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UK media on Zakir Naik

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 21st November 2018 21:07
'Hate preacher' banned from UK still broadcasting to millions in Britain through 'personal TV station'

The Independent

21 November 2018 17:51

Ofcom has been urged to “immediately revoke” the licence of a TV station founded by an Islamic preacher who was banned from UK over concerns about extremism.

Zakir Naik’s “personal television channel”, Peace TV, has continued broadcasting to millions of British households since he was barred from entering the country in 2010.

The high-profile Indian Muslim preacher was banned by Theresa May when she was home secretary, after he praised Osama bin Laden and said “all Muslims should be terrorists”.

Other speakers listed on Peace TV’s website include Bilal Philips, a Jamaican-Canadian Islamic preacher who was named by the US as a co-conspirator in a 1993 plot to bomb New York’s World Trade Centre. Dr Phillips has been banned from several countries, including the UK.

Peace TV has repeatedly fallen foul of broadcasting rules on extreme content but remains available to Sky subscribers on its English and Urdu channels.

The Henry Jackson Society accused Ofcom of “a material failure” to protect viewers by revoking the station’s licence.

“The Broadcasting Act explicitly requires Ofcom to ensure licensees are ‘fit and proper’,” said Emma Webb, a research fellow at the think tank who has written a report about extremism on television. “It is difficult to imagine an individual less fit to hold a license than Zakir Naik.”

The media regulator said it had launched “six detailed investigations” earlier this year into whether Peace TV had breached regulations that protect audiences from hate speech, offence and the incitement of crime.

Peace TV was set up by Dr Naik in 2006 and is broadcast from Dubai. It claims to have more than 200 million viewers in hundreds of countries around the world, but the station was banned in India and Bangladesh in 2016 after its founder’s speeches were blamed for inspiring a terror attack in Dhaka which killed 22 people.

Indian security services have sought to extradite Dr Naik, who now lives in Malaysia, for allegedly inciting terrorism and delivering hate speeches.

The UK banned the preacher as he prepared to travel to give a series of lectures in London and Sheffield eight years ago.

Announcing the exclusion order, Ms May said: “Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.” David Cameron, the former prime minister, has described Mr Naik as a “hate preacher”.

In 2012, Peace TV was found to have breached Ofcom rules by broadcasting a speech in which the Dr Naik said he “tend[ed] to agree” that Muslims “should be put to death” if they converted to another faith and tried to spread their new religion against Islam.

Four years later, Peace TV’s Urdu channel was fined £65,000 for airing lectures in which Islamic scholar Israr Ahmad described Jewish people as “a cursed race” with an “evil plan” that had filled Europe with “poison”.

Mr Naik resigned as a director of the company which holds Peace TV’s licence in May this year, but he is still listed as the channel’s lead speaker and the station is funded by his charity, the Islamic Research Foundation International. India last year banned the foundation to "safeguard national security", but it remains a registered charity in the UK.

“Peace TV is Zakir Naik’s personal TV channel,” Ms Webb said. ”Ofcom must immediately revoke Peace TV’s broadcasting licence on the grounds that they are not ‘fit and proper’ to hold it. It is obvious that an individual who is banned from entering the country is unfit to hold a broadcasting licence. It makes a mockery of the whole system to ban someone from entering the country because they are not ‘conducive to the public good’ but then allow them to access UK audiences for a further eight years.”

Ofcom said it launched six investigations into Peace TV in January. Five were as a result of “proactive monitoring” and the sixth was prompted by a complaint, a spokeswoman said.

She added: “We will announce the outcome of those investigations soon. We have a clear track record, which this report recognises, of tackling harmful content and taking action against those responsible – including taking channels off air.”

Peace TV declined to comment to The Independent, but a source insisted the station promoted a peaceful and liberal interpretation of Islam. They said the channel had editorial controls to prevent the broadcast of extremist content and some of the programmes under investigation were several years old.

Dr Philips no longer appeared on the station, the source added, although the preacher is still listed as a speaker on its website.

The Henry Jackson Society highlighted three other stations it believed had faced a “concerning” lack of regulatory scrutiny. Ofcom said it was already assessing one of those, the Islam Channel, to determine whether it complies with the Broadcasting Code.

The think tank's report also warned stations that had already had their licences revoked, such as Iran's Press TV, were able to reach UK audiences through online media.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd November 2018 05:00
It is clear that they have no civil and decent response to what Dr Zakir Naik has been saying.

Muslim Ummah should stand by him. He has done a duty for all of us and thus we must show our thanks to him.

This is also an opportunity to send a message to the world community that we support him not out of any animosity to the rest of the world but out of love. We are not merely condemning them as infidels but rather we are worried about their hereafter and there is absolutely no compulsion in what we invite them to.

This propaganda against him is sheer calumny misinterpretation of his message, a message that is the message of whole Muslim world and indeed message of God.

And this point must be clear to Muslim Ummah that by the Grace of Allah SWT we have already won the argument, Dr Zakir Naik has done it on our behalf. We can certainly rejoice in this victory but we have to be polite to the rest of the world because it is still jittery about Islam.
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