British Muslim radio station says it broadcast 25 hours of Al-Qaeda lectures by ‘mistake’

Anwar Al-Awlaki (Reuters)
Updated 09 July 2017
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British Muslim radio station says it broadcast 25 hours of Al-Qaeda lectures by ‘mistake’

JEDDAH: A British radio station that broadcasts content for Muslims risks being closed down after transmitting 25 hours of sermons from the Al-Qaeda preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki.

Britain’s radio regulatory authority Ofcom suspended Sheffield-based Iman FM’s broadcasting license after receiving complaints about the transmissions, which the watchdog said “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.”

The managers of Iman FM deny that they intentionally broadcast lectures by Al-Awlaki – who was killed in a US drone strike in 2011 — calling for a holy war.

The lectures were broadcast on June 14 in English. In one, Al-Awlaki states: “Prepare whatever strength you have for holy war in the cause of Allah. This is a form of worship.”

Under British broadcasting rules hate speech is not permitted on television or radio programs, unless it is in context.

It is well documented that Al-Awlaki was an American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent, and an Al-Qaeda leader, recruiter and trainer.

It is widely reported that Al-Awlaki inspired the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, plans to blow up a US passenger jet, and the Fort Hood massacre in Texas, that left 13 dead.

The station’s managers say they found the content on YouTube and broadcast it during Ramadan, but said they did not know the precise content of the lectures. Ofcom dismissed the station’s claims, saying their explanation was “not credible.”

The management at Iman FM have been given 21 days to explain their actions, or risk the permanent closure of the station.

Iman FM’s chief executive, Mohammad Mughal, said: “This is very, very sad because none of us had any idea this lecture was preaching hatred… We are not just a Muslim radio station — we regularly feature Christian presenters.”


Drake takes time out of Paris concert to ‘share prayers’ for victims of New Zealand terror attack

Updated 17 March 2019
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Drake takes time out of Paris concert to ‘share prayers’ for victims of New Zealand terror attack

LONDON: Hip-hop superstar Drake shared a message of support for the victims of the New Zealand terror attack during a concert in Paris on Saturday.
The “Hotline Bling” star took time out of his “Vacation Assassination” concert in the French capital to send out prayers for the 50 victims in the Christchurch massacre.
He said: “I saw some really terrible things happened in New Zealand, I just want to talk about it because a lot of my friends and a lot of people I work with are from a Muslim background.

“I want you to know, that when there’s terrible things going on in the world, you know, we can still look around this room tonight and see something beautiful because we’ve got all people of all races, all places, all religions and look, we’re in here showing love tonight.
“So, I want send my love to all the families that were affected. We’re praying for you and will spread more love just like this across the world. Paris, I’m proud of you all tonight. I love you all.”
The white supremacist terrorist responsible for the attack livestreamed 17 minutes of his rampage at the Al-Noor mosque in the city, where he sprayed worshippers with bullets.
Facebook, Twitter and Google scrambled to take down the video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the bloodbath.
The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.