Ofcom has cleared the Steve Sutherland programme on Galaxy of being in breach of the media regulator’s code after he played a track by rapper Busta Rhymes that included a quotation from the Qur’an.
The track, Arab Money, a remix that contained a segment of the opening verses of the Qur’an drew complaints that their inclusion was both offensive and blasphemous. In its original form, the song contained only nonsensical Arab-sounding lines not an actual quote from the holy text.
In Sutherland’s defence, Global Radio claimed the track had already been aired on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra plus the fact that the production team had taken into account Rhymes’ background as a Muslim. Global also took a number of steps following the broadcast including on-air apologies, seeking advice from the Muslim Council of Britain and instigating an internal investigation.
In its ruling, Ofcom, while acknowledging the remix might have upset certain members of the Muslim community was keen to note the immediate and extensive steps taken by both Global and Galaxy, the context in which it was played – on a specialist black music show – and that Galaxy apologised for any unintentional offence caused by the remix.