terra media

propovaduitor islamic blocat la o televiziune religioasa

VISION TV a blocat aparitiile lui Israr Ahmed un invatator isamic din Pakinstan dupa ce acesta a abordat controversata problema a statului Israel si conceptul despre jihad. Observatia postului religios a fost ca respectiva prezentare a trecut peste limitele libertatii reigioase.

fragmente din comunicatul postului tv:

Ahmed made some of his comments on a July 14 broadcast of Dil Dil Pakistan, a program in the Urdu  language that airs Saturday afternoons. It is funded by producer Khalid Cehdai and the Islamic Academic Foundation, which says it is a registered Canadian charity.During the broadcast, Ahmed said: “Jihad in the way of Allah, for the cause of Allah, can be pursued either with your financial resources, or your bodily strength when you go to fight the enemy in the battlefield . . . Jihad, the highest form, is fighting in the cause of Allah.”This teaching was controversial primarily because of what Ahmed has taught outside of the program. Based in Lahore, Pakistan, he leads a seminary, a bookstore and a self-described “revolutionary” organization called Tanzeem-e Islami, whose aim is to turn Pakistan into a fundamentalist Islamic state. His ultimate goal is the “global domination of Islam.” He has called Jews “parasites,” and claims that they currently dominate the world. He also foresees a time when they will be exterminated.Ahmed is a well-known Muslim teacher who also has a regular program on Peace TV, described as a “24-hour Islamic spiritual entertainment international satellite TV channel” — based in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and India.The wife of Qayyum Abdul Jamal, who was arrested last summer for his alleged role in a plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto, has claimed that her husband is a follower of Ahmed.


In response to early complaints about the program, Vision TV’s vice-president of programming Mark Prasuhn defended Ahmed’s right to speak, based on “the fundamental freedoms of religion and expression enshrined in the Charter (of Rights and Freedoms).” He said Vision had approved the program based on its content, not on what Ahmed may have said elsewhere.Prasuhn further stated Ahmed was simply offering an interpretation of the “difficult concept” of jihad — which carries a range of meanings.Jihad can mean the struggle to overcome sin in one’s personal life; the struggle to spread the teachings of Islam throughout the world; and the defence of Islam through violence. Some terrorists have also used the term, to justify violent acts. Prasuhn said Ahmed was offering his interpretation of the Koran in its “historical context,” and that he had not applied the jihad concept to advocating violence in the present day.After the issue was reported in a lengthy story in the National Post on July 20, Vision pulled the next episode of Dil Dil Pakistan, which also featured Ahmed and was due for broadcast on July 21. In its place, Vision broadcast a rerun of an older episode of Dil Dil Pakistan — though that episode also included one of Ahmed’s talks.This prompted further protests, and on July 23, Vision president Bill Roberts issued a strongly worded statement which read in part: “I condemn any reference to or suggestion of holy war or violent jihad by any group. I regret that Mr. Israr Ahmad’s statements may have conveyed such a suggestion, and we will redouble our efforts to ensure that it does not happen again . . . . VisionTV unequivocally rejects all violence — or support for violent activities — in the name of religious faith.”Roberts later told the National Post that Vision and Dil Dil Pakistan producer Khalid Cehdai would be issuing an on-air apology and that Ahmed would not be allowed on the program again.Roberts told CC.com he has sent all the relevant materials to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, a voluntary agency set up by the broadcast industry, to ask for “a guiding opinion.”Roberts also said Vision is setting up a task force, including representatives of Jewish groups and anyone at Vision who wants to participate, to review its broadcast standards.


Vision TV describes itself as “Canada‘s multi-faith, multicultural broadcaster.” Its mandate is to provide “balanced programming focused upon the varied religious practices and beliefs of Canadians.” About half of the station’s content is provided — and paid for — by about 75 faith groups.Roberts said Vision has “the ‘gold standard’ of ethics policies.” It has both a ‘Code of Ethics and a ‘Code on Violence.’The code of ethics states: “Neither the content nor the tone of programming will incite people to commit violent acts or attacks on any other group or person. Violence will neither be glorified, nor exploited, nor used out of context to shock — or for trivial reasons.”Roberts said all producers must sign on to these codes. He recalled one previous incident in which a US televangelist was accused of violating the code’s provision that “programming must not . . . incite discrimination, hatred or violence against any individual or identifiable group” because of his teaching on homosexuality. Vision thought the program was “close” to violating the standards, but the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled it had gone over the line; the televangelist agreed to abide by the ruling, and the issue never came up again.

Roberts said the July 21 program represented “an embarrassing failure of process”. He told CC.com every program on Vision is screened by both the producer and by Vision staff. In this case, the producer was preoccupied with his daughter’s wedding, and did not do a proper job of pre-screening the July 14 program. Vision staff had also screened the program, but while they are well versed in Vision’s Code of Ethics, they are not necessarily trained in all of the theological issues, said Roberts. In particular, they do not have the time or resources to do background checks on all guests on Vision programs, and they were unaware of Ahmed’s other teachings.Roberts said the examination of Vision’s broadcast standards gets at some “deeply important issues.” He noted that while he has been “a defender of human rights and free speech” as a member of Amnesty International, a broadcaster sometimes has to make a “wrenching judgment call” between Charter guarantees of free speech and laws against hate crimes.Roberts said it is clear in this case that Ahmed is “a dangerous man” who should not be given air time, but a broadcaster might be on shaky ground if it starts to evaluate not just programming but also those who produce it.”Are we going to do a background check on everyone who goes on air?” he asked. “Should we pull Mel Gibson’s movies?” he added, referring to Gibson’s comments about Jews during an arrest for drunken driving last year. Roberts also raised the question of whether the broadcaster should ban a televangelist who says derogatory things about homosexuals in public meetings in the U.S. even if he doesn’t make them in his Canadian programming.Roberts said the broadcaster also risks getting into difficult privacy issues. “Where do we draw the line? Should we do credit checks?” he asked, adding that measures like these could have “a chilling effect on freedom of speech.”Doug Cryer, director of public policy for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told CC.com that Vision’s “willingness to receive input from the various stakeholders in the faith community is a positive move 

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