British broadcast regulatory authority Ofcom ruled that Shia Muslim TV channel Ahlebait was guilty of “antisemitic hate speech” in response to Community Security Trust (CST) complaints it received.
Ofcom said the Shia Muslim station broadcast material that “amounted to antisemitic hate speech” and was “abusive and derogatory towards Jewish people,” the UK Jewish News reported.
The ruling came after Ofcom looked into complaints made by the CST over a live discussion show that aired in March 2021. During a discussion on “20th Hour” about money and power, one of the guests spoke about Jews, saying: ”Their antisemitism comes from their actions of impoverishing people and they then respond and then they call it antisemitism but we know that it’s because they do and they get punished and as Allah says, you know, he will expel... send them to all corners of the world to be an excoriation and a hissing and a booing to wherever he had sent them.... So antisemitism comes from debt, not cancelling the debt, and usury.”
He added this was why Jews had been “expelled from 47 different countries and city-states in the last one thousand years.”
The host of the show called the antisemitic statements “interesting” and then claimed that “money is being weaponized” by the US.
Another guest said: “It’s worth just noting that antisemitism was created by Theodor Herzl at the back end of the 19th century in order to frighten and create the circumstances that would encourage Jews to migrate to Israel so antisemitism is actually a Jewish creation.”
Ofcom said they had investigated the program for three violations of regulations: hate speech, material that is derogatory towards a religion, and breaching acceptable standards.
In their ruling, Ofcom said: “In the context of a program in which all three contributors were united in advocating a fairer society, speaking from positions of moral certainty and with the dual status conferred on the guests of both religious and secular experts, there was, in our view, increased potential for viewers to have given particular weight to the contributors’ views and taken seriously the hatred expressed against Jewish people.”
In a statement, Ahlebait replied that the channel’s purpose was to “facilitate understanding between contemporary Islamic thought and the world.”
The channel also apologized for the antisemitic content, stating it was “highly regrettable and should never have been broadcast.”
The channel also issued an on-air apology in June 2021: ”The channel sincerely regrets that these potentially offensive antisemitic remarks were broadcast and apologizes.”