.
The Rightly Guided Khalifas1 is a religious education series on the history of the Qur'an,
detailing its origins, its written compilation and the measures used to preserve its original wording.
During routine monitoring, Ofcom identified potentially antisemitic content during the programme. Eg
The graphic was shown at the same time as this narration. It appeared to be an on-screen graphic of a letter written in Arabic. Translated into English, it read: Israel, that was established on tyranny and oppression with its beliefs
and sacred aspects, continues to practice its troublemaking and continues with its poisonous acts with its attempt to change the meaning of the Qur'an. It wants the obliteration of our beliefs and religion and in this way, it continues to practice what
their forefathers had engaged in the past, particularly in their practice of changing the words in the past.6 Signed: Shaykh Al Azhar
We considered both the spoken content in Arabic about events in 1961 and the
English subtitles of that narration raised issues under the following Code rules:
Rule 3.2: Material which contains hate speech must not be included in television206programmes...except where it is justified by the
Rule 3.3: Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in television206services...except where it is justified by the context...
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to206discriminatory treatment or language
(for example on the grounds of206race, religion or belief...).
Ofcom Decision: Breaches of Rules 3.2, 3.3 and 2.3
The broadcast of this potentially very harmful and highly offensive
antisemitic content represents serious breaches of the Code.
We are putting the Licensee on notice that we will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.
The BBC's paranoia about causing offence has reached a new high
If the Naga Munchetty fiasco wasn't cause for enough embarrassment for the BBC, an apparent attempt to censor a script referring to a Sikh Guru's martyrdom for
fear it, might offend Muslims should certainly be. The Beeb's in-house thought police have driven Lord Singh to quit a radio slot he's contributed to for thirty-five years. It's a sorry state of affairs -- not just because it highlights a new high in BBC
paranoia on giving imagined offence to imaginary people, but because it demonstrates how historical facts (not just opinions) are not immune to censorship. In the end, the broadcast went ahead. It did not criticise Islam and unsurprisingly received no
There was a protest outside Chester's Storyhouse on Monday as the highly anticipated Rocky Horror Show opened in the city for its first night.
The iconic rock n roll musical which has been performed worldwide for the past 45 years and contains themes
including homosexuality and cross-dressing is one of the most popular shows in the history of theatre.
But not everyone shares this opinion. A group of christian protesters set up camp opposite the theatre, brandishing placards bearing Bible
quotes and shouting at audience members that they had dirty minds as they arrived. One sign read:
Be sure your sin will find you out.
Pastor Peter Simpson, minister of Penn Free Methodist Church,
was unhappy that the show focuses on themes including gender fluidity and homosexuality.
Earlier this month a pastor in Buckinghamshire handed a letter of protest into the Wycombe Swan theatre claiming the show to be 'a corruption of public
The Nazi Pug: Joke or Hate? is a BBC 3 documentary.
Markus Meechan (known on YouTube as Count Dankula) is the victim of a travesty of justice as he was found guilty of posting a YouTube video judged grossly offensive and containing
menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material. The video was a joke. but what does the prosecution of a YouTube comedian mean for freedom of expression. The BBC asks: is a censorious state overstepping the mark? Or are there some things you just shouldn't
BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Dan Murdoch (Britain's Forgotten Men; KKK: The Fight for White Supremacy) returns with this documentary following Markus as he explores London's comedy scene, to see what stand-ups can get away with, and why
there's a backlash against edgy humour.
Matthew Berlow, of Glasgow Friends of Israel, said of the BBC documentary:
Are we really at the stage when we can now laugh at the painful deaths of six million human
beings and call it edgy comedy?
Berlow has also called on YouTube to remove the original Count Dankula joke video that has
know been viewed 4.3 million times. He claimed that YouTube is perpetuating the crime that Meechan was convicted of.
Kitaab-ut-Tawheed, Part 59, Peace TV Urdu, 22 November 2017, 09:00
Strengthening Your Family: The Valley of the Homosexuals Episode 9, Peace TV, 1 1 March 2018, 11:30
Media and Islam, War or Peace?, Peace TV, 13 November 2017, 07:30 and 14:00
Better Half or Bitter Half, Peace TV, 13 November 2017, 18:30
Umdatul Akhaam, Part 162, Peace TV, 13 November 2017, 22:30
This Bulletin sets out Ofcom's Decisions on the five programmes above.
Peace TV Urdu's licence is held by Club TV Ltd. Peace TV's licence is held by Lord Production Inc Ltd. Both licensees are
majority controlled by Universal Broadcasting Corporation Limited1.
Through monitoring, Ofcom identified content raising issues under the Code in four of these programmes. We received a complaint about the other
In accordance with our published procedures, Ofcom watched all the programmes and took careful account of all the relevant information, including the individual facts of each case and the representations
made by the licensees.
Ofcom has decided that four of the five programmes breached the Code, and one did not. The reasons are set out in full in each of the corresponding decisions which follow this summary. We have
notified the relevant licensees that we will consider the breaches in two of the programmes, Kitaab-ut-Tawheed and Valley of the Homosexuals, for the imposition of statutory sanctions.
Kitaab-ut-Tawheed: A religious scholar gave a view on the practice of magic. The programme breached Rule 3.1 (incitement to crime), Rule 3.2 (hate speech), Rule 3.3 (abusive treatment) and Rule 2.3 (offence).
Strengthening Your Family: The Valley of the Homosexuals. The presenter discussed a religious perspective on homosexuality. The programme breached Rules 3.2 (hate speech), Rule 3.3 (abusive treatment) and Rule 2.3
Media and Islam, War or Peace?: The presenter gave a religious view on the punishment for apostasy. The programme breached Rules 3.2 (hate speech), Rule 3.3 (abusive treatment) and Rule 2.3
Better Half or Bitter Half: The presenter gave a religious view on child marriage. The programme breached Rule 2.3 (offence).
Part 162: The presenter discussed specific religious texts on prescribed punishments. We did not consider this programme was in breach of our rules.
Brian Leach, the man sacked by Asda for sharing a video clip of the comedian Billy Connolly mocking religion on social media has been reinstated. His dismissal last month caused nationwide outrage and lots of bad press for Asda.
sacked after a colleague complained that a sketch he shared, in which Connolly said religion is over and called suicide bombers wankers, was anti-Islamic.
The National Secular Society has been in touch with Leach throughout an internal appeals
process and has now learned that he has been given his job back. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said the decision was:
A victory for common sense. We welcome Asda's decision to reinstate Brian Leach, although this
case raises broader concerns about the extent to which employers can legitimately restrict their employees' freedom of expression on social media.
Leach had removed the relevant social media post and apologised to his colleagues
before he was sacked.
Exeter Cathedral has banned a Ukip candidate from taking part in hustings for Thursday's European elections.
Carl Benjamin, blogging as Sargon of Akkad, is the focus of a PC lynch mob after making a rape joke referencing Jess Phillips. He had
been due to speak at the event alongside other candidates for the South West England region on Wednesday evening.
In a statement, Exeter Cathedral justified the censorship supposedly being concerned about milk shakes being thrown. The church said:
Under the rules of the Electoral Commission, we may exclude candidates from a non-selective hustings for a number of reasons, including concerns about public order.
In this case, the cathedral
believes that the presence of one particular candidate may cause a risk to public order, given a number of incidents over the last few weeks. Ukip has been invited to send another candidate from its list of six candidates standing for election in the
South West region.
Ukip's Devon chair, Margaret Dennis, said the move was outrageous and an affront to democracy. She told DevonLive :
The hustings are either open for the public to discuss and
debate or it is an attempt to censor and restrict an opportunity to hear a range of views at this election.
She said Benjamin was an articulate and intelligent advocate not only for our party but for free speech.
Proposals for an official definition of 'Islamophobia' were rejected by the Government yesterday.
Downing Street said the suggested definition had not been broadly accepted, adding: This is a matter that will need further careful consideration. '
The definition had been proposed by a parliamentary campaign group, the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims. It wanted the Government to define Islamaphobia as rooted in racism or a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or
Ministers are now expected to appoint two independent advisers to draw up a less legally problematic definition, the Times reported.
A parliamentary debate on anti-Muslim prejudice is due to be held today in
The criticism of the definition has been published in an open letter to the Home Secretary Sajid Javid:
Open Letter: APPG Islamophobia Definition Threatens Civil Liberties
The APPG on British Muslims' definition of Islamophobia has now been adopted by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats Federal board, Plaid Cymru and the Mayor of London, as well as several local councils. All of this is occurring before the Home Affairs Select Committee has been able to assess the evidence for and against the adoption of the definition nationally.
Meanwhile the Conservatives are having their own debate about rooting out Islamophobia from the party.
According to the APPG definition, "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that
targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness".
With this definition in hand, it is perhaps no surprise that following the horrific attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand,
some place responsibility for the atrocity on the pens of journalists and academics who have criticised Islamic beliefs
and practices, commented on or investigated Islamist extremism.
The undersigned unequivocally, unreservedly and emphatically condemn acts of violence against Muslims, and recognise the urgent need to deal with anti-Muslim hatred.
However, we are extremely concerned about the uncritical and hasty adoption of the APPG's definition of Islamophobia.
This vague and expansive definition is being taken on without an adequate scrutiny or proper consideration of
its negative consequences for freedom of expression, and academic and journalistic freedom. The definition will also undermine social cohesion -- fuelling the very bigotry against Muslims which it is designed to prevent.
concerned that allegations of Islamophobia will be, indeed already are being, used to effectively shield Islamic beliefs and even extremists from criticism, and that formalising this definition will result in it being employed effectively as something of
a backdoor blasphemy law.
The accusation of Islamophobia has already been used against those opposing religious and gender segregation in education, the hijab, halal slaughter on the grounds of animal welfare, LGBT rights
campaigners opposing Muslim views on homosexuality, ex-Muslims and feminists opposing Islamic views and practices relating to women, as well as those concerned about the issue of grooming gangs. It has been used against journalists who investigate
Islamism, Muslims working in counter-extremism, schools and Ofsted for resisting conservative religious pressure and enforcing gender equality.
Evidently abuse, harmful practices, or the activities of groups and individuals which
promote ideas contrary to British values are far more likely to go unreported as a result of fear of being called Islamophobic. This will only increase if the APPG definition is formally adopted in law.
We are concerned that the
definition will be used to shut down legitimate criticism and investigation. While the APPG authors have assured that it does not wish to infringe free speech, the entire content of the report, the definition itself, and early signs of how it would be
used, suggest that it certainly would. Civil liberties should not be treated as an afterthought in the effort to tackle anti-Muslim prejudice.
The conflation of race and religion employed under the confused concept of 'cultural
racism' expands the definition beyond anti-Muslim hatred to include 'illegitimate' criticism of the Islamic religion. The concept of Muslimness can effectively be transferred to Muslim practices and beliefs, allowing the report to claim that criticism of
Islam is instrumentalised to hurt Muslims.
No religion should be given special protection against criticism. Like anti-Sikh, anti-Christian, or anti-Hindu hatred, we believe the term anti-Muslim hatred is more appropriate
and less likely to infringe on free speech. A proliferation of 'phobias' is not desirable, as already stated by Sikh and Christian organisations who recognise the importance of free discussion about their beliefs.
legislative provisions are sufficient, as the law already protects individuals against attacks and unlawful discrimination on the basis of their religion. Rather than helping, this definition is likely to create a climate of self-censorship whereby
people are fearful of criticising Islam and Islamic beliefs. It will therefore effectively shut down open discussions about matters of public interest. It will only aggravate community tensions further and is therefore no long term solution.
If this definition is adopted the government will likely turn to self-appointed 'representatives of the community' to define 'Muslimness'. This is clearly open to abuse. The APPG already entirely overlooked Muslims who are often
considered to be "insufficiently Muslim" by other Muslims, moderates, liberals, reformers and the Ahmadiyyah, who often suffer persecution and violence at the hands of other Muslims.
For all these reasons, the APPG
definition of Islamophobia is deeply problematic and unfit for purpose. Acceptance of this definition will only serve to aggravate community tensions and to inhibit free speech about matters of fundamental importance. We urge the government, political
parties, local councils and other organisations to reject this flawed proposed definition.
Emma Webb, Civitas
Hardeep Singh, Network of Sikh Organisations (NSOUK)
Lord Singh of Wimbledon
Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern
Stephen Evans, National Secular Society (NSS)
Sadia Hameed, Council of
Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)
Prof. Paul Cliteur, candidate for the Dutch Senate, Professor of Law, University of Leiden
Brendan O'Neill, Editor of Spiked
Maajid Nawaz, Founder, Quilliam International
Rt. Rev'd Dr Gavin
Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters
Professor Richard Dawkins
Rahila Gupta, author and Journalist
Peter Whittle, founder and director of New Culture Forum
Trupti Patel, President of Hindu
Forum of Britain
Dr Lakshmi Vyas, President Hindu Forum of Europe
Harsha Shukla MBE, President Hindu Council of North UK
Tarang Shelat, President Hindu Council of Birmingham
Ashvin Patel, Chairman, Hindu Forum
Ana Gonzalez, partner at Wilson Solicitors LLP
Baron Desai of Clement Danes
Baroness Cox of Queensbury
Lord Alton of Liverpool
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
Ade Omooba MBE, Co-Chair National
Church Leaders Forum (NCLF)
Wilson Chowdhry, British Pakistani Christian Association
Ashish Joshi, Sikh Media Monitoring Group
Satish K Sharma, National Council of Hindu Temples
Rumy Hasan, Academic and author
Amina Lone, Co-Director, Social Action and Research Foundation
Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Seyran Ates, Imam
Gina Khan, One Law for All
Mohammed Amin MBE
Mosbacher, Acting Editor, Standpoint Magazine
Lisa-Marie Taylor, CEO FiLiA
Julie Bindel, journalist and feminist campaigner
Dr Adrian Hilton, academic
Neil Anderson, academic
Tom Holland, historian
Prof. Dr. Bassam Tibi, Professor Emeritus for International Relations, University of Goettingen
The Saatchi Gallery in London has censored works featuring an Islamic declaration of faith after complaints from Muslim visitors who claimed the artworks were blasphemous.
The Gallery is hosting an exhibition of new material by the artist SKU
featuring a variety of works. However, it decided to censor the two 'offending' paintings that incorporated the text of the shahada, juxtaposed with images of a partially nude women with the background of a stylised US flag .
SKU suggested that
the works should remain on the gallery wall but be covered up with sheets. He told the Sunday Times that it seemed a respectful solution that enables a debate about freedom of expression versus the perceived right not to be offended.
Gallery told the newspaper it fully supported freedom of artistic expression ...[BUT]... The gallery also recognises the sincerity of the complaints made against these works and supported the artist's decision to cover them until the end of
Offsite Comment: We must have the right to blaspheme against Islam
Ofcom has imposed a £75,000 fine on City News Network for failing to provide adequate protection for viewers.
The service Channel 44 -- an Urdu-language news and current affairs channel -- broadcast hate speech and material
containing abusive treatment of the Ahmadiyya community.
Under the Broadcasting Code, licensees must not broadcast material which contains uncontextualised hate speech and abusive treatment of groups, religions or communities.
After an investigation, Ofcom concluded that the serious nature of the breaches of the Broadcasting Code warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions. These include a financial penalty and a direction to the broadcaster to
broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.
The fine of £75,000 will be paid by City News Network to HM Paymaster General.
BBC News staff have been told not to tweet personal views after an LGBT debate on Question Time. The BBC has emailed all news staff warning they could face internal sanctions if they express strong political views on Twitter.
presenter Ben Thompson was among the staff at the broadcaster who publicly criticised Question Time last week for allowing an audience member to ask the question: Is it morally right that five-year-old children learn about LGBTQ+ issues in school?
The question referenced muslim protests at Birmingham and Manchester aschools where young children are being taught about diversity and family life.
Many LGBT members of staff at the BBC have privately told the Guardian of anger within the
newsroom at how the BBC has allowed to turn the issue into a valid debate.
The BBC's director of news, Fran Unsworth, told staff :
We all have personal views, but it is part of our role with the BBC to keep
those views private, she said in an email to staff. Our editorial guidelines say BBC staff must not advocate any particular position on a matter of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other 'controversial subject'. That applies to
all comments in the public domain, including on social media. There is no real distinction between personal and official social media accounts.
We are living in a period of highly polarised opinions on a range of subjects and the
BBC frequently faces criticism for the way we report and analyse events, with our impartiality called into question.
Many of these criticisms are unfounded and we are prepared to defend ourselves robustly where necessary. We also
need to make sure our own house is in order.
Christian Concern writes a long article criticising the relaxation of UK obscenity law and concludes:
We need your help to monitor the mainstreaming of sado-masochism and extreme pornography in British society from now on.
Christians have a unique calling to shed the light of the Gospel on this problem, and to provide a witness to redemption in a society that has completely lost its way regarding sexual ethics.
Lords of Chaos is a UK / Sweden thriller by Jonas Åkerlund. Starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen and Sky Ferreira.
A teenager's quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in
Oslo in the 1980s Members of the Norwegian death metal band perform a series of increasingly shocking publicity stunts leading to a very violent outcome.
It is based on real-life band Mayhem, and includes scenes of murder
including the brutal killing of a homosexual man - and the burning of churches by satanists.
The latest most controversial film ever has been passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong bloody violence, gore, suicide.
the Telegraph the BBFC are understood to have been so concerned about the film that it was reviewed at the highest levels and suicide prevention experts were consulted before it was approved for an 18 certificate.
The Telegraph suggests the US
film censors at the MPAA were similarly concerned before rating it R for strong brutal violence, disturbing behavior, grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, and pervasive language.
The BBFC said the film did not glamorise self-harm and
that there was no reason to think the film would have a damaging effect on adults who chose to view it - although some might find it distressing.
Church groups have, however, have called for it to be banned. Speaking to The Telegraph, Simon
Calvert, deputy director of The Christian Institute, said he was surprised the film had not been banned given the recent discussion about self-harm. He said:
In the current climate of concern over self-harm and
suicide, you would have thought there might have been more consideration of the risk that vulnerable people might imitate what they see. The distributors ought to be asking themselves if it is worth this risk.'
The film is being
distributed in the United Kingdom by Arrow Films and will be released in cinemas on 29th March.
Nervous BBC chiefs once forced Russell Howard to rewrite a joke -- in case it offended ISIS.
Speaking on his Sky One show The Russell Howard Hour , the stand-up said: A while back I worked for the BBC and I did a piece about the Paris
attacks when I said Isis weren't Muslims, they were terrorists -- and the crowd cheered.
And then, at the end of the show, the BBC lost their mind, [saying] "You need to re-record it! You need to say Isis aren't *devout* Muslims."
I was like, "Are you worried we are going to offend Isis?" Are they going to write in?"
When the routine was broadcast on his former BBC show, Russell Howard's Good News , the words devout Muslims were used, in keeping
with the executives' wishes.
Update: Even woke comics aren't safe
PC is bad for comedy of all political persuasions.
The TV censor Ofcom has announced that it is investigating Peace TV over a programme with an islamic preacher saying that fathers should push daughter's into marriage.
During an interview on religious discussion show Marriage and Divorce, Haitham al-Haddad, a Saudi-born Islamic preacher, said fathers should push and convince their daughters to get married. He also suggested women who were unmarried in their thirties would not receive good proposals in the amount and qualities. (Of course people have been citing the traditional adage for a long while before Peace TV turned up:
And while ye may, go marry: For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry).
Haddad has previously been widely criticised for calling homosexuality an evil crime - and showing his apparent support for female genital mutilation.