Following a litany of antisemitic statements made on Peace TV Urdu, which draws its funding from a charity, Campaign Against Antisemitism has complained to the Charity Commission, calling for a statutory inquiry.
During routine monitoring of the channel, Ofcom reported that Jews were described as “being ‘this cursed people…this cursed race’; possessing ‘evil genius’…filling Europe during history ‘with their poison’…‘hatching conspiracies’…considering ‘non-Jews’ to be ‘not human’…considering it acceptable to ‘cheat non-Jews, to rob them and to deceive them’…that during the twentieth century ‘Jewish bankers…lay down their roots like a cancer… [to take] the whole of Europe in their grip’, and in the present day that Jewish people ‘want to bring the world to heel through the global banking network’…and presented [the Protocols of the Elders of zion[ as a factual document containing ‘in great detail’ the plans of ‘some very powerful Jews’.”
Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI) is a registered charity which exists to “Operate Peace TV successfully and broadcast a variety of programmes for the public benefit”, but Peace TV has repeatedly been caught out by Ofcom for broadcasting programmes which breach the Broadcasting Code and the latest incident may amount to criminal conduct. CAA has discovered that IRFI’s President, Dr Zakir Naik, is also Chairman of the company whose subsidiaries own the broadcasting licences for Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu.
Previously, Peace TV was caught airing a programme which advocated that Muslim men should beat their wives, and gave specific guidance as to how they should do so, and in 2012, Ofcom found Dr Naik himself repeating in two separate broadcasts that non-Muslims should be put to death.
These breaches were all detected during routine monitoring by Ofcom and it would be an almost impossible coincidence if the only occasions on which Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu broadcast such content were on the occasions that Ofcom happened to be monitoring those channels.
Since the activities of IRFI, Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu are inseparable, and Ofcom has repeatedly caught Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu broadcasting programmes which breach the Broadcasting Code and are not for the public benefit, it follows that some, if not most, of IRFI’s funds are not being used for charitable purposes.
Due to the gravity of the breaches identified by Ofcom and the complicity of IRFI’s President in at least two such breaches, we have called for a full statutory inquiry so that the Charity Commission may avail itself of the full range of statutory sanctions set out in the Charities Act 2011.
We are also referring the broadcaster to the police as it is a criminal offence to broadcast programmes which constitute incitement to racial or religious hatred.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything that we do is done by people who volunteer their time, using donations contributed by members of the public. Join the fight against antisemitism by subscribing to our updates, volunteering, or donating.