Islam TV channel breached guidelines

A MUSLIM television channel breached the broadcasting code by airing discussions containing contentious views on violence against women and marital rape, according to a ruling by regulator Ofcom.

Five programmes transmitted by the Islam Channel between May 2008 and October 2009 breached broadcasting guidelines, a report by the media watchdog concluded.

A phone-in programme 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.

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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 that 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 relating to aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were found to have breached the code relating to impartiality in political matters.

In its report, Ofcom said: "Ofcom remains concerned about Islam Channel's understanding and compliance processes in relation to the code."