UK Islamic TV Station Fined for Encouraging Murder
Noor TV, an Islamic television station which broadcasts from the UK, has been fined £85,000 (more than $130,000) for comments inciting murder made by one of its presenters during a call-in show.
In December, Ofcom - Britain's media regulating body - ruled that the station had breached broadcasting codes after Presenter Allama Muhammad Farooq Nizami urged Muslims to murder anyone who disrespects the Islamic prophet Mohammed.
"There is no disagreement about this," he said at the time. "There is absolutely no doubt about it that the punishment for the person who shows disrespect for the Prophet is death."
Nizami also justified the murder of a Pakistani politician who had called for changes to the country's "blasphemy laws." Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri in 2011.
The channel had claimed in its defense that the presenter in question had not been inciting people to commit murder per-sa, but rather "to take responsibility to become involved where they see disrespect to the Prophet," according to the BBC.
That said, they admitted that Nizami's comments were "totally unforeseen and could not be anticipated."
Nizami was fired in May for "promoting personal political opinion and supporting a violent act" during the program.
This is not the first time a Muslim channel in the UK has been fined for such an offense.
In July, the DM Digital channel was fined £85,000, for broadcasting a speech by an Islamic cleric who said Muslims had "a duty to kill" anyone who insulted Muhammad.
In 2012 Press TV - the Iranian government's English-language state TV channel - was banned in the UK after airing the forced "confession" of journalist Maziar Bahari, who was arrested during the 2009 popular protests against the Islamist regime there.