Death-wish anchorman reprimanded by Ofcom

Ofcom’s latest report (PDF download) tells of how an anchorman’s prayer led to his station being reprimanded for breaching Rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code (broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence must be justified by the context).

The Pakistan-based Geo TV were unable to justify the words of their presenter, Dr Aamer Liaquat Hussain, who prayed on air that Sir Salman Rushdie be put to death.

O God I beg you for the sake of this night; ruin those who have blasphemed against Your beloved [Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon Him)]. Ruin them. Ruin Rushdie, I beg you for his death. O God, give him death, O Provider; he has blasphemed your beloved. Oh God, we beg in Your Court for his death.

Geo TV tried to excuse themselves by saying Rushdie had “exercised his freedom of expession” to commit “serious blasphemy”, and that they, in turn, were exercising their right by “condemning the blasphemous act”. Apparently they are unaware of the difference between condemning an act and calling for the death of its perpetrator.

Amusingly, they also pointed out that Hussain:

neither instigated nor incited any individual to harm
the author of the book, nor did he suggest any such expression. All his prayers were
addressed to the God and not to an individual.

Ofcom were not convinced, and decided that Geo TV had broadcast “offensive material” and therefore breached Rule 2.3.

5 Responses to “Death-wish anchorman reprimanded by Ofcom”

  1. Relevant to preceding post. Free speech as the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices is one thing, free speech as praying for someone’s death is quite another.

  2. Britannia says:

    “All his prayers were addressed to the God and not to an individual”.
    So that’s all right then, talking to your imaginary friend excuses everything!

  3. sean says:

    Well in that case I call upon Mr Swampchicken the Invisible to shit in the shoes of Dr Aamer Liaquat Hussain, and to fornicate wildly with both of his nostrils.

  4. marc draco says:

    Is he a doctor like, oh I dunno, Harold Shipman then?

  5. Tim Jackson says:

    I am deeply offended by the suggestion that Mr Swampchicken the Invisible is capable of shitting and call for the head of Sean. Peace be upon Swampchicken the Invisible.