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
Websitewww.islamchannel.tv
Availability
Satellite
FreesatChannel 693
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 737
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
Cable
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 founded in 2004 by Mohamed Ali Harrath (born 1963), a Tunisian activist and businessman who is also its chief executive officer. 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 737. 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]

Conferences organised by Islam Channel[edit]

Global Peace and Unity[edit]

Islam Channel organised Global Peace and Unity events in London. The events were held over two days in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013. They were the largest such Muslim, interfaith and multicultural events in Europe, and in 2010 was attended by around 50,000 Muslims and non-Muslims.[citation needed] The aim of the event, according to the organisers, is to bring together people from all spheres of British society to inform and educate them about Islam and Muslims, and through this help to bridge the gaps between Muslims and non-Muslims.[8][9]

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 Mohamed Ali Harrath, CEO of Islam Channel, 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] 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.[12][13]

Two cases from 2009 were also punished by Ofcom, for not including an Israeli perspective on discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict.[14]

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.[15][16]

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".[17]

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".[18]

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.[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In January 2013, Islam Channel was nominated for the Responsible Media of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[20] In January 2014 and 2015, the channel was awarded the Responsible Media of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[21][22]

See also[edit]

References[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. ^ Safdar, Anealla (4 December 2006). "The untold good news story about Muslims". Dispatches. The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2007.
  9. ^ "Global Peace & Unity Event - Origin and Values". Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  10. ^ The Copenhagen Declaration on Islamophobia
  11. ^ "Ofcom Content Sanctions Committee" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  12. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/media/2008/dec/31/yvonne-ridley-islam-channel
  13. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/media/2008/apr/21/pressandpublishing3
  14. ^ Baddhan, Raj (20 December 2011). "The Islam Channel's Ofcom's decision unchanged". BizAsia. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  15. ^ http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/ofcom_islam_channel_broke_rules_in_tv_interview_with_mayor_rahman_1_3734444
  16. ^ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/medianews/article4180114.ece
  17. ^ Midgley, Neil (8 November 2010). "Islamic TV channel rapped for advocating marital rape". The Daily Telegraph.
  18. ^ Gilligan, Andrew; Spillius, Alex (8 October 2009). "Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood". The Daily Telegraph. Washington. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  19. ^ 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)
  20. ^ "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  21. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2014 winners". Asian Image. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  22. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.

External links[edit]