A Sheffield-based Muslim radio station has had its license revoked for broadcasting more than 25 hours of sermons “encouraging and condoning” violence against non-Muslims.
Iman FM had its license suspended earlier in the month by Ofcom for playing lectures by radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, but the station claimed it was not aware of his background.
According to the broadcasting regulator, sermons by the infamous al-Qaeda recruiter which were aired by Iman FM during Ramadan “amounted to a direct call to action to members of the Muslim community to prepare for and carry out violent action against non-Muslim people.”
Ofcom further stated that the cumulative effect of al-Awlaki’s statements in the lectures broadcast would “condone, promote and encourage violent behaviour towards non-Muslim people.”
A spokesman for the watchdog told the BBC that Iman Media UK Limited was “unfit to hold a license”, adding: “We have strict rules prohibiting harmful content in programmes likely to incite crime.”
Iman FM, the mission statement of which is “equipping the generation towards a cohesive society”, had previously claimed it had not listened to all the lectures because of time constraints, the broadcasts happening during Ramadan, and its only being a small radio station.
Awlaki was designated a global terrorist by the US Government in 2010, and was described as a ‘leader, recruiter and trainer for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’ by the UN Security Council the following year.
His sermons are thought to have inspired terrorist attacks including the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in 2015 in which 12 people died and the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, in which 13 U.S. soldiers were killed.
As Breitbart London reported earlier this month, a petition was set up “in support of IMAN FM being allowed to carry on with its radio broadcasts and for Ofcom not to revoke its license,” in response to the radio station’s suspension from air.
“As listeners we have never had any cause of complain [sic] against IMAN fm and the content has always been exemplary,” says the plea, which has been signed by nearly 300 people.