Friday, 19 November 2010
Islamic TV channel rapped for advocating marital rape
A TV channel aimed at Muslims has been censured by the media watchdog Ofcom for allowing its presenters to encourage violence against women and advocate marital rape.
By Neil Midgley, Assistant Editor (Media) 6:07PM GMT 08 Nov 2010
www.telegraph.co.uk (All Rights Reserved, Copyright)
In one programme on the Islam Channel, which broadcasts on Sky and Freesat, the presenter of a discussion of sex within marriage said that "it shouldn't be such a big problem where the man feels he has to force himself upon the woman".
During another programme, a woman phoned in to ask if she had the right to hit a violent husband back. The presenter responded: "In Islam we have no right to hit the woman in a way that damages her eye or damages her tooth or damages her face or makes her ugly. Maximum what you can do, you can see the pen over here, in my hand, this kind of a stick can be used just to make her feel that you are not happy with her."
In March this year, the channel was the subject of a report by the Quilliam Foundation, a London-based organisation that describes itself as "the world’s first counter-extremism think tank".
Ofcom subsequently launched an investigation into the channel's programmes, under its rules relating to harm and offence.
In its decision, the regulator acknowledged that some TV channels "will broadcast programming that will derive from a particular religious or spiritual viewpoint" and that "such advice might cause offence to different sections of the audience".
However Ofcom went on to say that "the advocacy of any form of violence (however limited)... is not acceptable" and that "it was highly likely that any advocacy and support at all of forced sexual relations would be offensive", and found the Islam Channel in breach of the Broadcasting Code.
Ofcom said that it would not impose a fine, but that the Islam Channel would be requested to attend a meeting with the regulator to discuss its procedures for ensuring compliance with the Code.