U.K. TV Channel Fined for Airing Islamic Scholar's 'Duty to Kill' Speech

The live lecture included material that media regulator Ofcom says "was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder."

LONDON – Britain's media regulator has slapped a TV network with big fines for airing a live speech by an Islamic scholar who said Muslims had "a duty to kill" people who insulted the prophet Muhammad.

U.K. media regulator Ofcom said Friday it had put two fines on the channel DM Digital totaling $156,000 (£105,000). It described it as "a digital satellite TV channel primarily aimed at an Asian audience in the U.K. and also broadcast in the Middle East and parts of Asia."

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It found that the networks had breached Britain's broadcasting code twice. The broadcast of the scholar's live lecture in 2011 included material that "was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder," Ofcom said.

For the transmission, the agency levied a fine of $127,000 (£85,000) on DM, ordering it not to repeat the speech.

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Ofcom also said the channel covered a conference later that year, presenting a "one-sided" view of political violence in Karachi. For that instance, it fined DM $30,000 (£20,000).

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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