The Islam Channel was the ‘Official Media Partner” of Boris Johnson’s ‘Eid in the Square’ event. Its CEO, a convicted terrorist called Mohammed Ali Harrath, spoke at that event. When Alex Hitchens challenged the Mayor’s Office on their choice of partner, they defended Harrath.
Now it turns out that the Islam Channel has carried adverts for Awlaki related events and merchandise. Even more surprisingly, one page of the Islam Channel website allows its viewers to download Awlaki’s lectures – for free.
The Observer has the story:
A London-based satellite broadcaster that describes itself as “the voice of authority for Muslims in the UK” has been accused of giving a platform to Anwar al-Awlaki, the extremist cleric with alleged links to al-Qaida and to the man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day.
The Islam Channel, a free-to-air English-language channel that claims to be “a trustworthy source to the two million-plus population of Muslims in the UK”, last year carried adverts for a box set of DVDs of Awlaki’s sermons and for at least two events at which the cleric was due to be the star speaker via a video link.
The channel’s website has allowed visitors to click through to a pooled archive of Islamic scholars, from which they can download sermons by Awlaki, including “Stop Police Terror”, “Brutality Towards Muslims” and “It’s a War against Islam”.
Islamic scholars have expressed concern. “Anwar al-Awlaki is asking all Muslims to unite against the west as Muslims,” said Dr Irfan al-Alawi of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism. “He supports jihad to ensnare all naive, young people who get emotionally attached and go on jihadist tirades.”
The channel’s chief executive officer, Mohamed Ali Harrath, has been on an Interpol wanted list since 1992, after his native Tunisia accused him of attempting to create “an Islamic state by means of armed revolutionary violence”. Harrath denies the charges.
A spokeswoman for the channel said it had been unaware its website had provided links to Awlaki’s sermons. She said the sermons were in an online archive shared with many websites. “Islam Channel has not at any time given a platform to Mr Awlaki,” she said. The channel has now removed the link.
No, they haven’t removed the link.
The Islam Channel is one of the outlets responsible for the indoctrination of terrorist ideology. It does so openly, and proudly. When caught out, it protests indignantly, and lies its way out of trouble. Do you think this will be the last time that politicians, public officials, Tories even, will work with the Islam Channel?
No, of course not.