Islam Channel

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This article is about the UK TV channel. For the Bangladeshi TV channel, see Islamic TV.
Islam Channel
Islam Channel Logo
Launched March 2004
Owned by Mohamed Ali Harrath
Availability
Satellite
Freesat Channel 693
Sky Channel 806
Eutelsat 28A 11390 V 27500 2/3
Eutelsat Hot Bird 13B 10723H 29900 3/4
Streaming media
Broadband Live Internet Broadcast

Islam Channel is a UK-based, free-to-air, English language, Islamic-focused satellite television channel funded by advertising[1] and donations.[2] It was reported in 2008 that UK government research found that 97.3% of British Muslims watched the channel.[3] It broadcasts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is streamed live on the internet and is soon to commence broadcasting in North America. Islam Channel began broadcasting on March 2004 on Sky Digital channel 836,[4] but subsequently moved to channel 813. In April 2010, it launched on Freesat channel 693.

The channel was the original effort of Mohammed Sajid, Shaheen Akhtar, Salauddin Ali, Ibrahim Rashid, Faisal Nazir and Asif Malik.[citation needed] Since its launch, the channel has expanded its range of programming, including programmes regarding current affairs, education, Islamic values, Islamic doctrine, as well as domestic, financial and community related topics. The channel is watched by 59 per cent of Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims[5] and by other viewers abroad: its target audience is mainly English-speaking Muslims.

Popular programmes[edit]

There are a number of programmes which cover entertainment, current affairs, community activities, women's issues, and Islamic education.[6]

Islam Channel News[edit]

A news programme.

The Hassan and Habibah Show[edit]

Hassan as-Saleemi and Habibah Ellahee are married co-hosts of the light social affairs programme entitled 'The Hassan and Habibah Show'. The Islam Channel describes the programme as a "unique show..live husband and wife talk show discussing issues with different guests. This refreshing weekly discussion show examines social issues that deal with family, marriage and various other topics".[7]

The show has challenged mainly South-Asian cultural perceptions on the nature of Islam, dealing with topics such as: forced marriage, domestic violence with the Muslim women's helpline, depression with the Muslim Youth Helpline, and infertility problems with Mohammad Taranissi.[8][9]

They have occasionally dealt with more serious topics, specifically, on 25 December 2004, a show entitled "Prisoners of Iman" which discussed cases of Muslims who have been imprisoned for their faith or political activity. They interviewed the wife of Ian Nisbet, one of the "Egypt Three".[citation needed]

Education Matters[edit]

A show dedicated to Muslims within Education. Usually hosted by Babar Mirza, a secondary school qualified teacher and director of education for a nationally recognised educational trust in the UK.

Saturday Night Live[edit]

A light entertainment show hosted by Sajid Varda, the longest-serving presenter on the channel.

Conferences organised by Islam Channel[edit]

Global Peace and Unity[edit]

The Global Peace and Unity event is a large-scale gathering and conference at the ExCel arena in London which was first run in 2005. Held most years, it was attended by around 50,000 Muslims and Non-Muslims in 2010.[citation needed] The aim of the event, according to the organisers, is to bring together people from all spheres of the British society in order to inform and educate them about Islam and Muslims, and through this help to bridge the gaps between Muslims and non-Muslims. Guest speakers have included:

Live performances by Muslim entertainers Zain Bhikha, Ahmed Bukhatir, Jamal Uddin Marcell & The Fletcher Valve Drummers, Junaid Jamshed and Najam Sheraz have also been given.

Islamophobia: A Dilemma in the West[edit]

The Islam Channel convened a televised conference on Islamophobia held in Copenhagen on 13 May 2006.[10] The conference was attended by 150 participants from countries around the world, with an audience of about 1,000, mostly Muslims. Speakers included CEO of Islam Channel Mohamed Ali Harrath, Mayor of London Ken Livingston, political analyst and journalist Yvonne Ridley, Yusuf Estes and Jamal Badawi.

Controversy[edit]

Political impartiality[edit]

In 2007, Ofcom fined Islam Channel £30,000 for breaking the broadcasting code by having Yvonne Ridley present news programmes while standing as a candidate in local elections for the Respect Party during the previous year. OfCom also condemned the channel for not providing requested recordings.[11] Two cases from 2009 were also punished by Ofcom, for not including an Israeli perspective on discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict.[12]

Condoning of marital rape and low-level violence[edit]

In November 2010 the channel was censured by Ofcom for allowing presenters to advocate marital rape and domestic abuse. A presenter is reported to have said during one programme: "it shouldn't be such a big problem where the man feels he has to force himself upon the woman", while in another a speaker told a viewer who was phoning in: "In Islam we have no right to hit the woman in a way that damages her eye or damages her tooth or damages her face or makes her ugly. Maximum what you can do, you can see the pen over here, in my hand, this kind of a stick can be used just to make her feel that you are not happy with her." The channel was not fined but Ofcom stated: "the advocacy of any form of violence (however limited)... is not acceptable" and that "it was highly likely that any advocacy and support at all of forced sexual relations would be offensive".[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Islam channel: advertise with us
  2. ^ "Dawah Project is a fundraising scheme set up by Islam Channel"
  3. ^ The Times newspaper: 'Nothing criminal about trying to establish an Islamic state', 15 December 2008
  4. ^ The Islam Channel makes EPG debut Skydigi online, 29 March 2004
  5. ^ Unanswered questions about a ‘man of peace’ on Interpol list Times online, 15 December 2008
  6. ^ :: Islam Channel :: – Programme Schedule
  7. ^ :: Islam Channel :: – Programme Details
  8. ^ "Embryo gene testing approved". BBC News. 6 March 2002. 
  9. ^ "Saviour sibling" is born after embryo selection in the United States – Dobson 326 (7404): 1416 – BMJ
  10. ^ The Copenhagen Declaration on Islamophobia
  11. ^ "Ofcom Content Sanctions Committee". Ofcom. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Baddhan, Raj (20 December 2011). "The Islam Channel’s Ofcom’s decision unchanged". BizAsia. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Midgley, Neil (8 November 2010). "Islamic TV channel rapped for advocating marital rape". The Daily Telegraph. 

External links[edit]