An Indian “hate preacher” who has called on Muslims to be terrorists is broadcasting his “personal” TV channel to millions of UK homes, despite being banned from the country.
Zakir Naik’s Peace TV is available to Sky subscribers, despite having previously been found in breach of broadcasting rules and Mr Naik being barred from entering the UK back in 2010, a report by the Henry Jackson Society highlighted this week.
Naik said of the Al-Qaeda terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2006: “If he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him… If he is fighting the terrorists, if he is fighting America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, every Muslim should be a terrorist.”
In 2010, Theresa May, then home secretary, banned him from the UK and David Cameron described him as a “hate preacher” when he was prime minister.
Peace TV, which has also hosted anti-Semitic views, broadcasts to almost 100 million people worldwide from a studio in Dubai and has previously taken funds from the UK taxpayer via a charity based in Birmingham.
Another channel broadcasting in the UK highlighted in the reports, Islam TV, is currently under investigation by the regulator and was recently exposed as taking funds from Saudi Arabia.
The author of the report, Emma Webb, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, commented:
“The Broadcasting Act explicitly requires Ofcom to ensure licensees are ‘fit and proper’. It is difficult to imagine an individual less fit to hold a license than Zakir Naik.
“Not revoking Peace TV’s Licence under the ‘fit and proper’ requirement constitutes a material failure by Ofcom to exercise its statutory authority.
“Peace TV is Zakir Naik’s personal TV channel. Ofcom must immediately revoke Peace TV’s broadcasting licence on the grounds that they are not ‘fit and proper’ to hold it.
“A further three channels, all of which have concerning links to known extremists have received insufficient regulatory oversight.
“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.
“For more than a decade, Peace TV has hosted extremist speakers and has repeatedly fallen foul of the Broadcasting Code over extreme content – yet their license remains.”
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