Radio station faces sanctions after broadcasting “jihadist words”

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The community radio station could face sanctions after it aired a song containing “jihadist lyrics” that was an “indirect call to action,” a broadcast watchdog said.

Link FM, which is based in Sheffield, aired a song – known as ‘Nasheed’ – twice on two breakfast shows in December last year.

After the broadcast, four complaints were filed with the regulator Ofcom.

In a report on Tuesday, Ofcom said listeners reported that the Nasheed was called “Jundallah” and contained “jihadist words” that “promoted terrorism.”

Ofcom said it received four complaints after the Nasheed aired (Luciana Guerra / PA) / PA wire

Ofcom translated Nasheed’s words and concluded that he was breaking two of his rules in the broadcast code.

In its report, the watchdog said it understood that the Nasheeds are a “well-established expression of the Islamic faith” which has a “benign religious message and without violent overtones.”

He added that a more recent type of Nasheed, known as “Jihadi Nasheed,” which has a “tone and tenor of war and can be used to create a violent narrative of Jihadi,” has become more prevalent.

Pakistan Muslim Center, licensee of the radio station, said it understands that a violation has taken place and that it “wholeheartedly [apologised] for the error ”.

He added that it was an “unfortunate incident … and which we hope not to repeat in the future” and that the presenter was “extremely sorry and horrified” after reading Ofcom’s translation of the Nasheed. .

The center said it took the presenter’s explanation in good faith and concluded that it did not need to report the incident to police or Prevent.

The report added that the incumbent understood the potential harm that could have arisen, but said it would have been “minimal” as Nasheed was broadcast in Arabic and their listeners largely spoke Urdu and English.

The licensee said the presenter who broadcast the song did not speak Arabic and the play was not verified before it was broadcast.

Ofcom said, “After carefully evaluating the lyrics… we considered that they communicated a global message to listeners who sought to tolerate, promote and encourage violent Jihad as a legitimate expression of Islamic faith and glorify an associated ideology. to Jihad, including martyrdom.

“Nasheeds which contain messages like Jundallah’s are used by terrorist groups to attract potential recruits.

“Ofcom therefore considered the content to be tantamount to an indirect call to action which could potentially encourage or incite the commission of a crime or cause disturbance.”

He concluded: “Therefore, our decision is that we are prepared to consider these violations for the imposition of a legal sanction.”

The Pakistan Muslim Center declined to comment further.


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