Radio Dawn is a community radio station broadcasting to the Muslim community in Nottingham and the surrounding areas. The Ofcom licence for Radio Dawn is held by Karimia Ltd. The Licensee does not currently hold any other broadcasting licences.
On 26 December 2016 at 16:00, the Licensee broadcast a series of three Nasheeds. Two of these Nasheeds raised no issues under the Code.
The third Nasheed was in Urdu and recited by a young boy. It was approximately 17 minutes in duration. It began by glorifying the victories on the battlefield of figures from Islamic history. It then went on to suggest that similar violent acts committed against non-Muslim people would bring honour to Islam.
Further, the Nasheed included a number of pejorative references to non-Muslim people. In particular, non-Muslim people were repeatedly referred to as “Kufaar” (the Arabic word for disbeliever) and on one occasion, “Kaafir I Murdaar” (meaning filthy disbeliever in Urdu).
In Ofcom’s decision (the “Breach Decision”) published on 7 August 2017 in issue 334 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin (PDF, 1.4 MB), Ofcom’s Executive found that the Nasheed constituted hate speech and breached Rules 2.3, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Code.
The Breach Decision set out specifically the broadcast material that was in breach, along with reasoning as to why the material had breached each rule.
Ofcom put the Licensee on notice in the Breach Decision that it considered these breaches to be serious, and that it would consider them for the imposition of a statutory sanction.
In accordance with Ofcom’s procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in breaches of broadcast licences (PDF, 189.7 KB) (the “Sanctions Procedures”), Ofcom considered whether the Code breaches were serious, deliberate, repeated or reckless so as to warrant the imposition of a sanction on the Licensee in this case. It reached a decision that a sanction was merited in this case since the breach was serious for the reasons set out in the Decision.
Ofcom’s Decision is that the appropriate sanction should be a financial penalty of £2,000. Ofcom also considers that the Licensee should be directed to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings, on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.