Ofcom fines Islam Channel for airing antisemitic conspiracy theory

Ofcom’s HQ

UK media watchdog Ofcom has imposed a £40,000 fine on broadcaster Islam Channel Ltd for what it described as repeated breaches of the regulator’s broadcasting rules.

The penalty was imposed after an Ofcom investigation found that The Andinia Plan, a one-hour documentary that examined a conspiracy theory which originated in a neo-Nazi publication, amounted to hate speech against Jewish people. This antisemitic content was also highly offensive and not sufficiently justified by the context.

The conspiracy theory known as the “Andinia Plan”, alleges there is a plan to establish a Jewish state in Patagonia, the southern region of South America governed by Argentina and Chile.

Ofcom had earlier published a breach decision that found Islam Channel bahd breached Rules 3.2 and 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code.

Secton 3.2 states that material which contains hate speech must not be included in television and radio programmes except where it is justified by the context.

Section 2.3 states that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.

Ofcom said that it had found serious and repeated breaches of its rules which warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions: a financial penalty, to be paid by Islam Channel Ltd to HM Paymaster General; a direction not to repeat the programme; and a direction to broadcast a statement of its findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.

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