Islamic TV channel that called gay people ‘insane’ and ‘worse than animals’ breached Ofcom regulations

Peace TV, which airs on Sky, also said magicians should be killed and underage girls being married off was no problem

Colin Drury
Tuesday 23 July 2019 17:22 BST
Evangelical Islamic TV channel which broadcast show calling homosexuality 'insane' found in breach of Ofcom regulations

An Islamic TV station which has aired programmes calling homosexuality “insane” and gay people “worse than animals” could be stripped of its UK broadcasting licence after breaching Ofcom regulations.

Peace TV, which is available as a digital channel on Sky, also called for magicians to be killed and said underage girls being married off was “no problem at all”.

The Dubai-based channel may now be taken off air in the UK after watchdog Ofcom found four of its programmes had breached regulations on inciting crime, hate speech and abuse.

One show, called Strengthening Your Family, The Valley of the Homosexuals, said homosexuality was “a very unnatural type of love that is energised by the influence of [Satan]”. The programme, which aired in March 2018, also made reference to gay people dying “from a disease they contracted because they are homosexual”.

Presenter Imam Qasim Khan told viewers: “Men marrying men, being on television in front of our children, kissing each other in the mouth, walking down the street, hugging and kissing – this society has gone insane.”

He added: “Even an animal that is defiled by Islam, the pig – as nasty and corrupted and contaminated as a pig is – you never see two male pigs that are trying to have sex together. That’s insanity. These are animals. Human beings are supposed to be dignified, they’re thinking beings.”

The channel also broadcast a programme in November 2017 with a scholar discussing execution for those who practise magic, or sahir.

“The correct reliable and majority opinion is that the punishment for a sahir is that the person should be killed,” said scholar Shaikh Ashfaque Salafi. “I want to make it clear that the magician’s art or the practice of magic cannot be forgiven by way of repentance.

“To save his life he may seek repentance and get away with it, but at the first opportunity when he has a dispute with someone, he will use his magic skills.

“For that reason, for the benefit of all, it is better to cut it out from its roots.”

Ofcom recorded two further breaches: one where a programme said those who left Islam should be punished by death and a second where it was said girls under 18 getting married was “no problem at all”, even if local laws forbid it.

A fifth programme was investigated and found not to be in breach.

But Lord Production, which holds the licence for Peace TV, said all its programming was based on Islamic teachings.

It disagreed with Ofcom’s suggestion that Imam Khan’s views constituted hate speech arguing that he did not “call for violence or punishment of homosexuals” and that his aim was to “outlaw the practice of homosexuality itself”.

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The company further defended its programmes by saying they were “derived from a particular religious viewpoint, of which its viewers would be aware, and that such programming includes advice to those viewers as to how to lead their lives”.

It added: “It should therefore not be surprising if, at times, such advice causes offence to different sections of the public.”

The controversial channel, founded in 2006, is banned from broadcasting in India and Bangladesh.

Ofcom said it will now consider possible sanctions but, under section three of its own code, it does reserve the right to ban broadcasters that repeatedly promote “crime, disorder, hatred and abuse”.

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