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TV & Radio

Ofcom fines TV channel DM Digital for broadcasting 'duty to kill' speech by Islamic scholar


A television channel has been hit with a hefty fine after broadcasting a speech by an Islamic scholar who said Muslims had “a duty to kill” anyone who insulted the prophet.

Communications watchdog Ofcom levied the fine, totalling £105,000, after it found DM Digital had twice breached the broadcasting code.

The Manchester-based channel, which says it has a worldwide audience of 30 million, describes itself as bringing "Asian and English cultures closer by integrating its people, the cultural diversity, communities and the economy".

Ofcom's report cited a programme called Rehmatul Lil Alameen which was broadcast on October 9 2011, and which featured a live lecture which it said was "likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder".

It stated some of the scholar's comments could be seen as "a generic call to all Muslims encouraging or inciting them to criminal action or disorder, by unambiguously stating that they had a duty to kill anyone who criticises or insults the Prophet Mohammed and apostates".

The lecturer also praised the introduction of a blasphemy law in Pakistan and the murder of a prominent politician who opposed it.

Ofcom fined the channel £85,000 and ordered them not to repeat the broadcast.

The channel was also criticised for its coverage of a UK-based conference later the same year which Ofcom said offered a "one-sided" view of political violence in Karachi and singled out remarks by the channel's chief executive, Dr Liaqat Malik, for criticism.

It was fined £20,000 in that instance.