A Nottingham based Islamic Dawa (evangelism) station Radio Dawn has been censured by the broadcast regulator Ofcom for transmitting pro-Taliban material that contained exhortations for Muslims to take up arms against non Muslims. In an echo of a case from earlier this year that saw the Sheffield Islamic station Imam FM shut down by Ofcom for broadcasting 25 hours of an Al Qaida hate preacher, Radio Dawn was found to be in breach of its licence conditions for playing a devotional song that honoured the ‘bravery of the Taliban’. Also, as in the case of the Imam FM station, Radio Dawn also trotted out a similar series of lame excuses as to why exhortations to Muslims to support the Taliban were broadcast.
The radio industry magazine Radio Today reported on the 8th August that Radio Dawn had been found by Ofcom to have broadcast 17 minutes of a ‘nasheed’ -religious devotional song – calling for Muslims to stand on the side of the Taliban. The broadcast went out on 26th December 2016, was in breach of Radio Dawn’s broadcast licence conditions and appeared to be contravening section 3.1 of the Broadcasting Code. This ordnance forbids radio or TV stations from broadcasting material that would encourage crime, something which many reasonable people would consider pro-Taliban songs be likely to do. Radio Today carried an excerpt from the offending material and it reads as follows:
“The man who stands against falsehood desires the death of a Mujahid10,
And we have the glorious example of Qasim’s11 cry…
…The whole world on one side and the Taliban on the other.
We are required to salute and honour their display of bravery and steadfastness…
It must be understood that justice will only be handed out at the point of the sword”.
This passage is pretty clearly an exhortation for Muslims to stand with the Taliban against the ‘unbeliever’, which means the rest of us. The reference to honouring the Taliban and the ‘bravery’ of these Islamic thugs, along with the comments about bringing ‘justice’ to the ‘unbeliever’ at the ‘point of a sword’ is the sort of language that in the context of Islam is a direct incitement to violence. It is also showing support for a terrorist organisation that has cost the lives of many British service personnel. In effect, what Radio Dawn did was broadcast sedition with the material they put out, material that obviously encouraged Muslims to take up arms against Britain’s non Muslims.
Just as in the Imam FM case, the management of Radio Dawn, an Islamic Dawa and political influence outfit called the Karimia Institute, appear to have trotted out the taqiyya, the act of lying to protect Islam, when they were caught out playing pro-Taliban songs. Spokespersons for the station, which broadcasts on 107.6 MHz on Band II, said that the inclusion of the song was a ‘mistake’ and it was ‘downloaded years ago probably by a volunteer’. The Karimia Institute have claimed that they are taking steps to avoid a repetition such as restricting access to the devices that provide the audio feed for broadcast. The Karimia Institute also laid on the Islamic bullshit quite heavily when they said that the song had been ‘taken out of context’ and that it only related to ancient Indian history. Yeah right, pull the other one got bells on. The excuses and backtracking and BS that has come out of the Karimia Institute over this incident are remarkably similar to that trotted out by Imam FM. It remains to be seen whether Ofcom having found Radio Dawn in breach of their broadcast licence conditions allow this station to continue to pump out its ‘call to Islam’ propaganda. This breach of licence conditions is in my view much more serious than other community radio licence breaches that mainly relate to bad language or not keeping up commitments to agreed broadcast hours of locally sourced programming. This broadcast by Radio Dawn is a direct encouragement to Muslims to prepare for and to engage in violence or to support violence and hopefully will be seen by Ofcom as a much more grave breach of licence conditions than the usual run of the mill breaches committed by other non Muslim community radio stations such as the aforementioned lack of local programming which has caused community radio and restricted service licences to be revoked by Ofcom.
According to Radio Today, the Radio Dawn station describes itself as being a station that would ‘build trust among our communities’ and ‘building bridges to create strong and closely coordinated partnerships between the community, youth, families and governmental organisations’. It’s an odd way to behave isn’t it for an organisation that states that its aims are so noble as to broadcast pro-Taliban propaganda? Radio Today added:
Karimia explained that staff were away on holiday on the day of broadcast (26 December 2016) and, as a result, Radio Dawn was automatically broadcasting pre-recorded programming. The Licensee said that this particular content had been downloaded from the internet in 2013, “possibly by a volunteer”, and had “never been broadcast before”. It also said that this Nasheed was from Indian history and “holds a different meaning today to when it was written and needs to be interpreted in that context”.
Does anyone else apart from me smell the distinct and noisome odour of ‘taqiyya’ here coming from the Karimia Institute / Radio Dawn?
Let’s de-construct Karimia’s statement shall we? Firstly, since when has Boxing Day been an Islamic holiday? It’s a Christian / secular holiday that the sort of bearded Islamic ideologues behind groups like Karimia are unlikely to observe. Secondly, this group are admitting to being incompetent in not checking stuff that was going to be broadcast automatically. It’s a common sense rule that if you are putting out content on the airwaves then the station should have vetted them before the programme recording was put together. If they couldn’t even be arsed to do this or failed to see that this was necessary then we should ask if Radio Dawn and the Karimia Institute are fit and proper people to hold a broadcast licence even one that only has a 25watt power limit and a coverage area of 5km or so? Fourthly we have the excuse about the ‘volunteer’ and ‘never been broadcast before’. I’m really not sure I believe them. The excuse looks so similar to that of the ones made by Imam FM that I’m suspicious both of the explanation as to how the material got into the studio environment and into the audio feed and whether the station is telling the truth about it not being broadcast before. Finally we have the ‘context’ excuse. For me this really doesn’t wash. If it was part of say a history programme about the Islamic invasion of India then the inclusion of this passage may be justified but this was plainly not the case. This song was apparently broadcast as a standalone and because of this does not have its inciteful nature moderated which it would have done had it truly been used in its proper context. It looks very much like the Karimia Institute / Radio Dawn are lying through their teeth about this incident and are flailing around chucking out whatever dishonest bollocks they think that Ofcom will swallow.
This case calls into question the wisdom of granting community radio or restricted service licences to Islamic groups for a number of reasons. There’s the question as to whether these Islamic groups can be trusted with a broadcast licence and both recent and historical incidents of the airwaves being used to spread Islamic hatred show that maybe they can’t be trusted. Another question is whether allowing groups like the Karimia Institute and other Islam promotion organisations is an efficient use of the natural resource which is the radio frequency spectrum? Is it really a public good or a community good to give a 25 watt licence to a group that will only use it to promote Islam? Are there really thousands of people in a small 5km reception area all eagerly wanting an Islamic propaganda station of their very own, probably not? This station does not seem to be of any genuine communal benefit despite the grand sounding statements of the Karimia Institute it’s basically a propaganda station pumping exhortations to Muslims to be even more extreme than they are. I can think of many more better and more useful occupiers of an FM radio frequency. As it would be virtually impossible for a group of British patriots to start up a legal community station promoting British culture or holding debates that harshly questioned the doctrine of multiculturalism, why then are these Muslim groups allowed to promote the idea of jihad to their Muslim audiences? There are a number of different community radio groups across the United Kingdom that do their best or wish to try to do their best to serve ALL the people in their reception area. It is these groups who are far more deserving of the use of such a valuable resource as a broadcast licence than the obvious dodgy shysters that Radio Dawn appears to be.
I do hope that Ofcom throw the book at Karimia Institute / Radio Dawn, they truly deserve it, as I believe that this may not be a one off incident. It’s likely that other similar materials may because of slackness at best and malevolence at worst, have been broadcast by Radio Dawn in the past. If this was a Christian or a Jewish community or RSL station that had committed a breach that was even a fraction as serious as that committed by Radio Dawn or had had such lax systems then the Christian or Jewish station would be quickly taken off of the air. If Ofcom decide to let Radio Dawn to continue to pump out Islamic propaganda then it will be evidence of a monstrous double standard on Ofcom’s part. Radio Dawn cannot be trusted to behave in the future and their broadcast licence should be removed.
Original Radio Today article on licence breach by Radio Dawn
Ofcom Broadcasting code
Imam FM in Sheffield shut down for broadcasting 25 hours of Al Qaida hate preacher
Data page on Radio Dawn which contains details of the station including internet feed and other information
Home page for the shady seeming Karimia Institute
List of terrorist organisations that are proscribed by the Home Office. The Pakistani Taliban are among them which makes the offence of putting out a pro Taliban song by Radio Dawn all much the more serious.
Ofcom consultation document on the future of community radio licences prior to a digital switchover of British broadcasting. Interesting technical data on here such as new plans to have all community stations with a coverage area of 10km put on the AM medium wave band and under 5Km stations kept on FM.