A radical Islamic television channel run by an anti-Semetic Salfist hate preacher has been partially funded by tax breaks from the UK Treasury.
Regulators have slammed the channel for broadcasting virulently anti-Semitic material, blaming the Jews for the holocaust, and a British charity that funds the channel is under investigation.
Peace TV is a 24-hour satellite station run by Zakir Naik, a hate preacher who was banned from the UK in 2010 by the Home secretary for statements that were “on their face supportive of Osama bin Laden, anti-Jewish and otherwise unacceptable”. He has also endorsed the killing of ex-Muslims.
His channel broadcasts to almost 100 million people worldwide from a studio in Dubai, but is funded by a charity called the Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI) based in Birmingham, England.
The British charity seems to exist for little else other than funding the radical channel. Last year, it gave more than £770,000 of its £972,000 income “to support Peace TV”, and more than £1 million from an income of £1,158,811 the year before.
Furthermore, thanks to its charitable status, the IRFI received £77,000 last year in gift aid tax relief donations, courtesy of the British taxpayer.
This week Peace TV was slammed by Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, for screening a series of racist lectures by a scholar who referred to Jews as a “cursed race”, the Times reports. They said the comments could be deemed “hate speech”.
Anti-Semitism, however, is nothing new to Peace TV. Mr. Naik, who is also the channel’s main English-language presenter, is well known for his animosity towards the Jewish people (see video below).
Yet, only now has the Charity Commission decided to act. They have revealed they are finally considering regulatory action against IRFI, which sustained the radical broadcaster with almost £2 million of taxpayer-supplemented donations in 2014 and 2015.
The offending anti-Semitic comment was identified by the regulator on Peace TV’s Urdu service during routine monitoring. During a lecture by one Israr Ahmad, a ‘scholar’ who died in 2010, he appeared to blame the Jews for the Holocaust. He said:
“That is the mark of this cursed race, that despite God’s divine grace they 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 channel could be fined up to £250,000 or be required to broadcast a statement of the regulator’s findings.
A spokesman for Peace TV said that the broadcast of the antisemitic material had been “a horrendous mistake”. He added: “Steps have been taken to make sure this cannot happen again and we profusely apologise.”
The charity could not be contacted.