UK's broadcasting standards regulator has issued a warning to an Islamic TV channel over "anti-Semitic" programming. Peace TV Urdu was criticised by Ofcom for airing two lectures in September by a preacher who called Jewish people "a cursed race".
Ofcom has described the material as "anti-Semitic" and confirmed that they were considering a statutory sanction against the channel. One of the lectures is believed to have been aired in September and featured the late Israr Ahmed, a Pakistani Islamic scholar who called Jewish people "a cancer".
Ofcom has said that the comments were in "serious breach" of its broadcasting standards, including a failure to "provide adequate protection to members of the public from harmful and/or offensive material", as well as failing to "justify offence by the context".
A spokesperson for Ofcom told IBTimes UK: "We found this Urdu TV channel broke broadcasting rules by promoting highly negative and anti-Semitic views. In two broadcast lectures, Dr Israr Ahmad discussed the role and actions of Jewish people through history, and repeatedly portrayed them in overwhelmingly negative and stereotypical terms."
Club TV, the broadcaster holding the licensing rights for Peace TV Urdu, reportedly apologised to Ofcom for airing material and said it "sincerely regretted" the views expressed during the lectures. The channel insisted that Ahmed's comments were not in line with their own beliefs and promised not to repeat the incident.
Ahmed, who died in 2010, indicated that the Jews had brought the Holocaust upon themselves. He said: "[Jewish people] do not take advantage of the opportunity to repent, which is why they are afflicted by great calamities, and the example is what happened to them at the hands of the Germans."
The Pakistani preacher also accused Jews of "hatching conspiracies" and said that they looked at non-Jews as "animals with a human face". Peace TV Urdu airs TV programmes "based on authentic teachers of the Qu'ran" and aims to "remove misconceptions about Islam".
Their website states: "Islam is the most misunderstood religion. Muslims hardly have any hold or influence on major media, especially TV. TV plays a major role in shaping public opinion. Global scale media mergers in the industry have led to limiting the viewpoints having access to mass media, especially the Islamic viewpoint. This scenario needs to be countered with a global reach for the truth of Islam."
It goes on to cite a quote from the Koran, which reads: "When the truth is hurled against falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood by nature is bound to perish."