As Muslim economic power increases it’s expected that they will begin to try to take control of the media by buying newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, film studios, and web sites.
While the average Muslim from the Middle East is quite stupid, there are intelligent Muslims who understand the power of media in influencing culture.
A Muslim operated radio station in Britain took things into taboo territory by broadcasting calls by dead terrorist Anwar al Awlaki to kill nonbelievers.
A local radio station in Sheffield has been taken off air by Ofcom after it broadcast 25 hours of lectures by an alleged former al-Qaida leader.
The media regulator said Iman FM was guilty of “extremely serious breaches” of the broadcasting code by airing material that “was likely to incite or encourage the commission of crime or to lead to disorder”.
Between 26 May and 16 June, the community radio station broadcast lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born radical Muslim cleric.
Al-Awlaki was killed in September 2011 by a US drone strike approved by the former president, Barack Obama. Following al-Awlaki’s death, Obama said the cleric had “repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda”.
Ofcom has revoked Iman FM’s licence to broadcast in the Sheffield area. It is rare for the media regulator to take away a broadcasting licence because it has a duty to protect the right to freedom of expression.
Iman FM said it “fully accepted” that breaches had taken place but insisted to Ofcom they were due to “recklessness, but not deliberate intent”.
The community radio station is run by Iman Media UK and has held a licence since 2014. The station was initially taken off-air on 4 July after a complaint by a member of the public sparked Ofcom’s investigation.
Iman FM, which stands for the Institute of Media Arts and Naats, says its mission statement is “equipping the generation towards a cohesive society” and that the company was “established by a group of individuals who are all passionate about media and whose main aim is to create a cohesive society, identify community needs and offer solutions within the boundaries of the company”.
Its chief executive is listed as Mohammed Shabbir Mughal, who has set up other radio stations for the Muslim community in the Sheffield area since 2000, including RadioHajj.
Iman FM told Ofcom’s investigation that it had broadcast the lectures because the regular presenter for its breakfast show was not available during the month of Ramadan.
It said it had searched the internet for “lectures on the life of the Prophet Muhammad” and “lectures on Seerah [a form of biography often connected to Muhammad]” and that it was “not aware of the background of the preacher and had no knowledge of him being proscribed by the United Nations”. Iman FM said that it would not have broadcast the lectures “had this fact been known”.
The radio station, which apologised to listeners in June for the broadcast, admitted that its compliance procedures had failed, saying that management were “probably catching up on sleep” when they were broadcast because they had been observing their religious practices late into the evening.
However, in its judgement Ofcom said: “Anwar al-Awlaki’s comments were not merely polemical or aggressive – he made a direct call to members of the Muslim community to prepare for and carry out violent action against non-Muslim people. He also made indirect calls on members of the Muslim community to commit violence, condoning and encouraging acts of crime, terrorism or violent behaviour.
“No attempt was made by the licensee to place the statements in a context to make them potentially less harmful.
“Ofcom noted that the broadcast was the result of a failure to run basic compliance checks in relation to a substantial amount of pre-recorded material prior to broadcast.
“There is no evidence that the licensee’s purpose in broadcasting the content was to incite crime or lead to disorder. However, the evidence is that the licensee acted extremely recklessly in broadcasting extensive content it had not fully listened to or checked the source of, and that this approach fell substantially below the standards expected of a responsible broadcaster, including one that is run by a team of volunteers.”