The TV channel of an Islamic preacher, who was banned from entering the country after praising Osama bin Laden, is being broadcast to millions in the UK despite concerns about extreme content, a Times investigation has found.
Emma Webb, a Research Fellow from the Henry Jackson Society, described Dr Zakir Naik as “the epitome of somebody who is not fit and proper” to hold a licence.
The founder of Peace TV was banned from this country by Theresa May in 2010 after he praised the al-Qaeda leader and said “all Muslims should be terrorists”.
Dr Naik’s TV channel is available to Sky subscribers, despite previously breaking the broadcast code for showing controversial and extremist content.
Ms Webb told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “You would think it is quite straight forward that if somebody has been banned from entering the country by the Home Secretary because they are an extremist, they should not be allowed to reach people in this country.
“It has already been deemed that they are not good to reach the public and for them to be hearing.
“This is one example among many because there are other channels as well.”
She added: “We need to be asking ourselves, should we be shifting ourselves away from just looking at breaches of content to the overall picture?
“What are the purposes of these channels? What are they trying to accomplish by accessing UK audiences?”
'Common sense perspective'
Ms Webb added that it was a “common sense perspective” that a man banned from the UK, should not hold a licence.
“It is completely mad and it is clear that if anyone is not fit to hold a licence, it is this man,” she added.
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“He was banned from entering the country in 2010 and he only resigned as the licensee of this channel in May this year.
“For eight years he has been able to continue accessing UK audiences.
“I think the question there is; how is it possible that there is one standard from banning someone from the country and another for allowing them to continue accessing UK audiences?
“This is a man who is also the chairman of a UK registered charity, which means our regulators are clearly holding people to a different standard.”