Ofcom rap for Islam Channel

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Channel broke broadcast rules, says regulator

AN Islamic channel that allowed presenters to condone marital rape and call women who wear perfume in mosques ‘prostitutes’ had been censured by the TV watchdog.

In one programme the host told viewers that it was ‘not strange’ and ‘not such a big problem’ for a man to force his wife to have sex.

Ofcom ruled the Islam Channel, which broadcasts on Sky, breached the broadcasting code in five programmes between May 2008 and October 2009.

A phone-in show in May 2008, in which a female caller asked if she had the right to hit a violent husband back, was deemed in breach of the code.

The presenter at one point stated: ‘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 stick can be used just to make her feel that you are not happy with her.’

Ofcom said it considered the presenter was clear some form of physical punishment was acceptable.

A discussion programme in April 2009 on sexual relations within marriage was found to have breached guidelines, as was a programme in October 2009 in which it was said women who wore perfume outside the home could be declared ‘a prostitute’

In a submission to the report, the Islam Channel said it ‘does not condone or encourage violence towards women under any circumstances’ and ‘does not condone or encourage marital rape’.

Two further programmes in October 2009 relating to aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were found to have breached the code relating to impartiality in political matters.

The findings followed an inquiry begun after allegations were laid against the TV station by a moderate Islamic think tank, the Quilliam Foundation

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