Islam Channel

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Coordinates: 51°31′22.02″N 0°5′5.41″W / 51.5227833°N 0.0848361°W / 51.5227833; -0.0848361

Islam Channel
Islam Channel Logo
LaunchedMarch 2004
Owned byMohamed Ali Harrath
FreesatChannel 693
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 727
Astra 2G (28.2°E)[1]11112 H 22000 5/6
Eutelsat Hot Bird 13B10723H 29900 3/4
DStv (West & East Africa Only)Channel 347
Virgin MediaChannel 838
Streaming media
BroadbandLive Internet Broadcast

Islam Channel is a UK-based, free-to-air, English language, Islamic-focused satellite television channel funded by advertising[2] and donations.[3] It was reported in 2008 that UK government research found that 59% of British Muslims watched the channel.[4] 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,[5] but subsequently moved to channel 813, then 806, now 727. In April 2010, it launched on Freesat channel 693.

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.[6]

Popular Programmes[edit]

There are a number of programmes which cover entertainment, current affairs, community activities, women's issues, and Islamic education.[7]

Hajj Live[edit]

Islam Channel covers the Hajj Season with wall to wall coverage of the two holy mosques of Saudi Arabia – the Prophet's Mosque in Madina and the Sacred Mosque in Makkah, and crucially, the rituals of Hajj itself.[citation needed] Throughout the day and night, callers from around the world will also call in to engage in the live production, contributing to the shows with their own personal experiences of the rites of Hajj, and to pray for the well-being of themselves, their families and the Muslim community as a whole. This season is one which is emotionally uplifting, and highlights the special bond between Islam Channel and its audience.[citation needed]


Islamiqa is the flagship series of Islam Channel, as well as its longest running.[citation needed] Aired daily, the live show features a variety of imams from various denominations of the Muslim community, tasked with answering a range of questions on Islamic law, trade, worship, and more. Islamiqa's aim, and success, has been to reduce barriers between scholar and layman, providing knowledge on the Muslim's general affairs, as well as those of a sensitive nature.[citation needed]

Whilst the series is designed for the UK Muslim community, it has a broad following in West Africa, particularly in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda; and on occasion Islamiqa is privileged to host Imams from across the world, including North America, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.[citation needed]

Women's AM[edit]

Women's AM is an all female social affairs programme that has been on air since 15 July 2013. The panel is made up of a presenter, a panellist along with a guest relevant to the main discussion of the day.[citation needed]

The show features many segments such as looking at recent news articles, discussing topical issues that interest the Muslim woman ranging from spirituality to societal issues, as well as reviewing products and websites. The aim of Women's AM is to dispel myths surrounding the Muslim woman and Islam and to give them back their voice on a platform where they can express their views on their own terms.[citation needed]

Women's AM have discussed and do not shy away from issues considered to be taboo within the Muslim community such as FGM, domestic violence and the Burkini. Women's AM has also had guest appearances from Author Na'ima B Robert, Rumana Lasker from The Great British Sewing Bee, Zara Faris from the Muslim Debate Initiative, and many others.

Education Matters[edit]

Education Matters is one of Islam Channel's longest running programmes. It started broadcasting in 2004.[citation needed] The eight part series was dedicated to Muslims within education, where Muslim Schools were visited around the U.K documenting the teaching of Muslim teachers while the host, Babar Mirza, (a secondary school qualified teacher) shared his views. After a decade the series came to an end in 2014.[citation needed]

With fresh content and re-branding of how education is considered to the generation of today, the new series of Education Matters was given a fresh twist. After a pilot screening in January 2016 the fresh content and humour appealed to the unexpected audience of young adults and parents as well as school goers. Education Matters (revamped) was commissioned for eight 24-minute episodes and produced to be shown from September to November 2016.[citation needed]

The programme endeavours to track school life on a typical day. The show's approach to establish how schools are run and how children are taught focuses on finding out what children think of school and what teachers think of them.[citation needed] Filming was carried out at Ayasofia School, Swiss Cottage School, Tawhid Boys School, The Village School, Berrymede Junior School and Almuntada School where the presenter got a chance to go back to school and discover new technology and ways of teaching as well as getting involved with the children's activities.

Health Show (Live Surgery)[edit]

Health Show (Live Surgery) gave Islam Channel viewers an insight into the medical world showcasing life changing surgeries. The first episode was aired on 25 November 2015 with a live satellite feed from The London Vision Clinic (Harley Street) where audiences witnessed a Lasik Eye surgery Live. This was a milestone for the channel as it was the first Live broadcast of a surgical procedure produced within a programme and highlighted health concerns and the improvements needed in lifestyle for ethnic minorities.

Partnering up with Moorfields Eye Hospital, The London Foot Clinic, DHI Global Medial Group and The London Cupping Clinic permitted Islam Channel to televise surgeries from surgical theatres. The programme allowed its viewers to see the process of unique surgeries from a doctor's point of view and embark on a patient's emotional journey before and after surgery.

Presented by Alastair Greener, Health Show (Live Surgery) invited a range of experts in their fields into the studio to comment through the surgery step by step. while a Q&A session from audience members took place. Experts included Mr Kaser Nazir (Podiatric Surgeon), Glenn Carp (Ophthalmic Surgeon), Professor Dan Z Reinstein (Ophthalmic Surgeon), Mr Barul Hussain (Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon), to name a few.

Each episode featured a live studio audience, filmed at the London studios consisting of VTs (Video Tape) of surgeries, patient's journey as well as staff & relatives perspectives and background on the procedure about to be performed.

City Sisters[edit]

City Sisters is one of Islam Channel's longest running women's programmes. The series featured women from different ages and walks of life and was a first real insight into what Muslim women were really thinking. The first series launched in 2008 and was well received after which a second series was commissioned and aired in 2009. The second series received even more praise and was bought by the Malaysian Channel Huda TV who later went on to make a show called 'Saleha.’

The third and final series was launched and broadcast in 2010 and has been the most successful series to date. Viewer's comments ensued from all over the world telling the sisters that they were an inspiration and role models. The impact of the show was huge with viewers starting to pray and wear the hijab because of the programme.

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 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.[8] 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.


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.[9] In 2008, Yvonne Ridley was awarded £20,532 in compensation and £5,000 in costs after an employment tribunal upheld her complaint that was unfairly dismissed, was sexually discriminated against and harassed whilst working at the station.[10][11]

Two cases from 2009 were also punished by Ofcom, for not including an Israeli perspective on discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict.[12]

Ofcom found the channel to be in breach of rules again in 2014. The program In Conversation with Lutfur Rahman, broadcast on 6 March gave Lutfur Rahman (politician) an unchallenged platform to promote himself.[13][14]

Condoning of marital rape and 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".[15]

During the program Muslimah Dilemma, Western laws and freedoms were attacked, and that women should not be "permitted to hold a position of leadership in government".[16]

Anwar al-Awlaki[edit]

In 2010 it was reported that Islam Channel had in 2009 carried advertisements for DVDs of radical al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki's sermons and for at least two events at which he was due to be the star speaker via video link.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In January 2013, Islam Channel was nominated for the Responsible Media of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[18] In January 2014 and 2015, the channel was awarded the Responsible Media of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Astra 2G at 28.2°E Lyngsat. Accessed September 17 2018
  2. ^ Islam channel: advertise with us
  3. ^ "Dawah Project is a fundraising scheme set up by Islam Channel"
  4. ^ The Times newspaper: 'Nothing criminal about trying to establish an Islamic state', 15 December 2008
  5. ^ The Islam Channel makes EPG debut Archived 28 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine Skydigi online, 29 March 2004
  6. ^ Unanswered questions about a ‘man of peace’ on Interpol list The Times, 15 December 2008
  7. ^ :: Islam Channel :: – Programme Schedule
  8. ^ The Copenhagen Declaration on Islamophobia
  9. ^ "Ofcom Content Sanctions Committee" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Baddhan, Raj (20 December 2011). "The Islam Channel's Ofcom's decision unchanged". BizAsia. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Midgley, Neil (8 November 2010). "Islamic TV channel rapped for advocating marital rape". The Daily Telegraph.
  16. ^ Gilligan, Andrew; Spillius, Alex (8 October 2009). "Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood". The Daily Telegraph. Washington. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  17. ^ Jamie Doward, Home Affairs Editor (10 January 2010). "UK Muslim TV channel linked to al-Qaida cleric al-Awlaki". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 October 2010.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  19. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2014 winners". Asian Image. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  20. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.

External links[edit]