Radio Dawn has been fined £2,000 for breaching its community radio licence, after saying violent acts committed against non-Muslim people would bring honour to Islam.
On 26 December 2016 at 16:00, the Licensee, Karimia Ltd, broadcast a series of three Nasheeds. Two of these Nasheeds raised no issues under the Code.
A Nasheed is a work of vocal music that is either sung acapella or accompanied by percussion instruments such as the daf.
The third Nasheed was in Urdu and recited by a young boy. It was approximately 17 minutes in duration. It began by glorifying the victories on the battlefield of figures from Islamic history. It then went on to suggest that similar violent acts committed against non-Muslim people would bring honour to Islam.
Further, the Nasheed included a number of pejorative references to non-Muslim people. In particular, non-Muslim people were repeatedly referred to as “Kufaar”, the Arabic word for disbeliever, and on one occasion, “Kaafir I Murdaar”, meaning filthy disbeliever in Urdu.
Ofcom had previously found the station in breach of its licence, saying that the Nasheed constituted hate speech and breached Rules 2.3, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Code.
The Breach Decision set out specifically the broadcast material that was in breach, along with reasoning as to why the material had breached each rule.
Ofcom put the Licensee on notice in the Breach Decision that it considered these breaches to be serious, and that it would consider them for the imposition of a statutory sanction.
In accordance with Ofcom’s procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in breaches of broadcast licences, Ofcom considered whether the Code breaches were serious, deliberate, repeated or reckless so as to warrant the imposition of a sanction on the Licensee in this case. It reached a decision that a sanction was merited in this case since the breach was serious for the reasons set out in the Decision.
In addition to a financial penalty of £2,000, Ofcom also considers that the Licensee should be directed to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings, on a date and in a form to be determined by the regulator.